Mast-er of My Domain

Earlier this summer, I learned that GETTV was coming to Boston.  Unfortunately, the transmitter was not within the reach of my attic-installed 91XG, so I decided to move the antenna outside.

Project objectives…

  1. improve reception
    • ION
    • GETTV
  2. minimize exposure to heights
  3. minimize cost

First stop was TVFool.com.  I ran my location report repeatedly increasing the antenna height.  From this exercise, I learned that there was no reasonable height above my roof that would dramatically improve reception.  I decided that the height of the antenna would only be sufficient to clear the roof line.

I studied telescoping and hinged masts as well as guyed and bracket installations before deciding to go with a bracketed 1.75″ aluminum mast on a hinged/swiveling stake.  The mast consisted of four foot, ribbed sections.  Each section of the mast weighed two pounds and was designed to insert onto another.  The overlap was four inches and reinforced.  This made the mast rigid, but light.  Comprised of eight sections, the mast extended nine feet above my roof and weighed less than 20 pounds.  I could stand it up an lay it down without assistance.  I installed a sheet metal screw at each joint to prevent the sections from rotating.

Unfortunately hoisting the mast with eleven pounds of antenna at on end proved to be challenging.  In the end, I installed a pair of screw eyes near my roof line and pulled the top third of the mast into place.  Now it took two people to raise and lower the mast safely, but strength and skill mattered little even with antennas, amp, grounding wire, and coax installed.

Bracketing the mast was not as easy as I expected.  I had difficulty locating 1.75″ mounting hardware.  I ended up modifying the brackets that attach the mast to the house and the hardware that holds the Y10-7-13 to the mast.

I use the guy wires that pull the mast into place to hold it in the brackets, so the mast can be lowered to the ground for service.  I spent less than $250 for the mast, brackets, a grounding rod, and other hardware (grounding wire and guy wire would have cost another $100).  Most importantly, ION and GETTV are rock solid.

By Len Mullen Posted in OTA, Tip

SiliconDust to Power Simple.TV 2.0

“We’re extremely pleased to be partnering with Silicondust, the leaders in networked TV tuners,” said Mark Ely, CEO of Simple.TV.“Their exceptional hardware design, manufacturing, and distribution capabilities are a perfect match with our TV everywhere services and applications. Together, we will deliver an exceptional streaming DVR solution for consumers who are looking to combine the best of broadcast content with OTT streaming.”

“Our collaboration with Simple.TV will help further our reach into the over-the-top streaming TV space,” said Theodore Head, CEO, Silicondust.“Simple TV’s innovative cloud DVR platform and applications for TV everywhere is an ideal complement to our HDHomeRun devices that currently stream content within the home network to many smart, connected devices such as Smart TVs, Game Consoles, and mobile devices. Simple.TV takes these streams beyond the home.”

More here.

According to CNET, “[t]he big hardware upgrade is dual-tuner support…[T]he new Simple.TV hardware will be powered by Zenverge’s ZN200 chipset and the TransAll transcoding engine.”  The US should see Simple.TV 2.0 in time for Christmas.  Europe will get the new device next year.

Tip: Tabcasting Playon

Just a quick for Chromecast owners who run a Playon server.  Google and Playon have sent out a LOT of updates in July and August.  Along the way, http://m.playon.tv in a Chrome tab stopped working properly.  This post provides two workarounds.

The Problem:  When you open http://m.playon.tv in a Chrome tab, the user interface populates with your channels, but clicking a channel does nothing.

Playon’s Response:  You are trying to do something that is unsupported…

Alex Webster (PlayOn Support)
Sep 01 10:39 (EDT)

Len,

PlayOn is not meant to be browsed from a web browser. We do know that Chrome at one point did work, but they have since updated their web browser and it no longer works the same. However, if you use your arrow keys and enter button you can still browse through your server via m.playon.tv in your web browser. The issue is just that it will no longer pick up mouse clicks.

Kind regards,

Alex
PlayOn Support
http://www.playon.tv

Workaround #1:  Use your keyboard.  All that is broken is mouse support, so use the cursor keys to navigate the screen and the enter key to simulate a click.  Once the video is loaded in the Chrome tab, you still need to click the Play control.  This is the only workaround I have tried.

Workaround #2:  Rollback.  I don’t know if this will work, but I was headed down this path before learning that keyboard navigation still functioned.  I’m only posting the information here because it took me a little time to figure things out.  It looks like Google deployed a new flash player which broke the Playon page.  If you only use Chrome for Playon, you may want to try to roll back to an earlier version and prevent updates.

While this seems easy, Google does not archive old revisions in a public place, by default enables automatic updates, and re-enables auto-updates when you open help.  So, you need to locate an older version, uninstall the current version completely, install the older version, disable updates, and re-disable updates everytime you use Chrome help.

Q: Can I roll back Google Chrome to a previous version?
A: No – rollback is not supported.
To get to a previous version (which would not be supported by Google), you would need to uninstall your current version, delete every user’s saved profile data, and re-install the older version. Users’ personal profile data is kept in:

On Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data
On Windows Vista / 7: C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data

This means users will lose their bookmarks, history, etc., so use this method with extreme caution.

Google does not provide access to older versions of chrome, but you can find them here…

http://www.oldapps.com/google_chrome.php

Here are two methods for turning off autoupdates…