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Help with sending my TiVO signal to other rooms....


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#1 of 13 Jeff Bamberger

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Posted April 08 2003 - 02:21 AM

I have searched and read and now I am confused on the best way (ease of setup and cost to be part of this equation) to distribute my TiVO signal upstairs to other rooms....

I have cable lines going into the basement where all my splits are that eventually lead upstairs. I can easily pull a coax cable from the output of the TiVO into the basement. I could plug this directly into the line going upstairs, but then I lose regular cable.

This, based on my research, tells me that I may need an RF modulator for the TiVO output, and then, I think, something that lets me "inject" the signal into the coax already going upstairs.

I think I understand this and want to know the best and cheapest way to do this (while still retaining reasonable quality)....

Then, onto IR. My understanding is there are two basic ways to handle this. I could use an IR extender system (which I already use to get signals behind wood doors) or could possibly "inject" the IR signal along the COAX line.

I wouldn't mind the extender idea, but I don't know if I can safely put any more plugs into my outlets where all of the equipment is hooked up. Do all extenders sort of work on the same frequency? If so, would I need to hook up another "receiver" at the equipment, or would my current one pick up the signal from the added transmitter? Does brand matter in regards to this?

Can someone please explain how best to go about this and recommend products.

Thanks!


********************

My further reading has helped me out some. Please continue to make any suggestions in light of this.....

First thing I need is a modulator...one channel is fine. For example, I found this one channel modulator at Smart Home for $65:

http://www.smarthome.com/7715a.html

or this Dayton Audio one from Parts Express for $40:

http://www.partsexpr...._ID=4368&DID=7

Then, I need a simple splitter/combiner, and then plug the modulator and regular cable signal onto the inputs. This then gets fed using my exisiting line up to my other TVs.

Fine. Any suggestions on modulators? Also, one faq I read at smart home suggests putting an in-line amplifier into the line after/before the modulator. Will I really need to do this? This is mostly on our alternate TV in the bedroom and does not need to be top quality.

Also while reading more at smart home, they talk about being able to add just a new transmitter (their pyramids) for the IR. The question, again, then is like I asked above, could I integrate a pyramid with my recoton IR system (do they work in the same RF freq.?).

#2 of 13 Robert_J

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Posted April 08 2003 - 04:40 AM

I use the now discontinued Sony MRD-D1 (may still be available at Orbitsat.com) which is similar to the ChannelPlus 3025 (available at Parts Express). Either one of these will handle the modulation, combining the new channel in with existing cable channels and remote control signal routing. The Sony has fewer channel assignments but it comes with an IR target and emmiter which need to be purchased separately with the 3025. Both of these have amplified and unamplified outputs and they will both modulate two channels. I use a pair of Sonys for two satellite receivers, DVD and VCR.

-Robert

#3 of 13 Jeff Bamberger

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Posted April 08 2003 - 05:27 AM

That's an expensive unit. I just went to Radio Shack and they have a digital cable modulator for $24.99. I don't need pro-grade quality here...this is an extra TV in the bedroom.

My wild card now seems to be with the IR distribution. I don't know if the Smarthome extender/transmitter (for example) will work with my exisiting.

If this kind of thing won't work, I'll either have to call Recoton to see if they have something compatible, or just buy a new set plus extra transmitter from some other vendor.

#4 of 13 Bob Jackson

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Posted April 08 2003 - 08:43 PM

Which model #is that?

Most of the $25 ones just do Ch3 & 4. RS used to sell a selectable model for $50, but that was a couple of years ago.

#5 of 13 Jeff Bamberger

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Posted April 09 2003 - 12:38 AM

I'd have to go back and check the model #, but it definitely was a digital selectable model and it came up as $24.99 in the computer.

The clearanced A/V network setup people had recommended in the past came up in the computer as $6.97, but alas they had none.

I checked the website again and I think this is the one I saw:

http://www.radioshac......5Fid=15-1243

Posted Image



I would still like to know if anyone has any ideas about frequencies of the IR extenders and the possible compatibility of one brand with another.....

#6 of 13 MickeS

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Posted April 09 2003 - 07:26 AM

http://www.buy.com/r....048621&loc=111

You might just want to buy that. It's a RF LINK 2.4 GHZ Wireless A/V Transmitter, with built in remote control IR extender. It's $75. The quality is fine in my house, but at a friend's house he got some interference in the picture. It would certainly be the cheapest and most effortless alternative if you get a good picture.

/Mike
/Mike

#7 of 13 Jeff Bamberger

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Posted April 10 2003 - 12:48 AM

It looks like a neat idea. However, I don't know if I have RCA plugs on the upstairs TV, so I'll need an adapter of some sort. Also, I would still need a spliiter/combiner. This TV will also watch regular cable and not just the TiVO signal. Hence, that is why I was thinking of modulating as I describe above and combining the signal so I use just the one RF connection.

