Leapfrog Home Netowrk System vs. Wireless System

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Hanson, Jul 3, 2002.

  1. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    Hanson
    I am sick of falling asleep on the couch while watching Tivo.

    The solution, it seems, is to be able to watch Tivo in my bedroom at night. But I don't want a second Tivo -- I want to watch the stuff I recorded on the Tivo in my HT.

    I've found a couple of products that would allow me to watch Tivo in my bedroom. They're both in the same price range, but I was wondering if anyone had any first-hand experience with them.

    The first unit is the Leapfrog by Terk. It uses phone lines to transmit stereo A/V info from room to room. The drawback here is that the phone line is on the other side of the room from the TV.

    The second unit is the Wavecom Sr. Again, stereo A/V transmission, but in this case, wireless. The drawback here is that wireless systems can result in sketchy output.

    Both units have IR repeaters (a must).

    Any thoughts?

    Hanson
     
  2. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    Okay…

    Considering the number of replies to this post, it appears that no one either a) tried this thing or b) cared much about it to comment.

    So I went ahead and I ordered the wireless model from Etroncs. The best thing I can say for it was that it was wireless. But the fussy nature of the line of sight reception required quite a bit of positioning and tweaking. After much angling, nudging and surveying, I finally got a decent picture that would buzz on occasion. Had this been the sole problem, I could have lived with it. However…

    I had read, in a review for this product, that microwaves and other appliances would cause interference with the transmission system. The ability to predict and control said sources of interference would make the Wavecom Sr a passable solution if you owned your own house. But I live in a condo, and whenever the upstairs neighbors would use their phone, the picture would roll over uncontrollably, synchronized to a piercingly loud staccato buzz. I had to turn off the TV and wait for the neighbors to end their conversation, as the noise was starting to drive me bonkers.

    So I packed it all back in the box and returned it to Etronics and exchanged it for the Leapfrog.

    There are a few advantages to the Leapfrog out of the box. First off, it has an A/V pass through, which the Wavecom unit did not have (both the tranmitter and receiver have phone line pass throughs, which the Wavecom did not need). Secondly, the IR receiver input is much stronger – with the Wavecom, I would need to point the remote directly at the receiver to turn channels -- the Leapfrog is much more robust and doesn’t require line of sight input.

    Of course, needing to be close to a phone jack is an issue. But the ability to place the transmitter and receiver just about anywhere to avoid placement and alignment issues makes up for it. On the negative side, the phone cords and A/V cables included with the unit are way too short.

    But the picture is better than the best the Wavecom could offer without any buzzing or interference problems. It’s akin to a good quality VHS VCR in SP mode or a lower end SVHS picture in SP mode. Not videophile quality, but more than adequate for falling asleep to the TV. And full stereo to boot.

    The only disappointment is that the IR transmitter is not strong enough to handle all of the components in my A/V rack. What I envisioned was using my receiver as the A/V output and having access to my Tivo, Replay, and DVD players. If anyone has any suggestions on strengthening the IR output to command everything, I’m all ears. But having at least the Tivo in the bedroom is nothing to sneeze at.

    Both units are on sale at Etronics for $85 plus postage ($10 for UPS Ground). The Wavecom Sr, in my opinion, is not ready for prime time. But if you don’t mind wires here and there, the Terk Leapfrog is a solid performer for the price.
     
  3. GeorgeAB

    GeorgeAB Second Unit

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    G. Alan Brown
    Hanson,
    Sorry I missed your post. I could have saved you the hassle. The wireless stuff is still too glitchy. The Terk Leapfrog is an elegant solution to some specific problems. To increase the strength of the IR signals, try cutting the emitter off of the end of the emmitter wire, hardwire the signals from the Terk transceiver to a Xantech or equivalent IR connecting block, then use the more robust Xantech components to distribute the signals to your other gear.
    Best regards and beautiful pictures,
    G. Alan Brown, President
    CinemaQuest, Inc.
    Insist on HDTV![​IMG]
     

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