NICE AND EASY: What is a “solid signal?”

If you’re not familiar with the term it’s easy to wonder where this blog, and its parent, got their names.  The story’s pretty simple, and with it comes the definition of “solid signal.”

Flash back to 2002.

I mean, if you really have to. DSL was the order of the day, promising internet speeds of “up to 1 megabit!” The Nokia candybar phones, with their green screens and snake games, were high tech. And, somehow, this was considered high fashion:

Back then, company founder Jerry Chapman had an idea. He’d found it was almost impossible to get the kind of home theater equipment he needed for himself, even searching online. Keep in mind Google was still pretty new at that time and Amazon mostly sold books.

Listening to the fans

Solid Signal, the company, started because Jerry listened to the home theater enthusiast. He looked at the peer support forums of the day. Remember this was half a decade before Facebook was invented and this was how people shared information. Back then, he noticed a lot of people mentioning how, once your dish was aimed, you got a “solid signal.”

“Solid signal” means a nice strong signal. It means that you get the best possible reception. In the days when a lot of meters used indicator lights, it meant all the lights were solid, not flashing. And, I like to think that it harkens back to the late 1960s, when something “solid” was unassailable, high-quaility, and credible. You hear the term used as slang that way in a lot of TV shows from the period.

And so, was born

The early 2000s were a busy time for the internet, as it was changing every day. I doubt that we could have gotten such an easy-to-understand, resonant name today. But, luckily, our founder was there back when things got started and got our company the great name we enjoy today.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.