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Sharing Your TV

So you have pay TV in your lounge, it's great, bit of a rip off, but there's usually stuff to watch on some channel so yes, if you can justify, it's a nice luxury. Thing is, when you go to bed, especially on those nights when you wanna hit the hay a little sooner rather than later you can't watch your pay TV in your bedroom. It's either read a book (as if) or watch free-to-air channels via rabbit ears, or is it...

Above, pictured with some dust and even a cobweb is a Digitech AV Sender, what this little beaut does is enable you to send any audio and visual source over the air to another receiver for displaying on another display. This particular device uses the 5.8ghz frequency, this means that many cordless phones, all microwaves, most wireless networks, and any other device that operate at 2.4ghz (like bluetooth) will not interfere with your viewing pleasure. It's capable of sending pretty much crystal clear picture and audio from an analog source using standard RCA cables from one point to another. You can even change channels on the foxtel box from the other room!

When you buy a set, you get one AV sender, one AV receiver, a power adapter for each, RCA cables for each, and an infra red extender cable. The back of your pay TV set top box usually has more than one audio and video out. One of the set top boxes that come with Foxtel is a PACE model (pictured below), this particular model not only has the standard RF cable out, it has two SCART connections out as well. I use one for the TV where the Foxtel box is, and one to plug into the Digitech AV sender, you can easily get SCART to RCA cable adapters at many electronics and HiFi stores. Now get the IR extender cable, plug it into the back of the AV sender (there's only spot for it to go as you can see above) and put the other end of it in front of the Foxtel box as pictured below. You then simply choose a channel to use on the sender by pressing a button on the top of it, there's 4 to choose from.

Now at the receiving end we plug the AV receiver into the display unit, in this case a standard television using the supplied RCA cables. On the TV you usually have to select the AV input, make sure the receiver is powered on and is set to the same channel as the sender and voila, you should have your pay TV coming through nice and clear. You can also move the directional antennas on both the sender and receiver to get a better picture if desired, but I found the signal strength so strong that in a standard size house the position of the antennas made little difference. If you have your pay TV remote with you, point it at the receiver and try and change channels, if you have positioned your IR extender cable correctly as pictured above it should change channels just as if you were in front of the actual box.

This device is a really cool, quick way to send your pay TV signal to another room with the capability to change channels remotely as well. The fact that this is 5.8ghz means that very little will interfere with your signal at all. However the draw back is price. For the 5.8ghz model above you're going to pay roughly AUD$250 for the set at JayCar Electronics, if you think you can live with the 2.4ghz version you can pick them up alot cheaper at JayCar or on EBay or many other electronic stores, they'll go for around AUD$80 - AUD$130. However like I said above, the signal will pretty much go when your microwave is microwaving, when someone is on the cordless phone (provided its a 2.4ghz model and alot are), and if you have a wireless network, this will also interfere occasionally, however setting the channels the WLAN and this device work on, can minimise this, also bluetooth devices will interfere with 2.4ghz models. So for me, having all of the above was really too much interference, the 5.8ghz model was the best and painless solution. Just a last quick note to clear up something that should be obvious but may not be, if someone is watching Foxtel in the main room, and you are watching Foxtel in another room via this device, and you change channels, it will change in the other room and vice versa.

Posted 02.04.2007

 
 

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