Television in a room without cable

I’m going to be swapping bedrooms around in the house soon and I was wondering if it’s possible to get cable TV to a room that currently doesn’t have a physical cable in it?

I have an extra PC that could be used. I have a wireless N-based router. I have cable in the room directly below the one that needs the cable TV. I’d like to be able to change channels via the cable box, but maybe that’s not possible? I have Comcast with a HD-DVR on the main TV and a simple box on the analog (Sony Trinitron) TV I’m planning to move.

I’m not averse to buying a box that allows for this if one exists. I’d prefer to keep that below $80 if possible, though.

My Google-Fu wasn’t very strong on this one, but I figure the techheads at Qt3 can help!

I think, without getting too fancy here, that this is your answer. With some simple tools, you can cut a small hole in the wall and feed some cable down to the downstairs room. Then, with a splitter, you can get cable upstairs. Your signal strength will be slightly degraded, but that should only really matter if you’re trying to watch a really nice HD signal.

To make things neat, you can buy a nice outlet cover at a local hardware store.

I figured that would be the answer. It’s an old house, so I’m a bit worried about taking that (obvious… but also sound) approach. I just thought maybe technology would bridge the gap for me here.

It seemed from my searches that’s not the case, and you’re confirming that. sigh

Hint: Did you google search for wireless cable to see if there were any commercial products that would do this for you?

It’s your house - drill, break, hammer, or pierce through anything you want. That’s the best part of homeownership, destroying tiny bits of your house to make it better.

Your best bet by far would be to just run a cable. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it, call a handyman.

If you really want an inferior but techie solution, you could pick up a slingbox and use that.

Check it, yo.

I saw this while it was being developed, and it seemed pretty sweet. Basically gives you an HDMI signal transmitted over your house’s power circuits.

Sure, then you have to buy a RF-based remote control system with IR blasters to control the cable box and you’re all set.

Or you just call a handyman to run a cable.

Actually, a bunch of powerline systems transmit the IR signals too… (although I may be mistaken about the one I linked too here… that may only be designed for a single room, so make sure to do research on whatever you buy)

One thing that you need to consider, is that just “running a cable” doesn’t actually do the job. You’ll get a cable hookup in the new room then, but with digital cable, you’re not actually going to be able to do anything with it unless you get another cable box.

Transmitting the HDMI signal avoids needing another cable box, but the downside is that you can’t watch different things on both sets.

Really, all this crap is way more complex than it really should be.

Expensive Solution - You can rig something together with your computers and receivers that will do what you want. I wouldn’t.

Simple Solution - Run a wire. You don’t even need a handyman if you don’t mind getting a little bit ghetto with it - just punch a hole in the ceiling of the lower floor and run the wire up through there. Depending on how many splits you have in your line you might need to get a powered drop amp in the lower floor room, but you’ll only need that if the box that you get for the top room isn’t getting a strong enough signal. Alternately, depending on how your house is wired, it might not be terrible to just run this yourself. If you can find where your wire comes in from the outside (if your house is like mine, that would be in your attic), you can split from there and run a line straight to the upper floor room by dropping it down a wall, which you should be able to access from the attic.

My wire comes into the basement, which was kind of nice when I went with the Triple Play (Xfinity today) because they put the modem for that down there.

I appreciate all the answers. I’m going to just cut the holes through the ceiling and floor and do it that way. I was just kind of hoping there was a non-wired (free) way of doing it that wasn’t too big a deal.


Slingbox? (doh stusser beat me to it)

I picked up an old AV model from woot for around $75. You can sling it around the house. You obviously get all the channels from your cable STB but there is a bit of a delay to change channels and you obviously can’t watch 2 different channels at the same time from that 1 STB. With the desktop slingplayer app + usbuirt + harmony remote + event ghost you can almost duplicate the experience as if you were at your main TV.

I did this for one of our bedrooms since I didn’t want to pay another STB rental fee. In the end the remote lag was a bit too much for the wife, and well I don’t watch much live TV to begin with (and I sure don’t use the horrible comcast dvr).

Our local cable system went digital a while back (1, maybe 2 years ago), and the only thing they told us to worry about was if we had really old boxes. We were asked to change those out. Otherwise, direct connections to the cable feed (sans-box) would get you basic cable.

So, yes, no movie channels, but you can get cable without a box.

I don’t know if that’s the case with Dave’s cable company, but it seemed pretty universal even prior to the digital conversion.

Comcast has you get a box for each TV. They’re about the size of a paperback. They’re also free.

…and you are now an asshole, for getting a better deal than me. Seriously, if you have promotional material that advertises that, I would love to have it, because I totally have enough televisions in my house to get all my boxes that I automate for free, but I have to pay for them each month, because they don’t run that particular deal in the Houston area. That or my constant haranguing them for changing their QAM channel assignments has put me on their shit list.

You might be on different service than me, though. My receiver boxes are not-small Scientific Atlanta editions that gray screen frequently on channel change and will sometimes overheat themselves just by being on for too long. I want some of these paperback sized receiver boxes, provided that you can still change channels in Firewire and I don’t have to break out the IR blaster. I could get some of my shelf back.

One alternative that I didn’t touch on earlier that will be available at some point in the indefinite future would be a CableCARD ready SiliconDust HD Homerun. Those are little devices that plug into your cable and let you directly tune it over your internal network, and with the card you can get secured channels. However, there’s currently no ETA on when that device will actually be released, as I’ve been tapping my foot impatiently for some time now. With that in place, all you would need is an ethernet drop and a computer with VLC on it and you could tune whatever you wanted, which is how my house will eventually work. Just running the cable will probably be quicker and cheaper, though, and less likely to break for no apparent reason.

Wow… I actually have Comcast too, but this isn’t the deal I get.

When I bought my house last year, I paid comcast to turn on the cable… it was already wired to all the rooms.

The guy came out, and actually cut the coax splitters out, and while he was doing this, I said, “Uh… why are you doing that?” and he said that if I wanted to have all of those connections that comcast charged extra per connection. The guy obviously felt sheepish about it, but sure enough, there’s a charge for it… was total nonsense though.

So the idea that comcast will just give you a free box and let you run your own wiring is very different than what I’ve gotten from my experiences with them.

Dunno about this specific Comcast issue but I believe it is common for a single cable company’s policies to vary locally with the most consumer friendly policies mapping directly to the amount of viable competition in that region.

I’ve seen this first hand with Time Warner. When I lived in an area where U-Verse was an option, TW’s service was great… now that I live in an area where there is no really viable alternative, they suck a lot of ass.

Local Charter company charges us only for the high-end, HD-enabled DVRs with the extra big hard drives, and that’s 5.00 a month per box.

For the 3 TVs we have attached to basic cable (dry connection to the wall) and the one TV we have with the regular box (a very small box, as Dave described), there’s no charge.

Just crashing your thread to say that as an owner of a 32" analog Sony Triniton TV, and recently having had to move it, running cable is the least of your problems. :) Seriously - I’m not sure I’d ever consider switching bedrooms until I could afford to replace it with a flat panel. I wish you luck and a few well-built friends!

A couple of houses ago I needed to run cat 5 to the basement where my bedroom was. I’m not a handyman, and based on the drill bit length I had access to, the most prudent approach was to drill a hole through the exterior wall on the main floor, drill back in to the basement from outside and leave basically one stitch of cat-5 on the side of the house (with some sealing compound around the holes, of course).