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  • How to watch your favourite box on all your TVs, in Full HD - cheaply

    So, you have a set top box and want to watch it on more than one TV. |You don't care that it's on the same channel on all TVs at once and you don't want to pay for an additional box. If its a plug in pay as you rent streamer type gadget like a FireTV etc. & the cost is minimal, we would say get multiple of those, its easier, but if you're talking the big boxes from subscription based satellite or cable TV providers, there is a trick, fully legal and above board to let you stream that box throughout your house using your existing aerial network. Sky used to have an RF & RF2 output on their old HD boxes (remember, you could attach this to your aerial booster box and tune in channel 6 or whatever analogue and voila, a fuzzy, low def broadcast of Sky on every TV with an aerial cable attached) Well, now there are gadgets that do similar. Except.....instead of that fuzzy old analogue standard def picture with the wavy lines and free snowy ambience, you can broadcast the Sky in Full HD on a Freeview HD DIGITAL channel. Yes folks, full HD 1080p digital picture quality....not a snowflake or wavy line to be seen What you need is an HDMI to DTV modulator. They're around £140- £180, so not cheap, but pay for themselves pretty quick. A few companies make these. Plug your box in with HDMI, loop back out with HDMI to wherever you had the HDMI in before, and take the RF feed to your aerial distribution amp (after plugging your aerial into the modulator of course) Now it gets a bit tricky for the non-technicals out there. You need to set up a broadcast channel, name your channel, set the audio and video codecs (the defaults are normally fine) set the correct Freeview HD channel so you don't accidentally try to override actual TV channels in your area (if you still want these), then tune your TV, and voila , you will see your set-top box as a Freeview HD channel in the TV guide . Of course there are magic eyes so you can remote control the box from the TV rooms. AV-Zone can help you with this if it sounds a bit daunting.

  • SkyQ Tips 'n Tricks

    Aaah, SkyQ.... a box of dark magic !! After working with this misbegotten creature for many years now, we have some tricks we have acquired : Using the wifi access point feature if (and only if) you have Sky broadband : if you can get a network cable into a Sky mini box and your main SkyQ 2Tb or 1Tb box is similarly wired to the same network, SkyQ miniboxes make great wifi access points (repeaters). If they're not wired, as long as they are getting a very strong signal, they will bridge wifi to wifi as well. Turn wifi off on all other boxes except the one/s you want to use as repeaters (only if you have network cables attached of course , see 2 below) If your whole SkyQ system is hardwired to the network, turn off the wifi on all boxes (except if you want to use one or 2 as repeaters), otherwise it can cause confusion on yor network if you have 2 paths to the same device (wired and wireless). On the remote, press Home, then highlight (but don't press) Settings, then type '001' then Select. Go to Network and toggle both the 2.4. and 5GHz wifi to OFF. If you have a main cinema TV or one that is bigger and better than the other TVs in your home, make sure you put the main Sky box into that TV, as the main SkyQ box (2Tb only) is the only one that can do 4K/ UHD (strangely, since tiny devices like Amazon Firestick can accomplish this, so why not SkyQ Mini boxes too... Be aware that unlike SkyHD, you can only have a maximum of 3 devices watching at any time, no matter how many boxes you have (see our blog on splitting a Sky Box to overcome this limitiation). If you find sound disappears, the remote stops working, you can't access your recording or anything else unusual, pull the plug out the main box (or turn the power switch off at the socket), wait 20 seconds then plug in and wait for it to all come back. Solves 90% of all issues. Some things never change. When in doubt...pull plug out..

  • A great Atmos home cinema room

    We've just put in an awesome 5.1.4 Atmos system in a huge basement in Kensworth. The fronts were Monitor Audio Silver 300, 3-way floorstanders, a C350 3-way centre, Silver 100 rears and C280IDC 3-way top speakers front and back. The dedicated midrange drivers on all the fronts give vocals a real pop, as well as adding to the general spaciousness of scenes. A 65 inch LG OLED, Denon 8K capable AVC4700H to drive them all and a Sunfire HRS12 1000W sub completed the cinema. The Silvers are really fast with transients, and provide all the impact you need for movies, as well as being awesome for music. The Sunfire HRS1, being a sealed box 1000 watter, hits hard, fast and very, very low (freq resp 16-100Hz) (its hidden to the left of the front left obscured by the sofa). All in a great sounding system. Our customer, and avid movie and game fan, hifi enthusiast (Naim kit and ATC speakers) and musician was thrilled at the result. That's what we like ! You can just about see the 4 in-ceiling Monitor Audio C280IDC's and a tiny piece of the rear SIlver 100s. Excuse the mess. We hadn't finished tidying up when the shot was taken. (genuine photography at least !)

  • Motorised bracket for side wall mounted TVs

    We have had a few cases where a large window, French doors or some other feature means your TV has to be mounted on a side wall, not opposite you. Now, most people won't want to have to get up to move the TV out on a pull out bracket (especially in winter when you're in bed), so the clever folks at Vogels ( have a nifty motorised bracket that pops out when it senses the TV turn on and pops back when its off. Easily setup via mobile app and remembers its 'home' and 'out' positions. Cost is around £750 + VAT.

  • Share your Sky or Virgin box to multiple TVs over your aerial system

    What? No need for CAT6 cabling or multiple set top boxes or expensive multi-room contracts? That's right, you simply need an aerial socket near your set top box, connected to your aerial booster (normally in the loft) and you can distribute your set top box, in Full HD, to every room in the house that has an aerial socket on the wall. You can even control the set top box from the room you're in. A modulator converts an HDMI input to a Freeview HD channel (an unused one in your area) and then loops the HDMI back out for use on your original TV. By connecting the modulator to the aerial system, the new STB 'channel' becomes available for any TV (must be 1080p minimum with Freeview HD tuner) to tune into. Remote control is by standard aerial line 'magic eyes'. Cost : about £150 + VAT for the modulator + 'n' spare eyes at £10 + VAT each + a spare HDMI. Contact us if you would like more info.

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