#8 of 13 Bob McElfresh

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Posted April 10 2003 - 02:52 AM

Here is problem you need to check:

If you go with a modulator and want to combine the signal in with an ordinary CATV feed, you need to pick a channel that is not used by your CATV service. Otherwise you will have 2 full-strength signals on the same channel and the results wont be pretty.

They sometimes sell "traps" that you can install on your main CATV feed to remove a single channel. (this is to remove premium or 'objectionable' stations like MTV). If your cable company offers this, this might be an option.

But DONT tell the CATV company that you are trying to combine a local feed into the coax. They will strongly object as your feed could move out and appear on your neighbors TV's as well. (What, you thought there was something in the coax that prevented this? Nope.)

A company called "Channel Plus" sells a small amp/splitter that has a separate input for a modulated signal. It also has small devices to pass IR signals from your remote from room to room. But the distribution amp was about $125, let alone the IR extender modules.

I hate to say it, but it's likely to be cheaper/easier to:

- buy another Tivo unit for the bedroom
- buy one of those "VCR Rabbit" systems that take the output from a VCR/Tivo and send it wireless to a remote site. I believe these have IR control built in, and perhaps handle the A/B switching for you. All for about $110.

Hope this helps.

#9 of 13 Bob McElfresh

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Posted April 10 2003 - 02:56 AM

PS: It looks like Tivo has their Home Media Option where you can use a bedroom Tivo to play shows from a local or remote machine.

It's new, bleeding-edge but this exactly solves your problem.

This link Tivo Home Media Option might shed some light.

#10 of 13 MickeS

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Posted April 10 2003 - 03:11 AM

Best Buy has an RF modulator for $25, that has these connections:
Posted Image

As I understand it, you wouldn't need a splitter/combiner if you had this one, since it has an RF in as well as A/V in. Might be worth checking out.

/Mike
/Mike

#11 of 13 Jeff Bamberger

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Posted April 10 2003 - 05:12 AM

But with that, you wouldn't know whayt channel you were modulating to, right, or is it just 3/4?

Anyways, I disagree on my bets option. I do NOT want to buy another TiVO (I cannot afford to right now). I have (sub)basic cable which only has about a total of 20 channels in the lineup (basically a fancy antenna for my locals), and it should not be a problem to find an unused channel.

The Radio Shack modulator I noted above is $25. Also, the newer Recoton/Jensen extenders (as well as those by Terk) seem to all operate at 418 Mhz. So I should be able to buy just a new transmitter and have my current receiver pick it up just fine.

So, the way I see it, I can do what I need for the following:

$25 Modulator
$25 (approx.) IR Transmitter
$15 Coax Cable (app. 25 feet)
$7 (approx) for a combiner

I already have extra RCA cables to hook into the Modulator. So I should be all set for around $70.

This beats (cost-wise, not that I wouldn't mind having another one)getting a new TiVO, subscribing it, and getting HMO.

This is purely for occasional late evening viewing when I want to crawl into bed and watch something for a bit. And heck, if my RF signal bleeds onto the neighbor's TVs, it will make for some interesting conversation......

#12 of 13 MickeS

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Posted April 10 2003 - 08:11 AM

I agree, getting a new Tivo just for this would be overkill. What you have listed there should work fine.

But with that, you wouldn't know whayt channel you were modulating to, right, or is it just 3/4?

This is what it says on Best Buy's website:
PRODUCT FEATURES
Switch between video components and cable/antenna signals without alternating cables

Allows use of video components when TV isn't equipped with an audio/video jack

Channel 3 or 4 output switch ensures compatibility


I still really think you should give my wireless alternative above a try, at least if they have it in a store there and you can return it. It is the most flexible solution, if you want to move any of the euqipment, and it's easy to install.

Like I said though, there could be interference, so being able to return it would be a must (or you could sell it on eBay or smething, but that's a hassle).

Good luck. Posted Image
/Mike

#13 of 13 Jeff Bamberger

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Posted April 10 2003 - 08:18 AM

Mike,

I still think I will go with my idea, and this is why.....I have a fairly crowded electric outlet in my equipment area. I would like to limit the added plugs to 1 (that for the RF modulator). Yes, with your idea it would still be one (just the wavecom), but it is a little more bulky for the amount of space in the cabinet.

Overall "look" of the solution will be important to my wife and just having the the RF modulator on top of the TiVO will be very inconspicuous. And then upstairs I would just have an IR transmitter.

I also wonder using the Wavecom, I would still need to combine signals anyways, or have some form of A/B switch. Granted, I think this is not difficult, but the rf modulator/combiner solution would be most easy given the way my house and wire runs are.....

But, of course, thank you for your thoughts. Who knows, it still could happen that way......