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    STREAMING SATURDAY: Top Talent Headed to Two Streaming Services

    Streaming services donít just compete with content. Two major read on

    Should you replace flat antenna wire?

    If the antenna on your roof is older than 40 years then it probably read on

    So why do they call it "4K" TV anyway?

    Actually, they'd rather you call it "Ultra HD." The people who make read on

    Improve your cell reception: 10 tips that cost nothing

    This article was authored by Ken Perkins and was originally published read on

    Streaming TV is broken. Come back to satellite.

    That's right, I said it. I didn't just beat around the bush like read on

    Sign up for DIRECTV NOW, get a free AppleTV (again)

    It's seriously like getting a free streaming player. Several sources, read on

    AT&T issues statement about Barcelona

    The following statement comes from AT&T's news site: Of course we read on

    How can you get a new cell tower in your neighborhood?

    Easy answer: you pretty much can't. Let's say you were fed up with read on

    THROWBACK THURSDAY: Altair 8800 PC

    In Throwback Thursday, we're looking back at the articles we're most read on

    How many 4K TVs can run off one Genie 2?

    This one's easy, but you won't like the answer. Although the Genie 2 read on

    Do you REALLY need the Slimline-5 dish? (2017 Edition)

    It's a fact. DIRECTV's satellite at the 119 location is going out of read on

    What is a voltage blocking coupler (DC Block) and what is it used for?

    Easy answer: It's the opposite of a power passing splitter. We told read on

    Ken Reid and THE Micky Dolenz

    Note: The Ken Reid TV Guidance Counselor Podcast is rated PG-13 and read on

    The very first smartphone

    Of course it all depends on how you define "smart." If it's 1996, it read on

    NICE AND EASY: What is baseband video?

    No, not a band made of up bass players. Who finds these read on

    NICE AND EASY: What's an "obstruction?"

    This. If you're asked if there are "obstructions" between your read on
    by Published on 08-19-2017 11:50 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Online/MobileTV
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    Streaming services donít just compete with content
    . Two major streaming networks recently added some top talent to their respective rosters.

    Some big names recently joined Netflix and Sling TV. Thereís no doubt that these streaming giants believe that the addition of new blood will help make their respective ...
    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 08-18-2017 04:06 PM
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    Actually, they'd rather you call it "Ultra HD." The people who make 4K televisions approved that term about five years ago and ever since, most TV makers have desperately hoped you would use it.

    And let's be honest, we still call it 4K. The only question is, "why?"

    The ...
    by Published on 08-18-2017 03:34 PM



    I know that your powers of retention are as wet as a warthog's back side... and if that holds particular meaning for you then you're going to like this video. It's recently surfaced as part of "yet another" re-release of everyone's favorite cartoon about daddy issues, The Lion King.

    It's been common practice (even back in the 1990s) to record animation voice actors saying their lines so the animators have a visual reference for the way the characters' mouths are supposed to move. Call it a simple cheat that works for everyone. What it also means is that there's a great record of the performances that drive the movie. In the video above you get a great look at Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, and especially Jeremy Irons who completely acts out his lines as if he were on stage. It's great fun for everyone and a quick video, so why not take it easy for a few minutes and visit the pridelands?
    by Published on 08-18-2017 03:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Cell Phones
    Article Preview


    This article was authored by Ken Perkins and was originally published at the weBoost blog. It is reprinted with permission.

    Pretty much all of us have cell phones that we use a lot. And pretty much all of us expect to be able to use our cell phone wherever we go Ė home, office, school, the commute between, shopping, the gym, restaurants and bars, the park.

    You name it. Wherever we go, we expect our phones to work.
    ...
    by Published on 08-17-2017 06:14 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Online/MobileTV



    It's seriously like getting a free streaming player. Several sources, including AT&T itself, have confirmed that if you prepay for three months of DIRECTV NOW, you will get a free AppleTV player, which itself is worth $149. That means even if you don't stay with the service you'll get the player for free, forever, for $35 less than if you bought it outright.

    This same offer was available to early adopters of the service but was phased out a few months ago.

    I know this is a very limited time deal and the details are still very scarce on it -- DIRECTVNOW's own web site doesn't talk about the deal and some sites are saying that it's only offered if you sign up over the phone or in person with a retailer. So, give us a call at 877.312.4547 and we'll give you the full story.
    by Published on 08-17-2017 02:41 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Cell Phones



    The following statement comes from AT&T's news site:

    AT&T to Credit Our Wireline and Wireless Customers for All Calls and Text Messages from the USA to Barcelona

    Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona and our customers who have friends and family there.

    AT&T will waive or credit charges incurred for consumer calls placed by AT&Tís customers from the United States to Barcelona between August 17th to August 19th in the local time zone. This includes landline, texting, and mobility (Postpaid and Prepaid) calls
    .
    Of course we at Solid Signal extend our sympathies to the people of Barcelona as well as all victims of terrifying attacks all over the world. Since we aren't a news site, we don't routinely mention these things, but everyone here stands behind all the victims of recent violence.
    by Published on 08-17-2017 02:03 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Cell Phones
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    Easy answer: you pretty much can't. Let's say you were fed up with bad reception and your goal was to bring a new cell tower into your neighborhood so you and your neighbors could benefit. Here's one possible way it could go.

    Find a company willing to do it.
    This is probably the easiest. Cell towers make good money after their initial ...
    by Published on 08-17-2017 12:29 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Data/Networks
    Article Preview


    In Throwback Thursday, we're looking back at the articles we're most proud of from the first ten years of The Solid Signal Blog, as well as other old stuff we think is super-neato.



    If it weren't for the Altair 8800, I might be writing this blog ...
    by Published on 08-16-2017 05:17 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Satellite



    It's a fact. DIRECTV's satellite at the 119 location is going out of service within two years. This will mean that pretty much all standard definition service will go with it, since the content on the 119 satellite will take the place on standard definition content on one of the 101 satellites.

    All English-language HD programs have already moved off the 119 satellite, and what's left is basically local programming for a few markets around the country. The only thing left is SD programming, so even if you're in one of those cities where the 119 satellite is in use, you still don't need it if all you want is HD.

    Every year, we revise our list of cities that require the use of the Slimline-5 dish. The Slimline-5 dish is harder to aim and harder to keep aimed. The preferred dish for almost the entire country is the Slimline-3 dish, or if you want 4K, the Reverse Band 3 Slimline dish. Chances are you don't need the Slimline-5 dish.

    If you do have it, it won't hurt you for now but at some point it's going to stop working and you'll have to deal with that. For now, take a look at our newly-revised list of markets that still receive programming from the 119 satellite location. That way you'll be able to figure things out for yourself!

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