June 2015

NICE AND EASY: What is “messenger” wire?

It’s amazing how there’s always something more to learn. Just when you think that you’ve amassed a truly encyclopedic knowledge of cables, home theater, and the whole geeky lot, there’s something else that creeps up that…


OPINION: Apple vs. Android, 2015

So here it is 2015, and both of the dominant mobile operating systems have been with us for eight years. We tend to remember the iPhone coming first but it’s really a toss-up; the first iOS…







What’s the best location for a satellite dish?

You’ve decided to put up your own dish. Good for you! Remember that for the first several years, DIRECTV and DISH didn’t even have professional installation. You’re following in the footsteps of thousands of early adopters…


Can you use a powerline adapter on a smart TV?

The better question is, “should you?” Powerline networking kits like this one from Tech Choice will help you get a network connection where none exists. Wired networking is necessary when your Wi-Fi doesn’t reach, or in the…



How far can you run with an Ethernet cable?

Network cables are awesome, but they’re not perfect. There’s a limitation on how long those skinny little wires are going to hold on, even if you pay for the best possible ones. Traditionally, that limit is…


SWM 101: Why does SWM need a return path?

DIRECTV SWM technology is a very different way of distributing signals than traditional satelllite TV. It was developed in order to help installers take advantage of existing cable television wiring. In the mid-2000s, as DIRECTV was…