DVR me?
February 27, 2007 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Scenario: the Cable line in my house comes into the living room. My desktop is in my bedroom, on the other side of the house, nowhere near that coaxial line... I'd love my desktop to act as a DVR, recording tv from that cable line. Is there some sort of solution other than running coaxial across the house to get me a cable line in my bedroom?

I'd like to NOT have a new cable jack professionally installed, as I don't own the house and the owners are touchy about ANY modifications...

Basically I'm looking for a wireless system that will broadcast raw cable through some walls, to be plugged into a tv tuner card on my computer...
posted by weaponsgradecarp to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
 
You may want to look into Sony's Location Free Player.

Location Free streams live TV (or any other input; DVD, DVR, VCR, etc) over the internet from your existing connection. Not only would you be able to access it from your desktop but you'd have access to your TV anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

You may also want to look into Slingbox. I'm not as familiar with it but I believe it preforms in a similar manner.
posted by ASM at 12:00 PM on February 27, 2007


I've considered slingbox, but its way more tech than I need...

Remember back in the day when if you had a phone jack in one room and not in the other, you got this thing where it was two wall warts, each with a phone jack, and you plugged your existing phone jack into one, and voila, when you stuck the other one into the electricity, your phone jack was extended?

I need something like that...but for coaxial...
posted by weaponsgradecarp at 12:02 PM on February 27, 2007


See, those work for a phone line because telephone signals are very low quality and in a very narrow range of frequencies. Cable TV signals, on the other hand, use far more bandwidth, and cover a far wider spectrum.

There are some wireless solutions, but they'll only broadcast one channel at a time, since it'd hook into the output from the cable box. Your PC in your bedroom would have to change the channel using a cable box way in the other room.

You might just want to see if you can run a coaxial cable by running it around (or behind) the baseboards and over doorframes. You could go a couple hundred feet without worrying about signal loss.
posted by CrayDrygu at 12:36 PM on February 27, 2007


Don't think you're going to find it, at least not very easily. The bandwidth on your cable TV line is orders of magnitude greater than the bandwidth of a single POTS line. (CATV including all high bands ~700MHz; Voice-Only POTS ~15kHz) You'd run up against some serious physics problems with just putting all that over an analog radio link, or modulating it on top of your power lines, like those telephone outlet devices did/do.

You are really going to have to look towards some sort of digitization. Basically, what you want is something like the HDHomeRun, with the possible addition of a wireless "game adapter" (bridge) if you find the idea of running Ethernet cable as offensive as coax. (Although on second thought, the only wireless link fast enough might be 802.11n, and I don't know if 'n' bridges exist yet.)

In short, I'd think seriously about whether you really can't run coax. Generally, it's not too hard to run it through a basement/attic/crawlspace, and then just drill a 1/4" hole in a corner somewhere and poke the line up through.

The only other thing I can suggest to you, would be some kludge that involved putting a TV tuner and a short-range VHF video transmitter at the far end, so that you would only be transmitting one channel of video at a time. You'd need to figure out a way to forward the change-channel commands to the tuner, but it would give you a baseband video signal, which the transmitter would then send to the other end of the house. (Short-range VHF transmitters are only around $30 or so.) On the receiving end, you'd just take an old TV with rabbit ears and tune it to the channel being used by the transmitter.

But, bottom line, there's no easy way to transmit ~700MHz worth of information from one end of your house to the other in real time without fairly intense digital compression and transmission gear.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:42 PM on February 27, 2007


If they won't let you run a cable line back there, you're only solution would be to put together a DVR box and stick it in the living room. Personally I'd try to reason with the owners. A cable line professionally installed by the cable company is not a major thing and can only raise the value of their home. I don't see why they'd resist it too much.
posted by crypticgeek at 2:47 PM on February 27, 2007


Video sender with IR. Here's one for reference purposes only.
posted by genghis at 5:28 PM on February 27, 2007


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