• ## Cell Phones

### Nielsen enters 21st century, is now rating streaming TV

by Published on 08-28-2015 11:09 AM
1. Categories:
2. Cell Phones,
3. TV Antennas,
4. Satellite,
5. Online/MobileTV

We've known it would happen for some time. Nielsen said that they would eventually start tracking streaming video on major sites, and The Verge says they've secretly been tracking online video for the last six months and now have enough data to start publishing ratings.

This is a pretty big step for Nielsen, ...

### Use a TV antenna for cellular? it could work...

by Published on 08-27-2015 02:32 PM
1. Categories:
2. Cell Phones

Technically it is possible to use a UHF antenna for a cell booster. Cellular telephones use frequencies just above those used for UHF television, and it's possible that even though a TV antenna wasn't designed for it, it could pick up some of those frequencies.

Let's back up a little bit and explain a bit about broadcasting. ...

### Simple math: use a splitter, and you're cutting the signal level

by Published on 08-27-2015 01:57 PM
1. Categories:
2. Cell Phones,
3. TV Antennas,
4. Satellite

Why shouldn't you use a splitter? Because there's no such thing as a free lunch. Or, if you're into physics, remember that Leibniz proved that the amount of energy in a system remains constant.

What does that mean for you? It means that if you split your antenna signal using a 1x2 splitter, each TV gets a signal half as strong. If you use a 1x8 splitter, each TV gets a signal only 12.5% as strong as the original. Because you can't split a signal without losing something.

Oh yes you can use an amplifier to make up for losses, and that can help to an extent. And it helps too that it's not all as bad as it sounds to lose half the signal, which is why we measure signal in things like "dB" which give you a better idea of what you're losing. It sounds a lot better to say that you've lost 12dB of signal than to say that 87.5% of the signal you had before the signal is now gone.

And that's the whole point when I say that you shouldn't use big splitter if you don't have to. Even though amplifiers help, they also hurt (which is a topic for another day.) The best thing to do is to keep as much signal as possible without needlessly splitting it. That's how you get the best result.

There's no getting away from this simple fact either. If you think that you're better off with a 1x8 splitter than with two 1x4s and a 1x2, you're mostly mistaken. You're probably a little better off because each one of those components have what's called "insertion loss" meaning that you lose some signal just by connecting them, but it's not a whole lot.

The bottom line here folks is that a little bit of planning can make a big difference. Rather than simply tacking another splitter on, replace small splitters with large ones, or even better try to figure out if you really need that large splitter. Plan accordingly and you'll always find that you'll get the best possible quality from your antenna, dish, or cell repeater.

### NICE AND EASY: What is LTE?

by Published on 08-23-2015 02:22 PM
1. Categories:
2. Cell Phones

Right off the bat I will tell you that this is not a super-technical article. If you want one of those, you won't get much better than this long essay at ExtremeTech that really goes into the aspects of LTE that you would want to know before going into a first-year RF engineering class. This article is really ...

### Hey, why doesn't anyone use Bluetooth headsets anymore?

by Published on 08-19-2015 02:40 PM
1. Categories:
2. Cell Phones

OK, here's the elephant in the room. Let's all agree that a lot of people think that someone wearing a Bluetooth headset looks like a jerk. I don't know why, but there's something about a person who wears an in-ear Bluetooth device that really sort of makes me think that person isn't committed to being here with me. It's funny because I don't think ...

### Hot Deals for the Week of August 17, 2015

by Published on 08-17-2015 11:58 AM

### Can a cell booster cause a nearby tower to explode?

by Published on 08-16-2015 04:49 PM
1. Categories:
2. Cell Phones

Just another old wives' tale.

There was a time when a residential cell booster actually posed a real threat to cell towers. When cell boosters first came on the market, they actually had the ability to set up a feedback loop that could overload a nearby cell tower. However, those days have passed.

All the cell boosters sold by Solid Signal, including our Surecall and SmoothTalker, have feedback prevention electronics. These circuits will be required by law in the next generation of cell boosters but all the major manufacturers already use them.

The simple fact is, a cell booster is a harmless way for you to get better cell signal indoors and poses no more threat to the cell towers than your phone does.
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