The Upstate Life
The Upstate Life

Thursday, February 08, 2007
Nerd Post of the Week

Ever since I upgraded to HD, my cable signal would suffer from an occasional dropout of video and audio. However, the last few weeks have been completely miserable. The pixilated blocks accompanied with a cutoff in sound were occurring way too frequently which made last week's episode of 24 completely unwatchable. This only seems to happen on the High Def channels, but there's no way we're reverting back to analog signals just so we can watch a show without interruptions. We have principles, ya know?

Now your typical customer would call customer service and have someone come out to repair it, but because our provider is RCN, who arguably has one of the worst customer service departments ever, and plus the fact we're incredibly impatient, The Upstate Life decided to take the matter into his own hands. Besides, who knows how much RCN would've charged for the parts and/or labor.

Anyway, after doing some research, I found out via the diagnostics menu on the Motorola box that the converter wasn't receiving the strongest of signals which was ultimately causing the dropouts to occur. Users over at the AVS Forum recommended a cable drop amplifier, a device that takes your current signal and boosts it to a higher level via a powered outlet. The Electroline EDA-2100 seemed to be the popular choice amongst posters, so after hitting up eBay, we were able to snag one for less than $20. It came last night, and of course, we installed it right away. The result? So far so good. The diagnostics demonstrate that the signal is indeed stronger, rating the quality as "Good" rather than the "Fair" rating we used to have. There wasn't a single dropout when we were watching Lost last night, so that seems like a good sign. We're putting it to the true test tonight when it records Grey's and Scrubs/30 Rock at the same time, in HD. Only then will we be satisfied with our level of technological nerdery.

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