• TV Antennas

    by Published on 08-18-2017 05:25 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas



    If the antenna on your roof is older than 40 years then it probably uses flat wire that you haven't seen anywhere else. This 300-ohm "twin-lead" cable was all the rage in the 1950s as it was inexpensive to make and easy to install. However, it was replaced eventually by the kind of coaxial cable you see all over the place.

    To be honest, the flat wire is a really good fit for an antenna since its impedance characteristics (an important measure of how well signals "flow" through a wire" is fairly similar to that of the antenna itself. In order to use coaxial cable, an antenna uses a piece of equipment called a "balun" which converts the antenna's 300-ohm impedance to the 75-ohm impedance of a coaxial cable. Baluns also used to be quite expensive, which was another reason people didn't use coaxial cable. Today they're ridiculously cheap.

    Although twin-lead wire is pretty good for antenna signals, it's completely unshielded and prone to interference from cell phones which obviously people in the 1950s didn't have to worry about. Today though... you do need to worry about it and you also probably need to worry about the sun damage that 40-60 years of direct exposure has done to your old flat wires.

    Normally I say, if it isn't broke... don't fix it. But if you're seeing any sort of interference on your TV picture while watching antenna TV, I would rewire the line with coaxial cable and get a balun to connect your old antenna to it. This will give you much better results, including stronger signal and the ability to split the signal easily to go to multiple TVs. You may even be able to repurpose some cable company leftover wire for this purpose.

    Folks, some things made in the 1950s are classics. Old cars, old music, those are great. Old wires though... time to deal with them.
    by Published on 08-15-2017 04:55 PM
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    2. TV Antennas



    In a back-to-topic podcast, our podcaster talks about why an older antenna isn't going to work as well as a well-built, modern one. Listen, then shop for antennas at Solid Signal - Signal Solutions including HDTV Antennas, DIRECTV and DISH Network satellite equipment and home entertainment supplies and accessories!

    Listen to the podcast your way! Just choose one of the following:
    Option 1: Click on the image above to stream the podcast in your browser.
    Option 2 Search iTunes for "Solid Signal" (click here if you have iTunes on this device)
    Option 3: Click here to download the podcast in MP3 format.
    Option 4: Paste the following link into your favorite podcast program: forums.solidsignal.com/podcasts/solidsignal.xml
    by Published on 08-15-2017 01:28 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Commercial,
    3. TV Antennas,
    4. Satellite


    No, not a band made of up bass players. Who finds these pictures?

    Another term that shouldn't have you shaking your head. Nice and simple... baseband video is plain old video or audio over a wire. Think of composite video cables, or even HDMI. It's a signal that isn't modulated onto a channel, isn't put out over the internet, just the basic signal that comes from your satellite box or media player and goes to your TV. That.

    In case you're curious, modulated video refers to one cable that distributes lots of channels, like an antenna signal. It has to be demodulated and that turns it into baseband video. Broadband video is video that is delivered over the internet in digital chunks and coexists with everything else out there. You know, like Netflix. Broadband video has to be decoded and then it turns into baseband video.

    So, you could say baseband video is the simplest form of video there is. Everything else... isn't nice and easy.
    by Published on 08-15-2017 11:40 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas,
    3. Satellite



    This.

    If you're asked if there are "obstructions" between your antenna or dish and another location, you might have sheepishly said no, not knowing what an obstruction is.

    "Obstruction" is just a fancy word for something that comes between you and what you're trying to see. In the suburbs, the most common obstruction is a tree that blocks the path between your antenna and the broadcast towers, or between your dish and the sky.

    The path between your antenna or dish and the thing it needs to see is called "line-of-sight," by the way, and if you have good line-of-sight it means that you can see what you need to see. Or, at least, your dish can... those satellites are awful small and hard to see with the naked eye at 22,000 miles away
    by Published on 08-13-2017 12:36 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas,
    3. Satellite
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    You know the S-Video connector... it was the primo way to connect your VCR to your huge standard definition TV back in the 1990s. In case you're not sure what I mean, there's a helpful image staring right back at you.

    The S-Video connector is special because it uses four wires to carry just video information, ...
    by Published on 08-11-2017 09:18 AM
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    2. TV Antennas
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    If you browse through this site, you'll find a number of articles that tell you that amplifiers cannot amplify that which is not there but that they can help you get your signal to your TV. I have been asked on occasion why a certain TV channel was lost after adding an amplifier when the station was intermittent before. Shouldn't the amplifier have amplified the poor signal into a good usable signal?

    When I went through school, I didn't love to push numbers at first, but somewhere around learning algebra, I started seeing connections and really ...
    by Published on 08-07-2017 03:04 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. TV Antennas,
    3. Satellite,
    4. MoCA
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    "Return path." It's another one of those terms you hear a lot when you hang around with RF engineers. (Don't hang out with RF engineers? You ought to, they're a feisty lot.) "Oh, you've got to protect the return path," they'll tell you. "Don't forget the return ...
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