to watch cable in every nook and cranny?
Gadgets abound that will help you bilk the cable company out of those
multiple hookup charges
John “jaQ” Andrews firstname.lastname@example.org
TV is awesome, isn’t
You come home and all
your friends are there, right in that magic glowing box. And they’re so
funny all the time! Or possibly angstful, or scheming. But in such an
entertaining way. It’s always been such a shame that you couldn’t take
them out with you.
Sling Media (www.slingmedia.com)
has come up with the idea of attaching a box to your television that
streams the signal over your broadband connection. You can then view
that stream wherever you are, as long as you have a computer and
Internet access. The Slingbox, as it’s called, costs about $250 and,
amazingly, has no monthly fees.
I’m sure the cable
companies will come up with some way to destroy this technology
eventually, but for now, it’s an incredibly simple concept. You pay for
your cable television subscription, so why shouldn’t you be able to
watch it anywhere? Sling Media calls this concept “placeshifting,” in a
clever bit of wordsmithing that calls to mind “timeshifting,” the
concept that allowed VCRs to tape programs for your later viewing
pleasure without infringing on the content producers’ rights.
The actual installation
is little more complicated than that VCR of yore. Hook up the cable
straight from the wall, or from your cable box, satellite receiver or
DVR. Then connect back to that same device or to the TV. Also connect
the Slingbox to your home network router, which of course is connected
to your broadband Internet service with at least 256kbps upload speed.
Instant video server.
Using Windows software
(they promise Mac, PDA and smartphone software real, real soon), you can
then watch any channel you’ve paid for. A virtual remote control even
lets you watch programs you’ve recorded on your DVR.
“But Mr. Andrews,” you
ask respectfully, “I only want to watch TV upstairs. Do I really need to
spend so much and connect through the Internets?”
Of course not. For more
local television rebroadcast chicanery, there’s a $50 solution available
at your fine local electronics retail establishment. It’s called a
Wireless Video Sender, and it involves two little deviceamatrons that
speak to each other through walls and even thin air!
One hooks up to your
cable box/VCR/etc. via RCA connectors. The other connects to your second
television, up to 100 feet away. Whatever signal is coming through the
first deviceamatron, that’s what you see and hear on your second TV.
unfortunately, that you probably won’t be able to change channels —
unless you also buy a Remote Sender, which transmits your remote control
X10 makes a Wireless
Video Sender, which is rebranded for RCA and Radio Shack. Lorex also
makes a version. No matter which brand you go with, you’ll get your fix
of sweet, calming TV. Mmm.