Entertainment > Entertainment General

Where to put the cable box....

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HA Dave:
None of this Home Automation, computer, or Audio-Video stuff is ever static. At least for the last 15-20 years.... progress has been exponential. Sometimes.... no, often times... it is easy to feel like we don't get our moneys worth out of a new product before it becomes outdated.

It was nice to see wireless WiFi streaming devices replacing wired-in or even DVD/Blue Ray products. But then... increase refresh rates and resolutions require gigabits of data... best transferred using CAT6. A recent Netflix movie night with a "buffering interruption" caused me to fish CAT6 to a Blue Ray player/streaming device combo unit that is the heart of my Home Theater.

Now today.... I just completed some testing on a 25ft, 16ft, 10ft, 6ft (and 57 foot) run of 4K rated HDMI on my cable box. I was kind'a impressed that the old Scientific-Atlanta set top box could move 1080i that far. So... now I could (with some cable fishing) use the cable (set top) box in the living room and redistribute a ball game or holiday parade to the Home Theater. Not something I do often (or hardly ever... so far).

Or maybe.... I should move the cable box, add a switching device, and a Roku and/or Apple TV device to a Audio/Video closet centrally located in the basement. And distribute media to any-and-everywhere in the house via hardwire HDMI cables and HDMI outlets. And remotely control the devices with remote IR devices.

Then again.... maybe around Christmas I might be able to replace the router and stream data to new streaming devices that can handle gigabit media. New apps.... even include some Cable viewing... with a cable account and password setup.

Right now... if I wanted to invite friends over to watch a big event (like the return of Last Man Standing  rofl) on the big Theater screen... I just have to move the Cable Box to the basement. So I am thinking/wondering/pondering.... how to deal with the current and advancing state of this technology.

Does anyone have any ideas and or insight as to how proceed.

dave w:
$0.02
No recommendations, only general musings. Way too many unknowns.
1. If you move the cable box, spare no expense if you have to extend the coax cable. i.e. triple shield cable and gold plated "F" connectors.
2. If you did NOT see noticeable losses, pixelations, or noise with the 25 ft HDMI cable I would be tempted to go HDMI only because the cable system is higher frequency  signal which will typically be more "lossy" (digital cable channels are usually above 500mHz), where as HDMI is lower frequency clock rate (under 200mHz). The problem is; if you have to use HDMI extension cables, each connection will add loss. I'm simplifying this: for example: a 4k, high dynamic range (12 bit color) video signal with multiple stereo channels will really tax a long HDMI cable.
3. New router makes a lot of sense since cable stringing, cable losses, etc would not be a factor.
And finally, I am really disappointed that "Mandy" will not be returning to LMS. Very funny actress. 
I'm going to take a nap now.

Tuicemen:
Centrally located has always been the best approach for me for most things.
However both my SAT receiver(cottage) and cable box (city) are next to the TVs.(I only have one in each place)

MY Sat company just shipped me a new fee digital box and when asked what to do with the old one they stated just recycle it. (it still feels new to me). B:(
The new one allows me to view on demand content over the net (ethernet) but my internet is to slow for it.
It does detect the internet connection and displays lots of info.

My Cable box also has a ethernet connection available but I've never even played with that.
I stream via wi-fi in the city but over wire at the cottage. Router at the cottage is right next to the TV not so for the one in the city.

HA Dave:
Interestingly..... my next tests involved my streaming media devices. I should mention I have two streaming Blue Ray players, a Sony and a Samsung. Plus I have an older Roku streaming device and a 2nd generation Apple TV [streaming device].

I never thought the [HDMI] signal from the Sony was strong/bright enough to be useable with the Theater. So I am using the Samsung there. I couldn't find an app that would access my cable company in the Samsung app selection.... however I believe I need to do more searching on that subject. And... I had no better luck at finding my Cable/media service provider's app at the Apple App Store (for Apple TV). Which I wouldn't think would make good sense.

But the Spectrum (my cable company's) app on my old Roku device works so darn flawlessly.... it makes me wonder how much am I paying per month for a cable box?!?!? I can buy a new Roku Ultra 4K device for 70 bucks. At 8 bucks (US Bucks) per, I could be running free in 9 months. (I'd switched to an Internet phone some months ago... simplify because it made such good sense).

So now.... I am going to forget my considerable "wire investments" (or at least try to) and concentrate on wireless. NOT an easy concept for an old wire-twister like myself to swallow.

Has anyone else had any luck with the Spectrum app on anything?




SkipWX10:
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