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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not exactly super sophisticated hacking but more of a product recommendation. Apologies if this has been already covered somewhere - I couldn't find a thread on it (?)


Today I installed the Radio Shack Audio/Video Home Network that transmits A/V signals using your existing phone line. I bought it in a local bricks and mortar RS store.


I now have my living room (80GB) Showstopper "sharing shows" with my bedroom TV for just $99.


Quick Q&A:-


Quality?

Seems very (surprisingly) good


Interference?

None so far - phone calls & A/V ignore eachother totally


Degradation of original signal?

I use s-video directly to my downstairs TV, but I use the Showstopper RCA video out for the network so the downstairs TV has no video degradation through the unit's electronics.


Do you lose the use of any phone jacks?

No, this has phone pass-throughs on both transmitter and receiver.


What about the remote?

It comes with an IR blaster so I use my second ReplayTV remote in the bedroom to control the unit downstairs


Installation?

A breeze. If you can plug in an A/V cable and a phone you're golden. Took 20 minutes (and only that long because I got the phone input/output confused - D'oh!)


Why didn't I run cables?

Because I didn't want to drill holes and mess about with wires for a whole day.


Why didn't I go wireless?

Picture quality is still too poor and range is fussy. Units I saw didn't have IR blaster built in either.


Why didn't I just buy a second ReplayTV for the bedroom?

Because coordinating the two show guides is more work than I wanted to put in - is the show you want to see on the upstairs unit too? - plus it'll cost more than $99. Now when my wife and I are getting tired watching a movie downstairs we just pause it, go upstairs, then press play again from the comfort of our bed.


Drawbacks?

Remote seems a little more fussy upstairs than downstairs - might just need some repositioning of the IR blaster downstairs. Otherwise no isses at all.


Highly recommended for those people still happy with their old Showstoppers and not looking to upgrade to a 4000 and/or not looking to buy two units.


Details here:-

Radio Shack A/V Home Network
 

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Thanks for the info, I have a SS as well, been looking for something like this too!.. and the RI blaster is just too cool a bonus!


Gonna check out my local shack tomorrow...!!!
 

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Using existing telephone wiring to handle the Rat-shack's Audio/Video Home Network isn't a great solution for all occasions. I have a pretty small apartment in NYC but there simply isn't a clean enough signal going through my phone wires to accommodate that setup. I've redone the wiring myself and I'm not sure what is interfering--but it doesn't work well for me nor does any 2.4 gig device in my space. I'm probably absorbing lethal doses of gamma ray or something as we talk.


I desperately need a PAN.
 

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I tried that box myself, and while the picture quality was acceptable (but not great), it wasn't very good at sending the remote signals, I found that I had to press the remote button 5 to 10 times to get it to respond.


So, I went back to the wireless (2.4gHz) method that I had been using previously. Granted, the picture call fall apart as someone walks around the room, but once you find the right setting (for the antenna) the picture quality is good and it does a great job of sending the remote signals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, the remote is the only drawback (as I outlined above) - it is not as responsive through the IR blaster and requires a firm press to get a response - although I found it not quite as bad as 5-10 presses (of course YMMV).


For me at least it's a minor quibble - I can get it to do what I want and I spend the vast majority of the time watching the show rather than using the remote so picture and sound quality wins for me over a fussy IR Blaster.


Now I just need a better set of wireless headphones so I don't keep the wife awake when I'm enjoying the Simpsons at 1am :D


The 'phones I currently have are heavy and the quality leaves a lot to be desired. Any recommendations?
 

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Mandingo - THANK YOU!!!


I went out today and purchased that unit,,, I LOVE IT,,


My wife likes it too, she didn't get it at first (thought it was yet another of my gizmos to mess up the TV), but then I showed her that you can get the digital pay channels on the bedroom TV now..


I have no problem with the remote (I placed the IR blaster smack dab under the IR eye on the showstopper) works like a charm..


Only draw back i have is there is a tiny bit of interference and the TV i have it hooked up to is a little old , it's also very sensitive on color saturation using the A/V inputs .. Additionally I also have to review my phone line situation as I have a lot of extra line on the showstopper (I got a 100' phone cable, way more than what is actually needed) I am sure with a little fiddling i can remove the minor interference.. (I also have a few computers running so they could also be the source of interference as well).. funny thing is the the showstopper menus seem to be most effected (visually), normal video is fine..


The video is pretty good, (better than i expected) and I am sure with some tweaking it will be even better..


I looked at the RF wireless version, but I noticed in the store it was getting periodic interference, really nice picture though when there was no burst of video and audio static (really loud too), which drove me and my wife nuts in the short time we looked at it..


I think the phone line version is the way to go if you have a choice..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Glad it worked out Bixit!


If you play around with the phone cable (length, placement) you'll probably be able to get rid of the interference 100% (I did).

Quote:
I placed the IR blaster smack dab under the IR eye on the showstopper
Did you attach it to the unit itself or in front of it? I'm still tweaking my IR Blaster placement - let me know exactly what you did for the best result?


Either way I'm glad it worked for you - from the other posts here it seems as though results are somewhat variable according to the wiring of each person's particular home.


As always, YMMV!
 

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I put the blaster right under neath and ran the wire under the showstopper (so it comes out with the other cables in back), didn't even use the sticky pad provided (although I may as our cats tend to play with things.. once they kept pulling out the showstopper IR blaster cable (eventually duct taped it and all the other cables in place, made some " wings or tabs " with the duct tape around all the cables and put push pins into shelf thru the wings {we have very determined kitties}), so far so good..


I had to push the showstoper back a inch or so to let the blaster sit in front..
 
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