Joining the 21st century

I just lost my hacker cred: I opted for Comcast’s DVR over TiVo. Ah well, at least we’ll have the capability to record and pause TV. Or at least we will once I:

  1. Figure out how to run the cable box into the amplifier. I used to run our cable box in Kirkland through the VCR, and then into the amplifier, using composite cables. When the VCR moved out of the main setup, things got screwy. For some reason, I was unable to get video flowing through the same jack I had used in Kirkland, and had to switch to a different video terminal, but I haven’t tried to reprogram the universal remote and now things are kludgy. I think the solution will be S-Video; I just need to pick up an additional cable to run from the DVR box to the amplifier.
  2. Re-program the universal remote to add in the DVR functions—fortunately basic things like power and channels seem unaffected.
  3. Investigate the Ethernet port to see if it works. (Very important.)

Not too bad. Plus the cable guy moved our prior box downstairs to the hookup in the media library. So now in the basement I have our 21″ with digital cable and a VCR. Before you say “But the VCR is redundant!,” I note that we still have quite a few VHS releases, including the original Star Wars trilogy. I don’t think we’ll be doing any recording on the VCR, though.

Still unresolved: whether I take a step back and re-run the cable into the structured wiring box. Right now we have two coax lines coming into the house from the street, through an outside splitter. The one in the basement comes in through a hole drilled in the basement window frame and down directly into the cable box. I’d ultimately like either to drop it into the wall and out through a jack, or to fish it across the ceiling and into the structured wiring box for distribution. However, I know that’s going to be a real pain: I’d have to fish it all the way across and then back, as well as running it up into the living room. But at least doing that would remove the outside splitter. I don’t know. Option B is probably not worth the hassle until we add more rooms with televisions.