Home Video Network

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Who does not love their Tivo?  This is not an article about how Tivo has changed my life, nor is it about the new HD Tivo, though someday I would like to get one.  Imagine being able to control and watch Tivo all over a house.  Tivo makes doing this possible, but very expensive.  You can buy one Tivo per TV plus subscription fees and network the boxes.  That was unacceptable to me, so I looked for an alternate way and found it from CrossBar Media.  The product is called Avcast.

 

Many companies make a product called a modulator.  All this does is add a video/audio signal on to a coaxial cable.  I could take my Tivo signal and combine it with my cable signal in a modulator and the output will contain both cable TV and my Tivo signal on the selected channel.  By connecting that coaxial cable to all my TV’s, I would be able to watch the Tivo on any TV, but I would be missing control.

 

The product called Avcast fills in the gap with a self-contained video network for $116.  You can actually buy a smaller system for less.  The smaller system comes with the ability to control the Tivo from only one site.  I wanted more.  It is possible to have up to eight with this product.

 

Although this product comes with all the necessary parts, it is tricky to set up.  You have to read the directions carefully and put in filters and transformers in the correct places.  Even then, I am still having trouble.  Reception could be better.  I also find the Tivo remote does not work reliably.  The company is very responsive and has sent me a new IR sensor to see if that helps. 

 

My example uses a Tivo.  You could do the same with a VCR, DVD, satellite or almost any signal that uses RCA connectors.  By buying extra parts from the company, you could even have several signals running through the video network on different channels. 

 

Even though I am having some trouble getting my remote control to work reliably, I can see the value in this product.  With Avcast, you can add and control your own programming over existing coaxial cables.  I like products that can work without running new wires. 

 

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3 Responses to “Home Video Network”

  1. gadgetolgoy Says:

    This sounds very exciting. Will multiple signals over the same coaxial cable cause interference and quality degradation?

  2. jthegadgetguy Says:

    My guess is that if you chose two channels next to one another, the signals probably would interfere. I would suggest separating the channels. You can choose the channel for each modulator on a dial.

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