Get Cable Signals to a TV Without Running Cables

This article reprinted courtesy of Smarthome.

It is a common problem to have a TV placed somewhere inside your home and there is no way to run cable to the set. Many times, people mistakenly buy some of our Video Transmitters like the 2.4GHz Wireless Video Transmission System or Leapfrog Home Network System.

How They Work

These units are designed to take an audio and video signal from an A/V device (like a VCR, DVD player, or some cable boxes with audio-video outputs) and send it to another part of the house. There are two parts to this system, a transmitter that is attached to the AV device and a receiver that goes next to the remote TV. The transmitter takes the signals from the Audio and Video jacks on the AV device and beams it over to the companion receiver next to the remote TV.

This system is ideal for sending a single source to a remote location, but it doesn’t solve the problem. One video choice is not enough when cable TV delivers 60+ channels and satellite gives you hundreds. I too have the need to flip channels! So how do you get all the channels?

If you have a VCR plugged into the antenna or cable, use the tuner of a VCR to do the channel changing! Take the audio and video outputs from your VCR and connect them into one of the devices mention above. You can then use the tuner in the VCR to change the channels (when your kids aren’t watching Pee-Wee.) If you want to change the channels from the remote location, use the Leapfrog System, #7656. It contains a sensor on the receiver that catches the signals from your remote control and sends it back to the transmitter next to the VCR. A device called an ‘Emitter’ is placed in front of the VCR, then it’s plugged into the transmitter.

What Else Can I Do?

If you don’t have a VCR to use for this purpose, THEN BUY ONE. VCR’s are less than $100 now. If you spent all your money at Smarthome.com, I’ll accept that excuse and suggest using a broken VCR. It seems that the tape transport mechanism always break down before the electronics in the VCR. Look in your garage, your relative’s garage, or a garage sale for a broken unit. Odds are, it won’t play tapes (hurray, no Pee-Wee) but it will change the channels.

Audio-Video Jacks

If you have cable service, check your cable box to see if it has audio and video output jacks like those in the picture on the left. This is a different connector than the single coax output sometimes labeled as “Channel 3/4”. If you cable box doesn’t have this, call the cable company and see if an upgraded model with these jacks is available. Threatening to switch to satellite service will usually get you a new upgraded cable box.

If you have satellite TV service, it is easy to upgrade to wireless. All the models on the market have the audio and video output jacks you’ll need. Plug them right into the products mentioned above and you are channel surfing without wires.