Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cable box extender (Hide your Cable box)

This is one of those cases where everything works fine but the end result is failure. Each piece for it self is good but when combined it just doesn’t provide.

Our trading floor has 4 flat screen TVs, one per wall. This setup allows everyone to have good view at one screen or more.
When we setup this layout we had instructions to hide the cable boxes, both for the space and the clean line of the walls. That was a bit of a challenge.
We’re using the standard Time Warner cable boxes and like any other cable box, it require an eye contact with the remote in order to function.
After a long search we found a nice neat solution: Hot Link Pro.
It is a 3 piece device:
• Emitter Extension Kit
• Coax Eye Extension Cable - eye reader that connects to the cable box (or any other device). It has a sticker on each reader and you just glue it to the box. There are 6 ‘eyes’ which you can plug on
• Infrared receiver – It is more than 4 times more sensitive than standard receiver. That is the one cable you hang off the ceiling or out of the closet, it will read the remote signal and forward it via the box to the cable box.

So on top of each TV I’ve located the cable box, just above the ceiling tiles. There is a power outlet for each box (actually 2 –the cable box and the Emitter) and the Infrared receiver hang to the floor side of the ceiling. The cable box remote work as if the box was right in front of it and everyone is happy.

Few days ago the receiver stopped working and users called me. I had to climb up there and found that if the remote is used with the cable box it is working. I tried different eye extensions but they all failed to flip channels. Next step was taking this kit to another cable box where it worked fine and testing a different kit on this box which failed again.
So we called Time Warner. The technician came this morning with a replacement box. She plugged it in and told me that rebooting it will take about 15 minutes. 45 minutes later she said the box have a problem (yes, the new box she just brought in) and left the building to get another box. This time the box did load and 15 minutes later the TV worked again. When I glued the eye extension the receiver started working right away.


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