Lindich: Device will let you use remote, remotely

  • Article by: DON LINDICH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 9, 2011 - 2:47 PM

How to hook up monitor without TVtuner?

Q I have a 42-inch plasma TV monitor that doesn't have a TV tuner. I used to hook up it up to a cable DVR, which cost an extra $15 a month on my cable bill. Since I didn't use it often, I returned the DVR to the cable company to save money.

Now, how I can get TV signal to this monitor? Can I buy a TV tuner or a DVR with a TV tuner and feed it with an HD antenna?

The other option is to hook it up to the cable DVR in the family room just on the other side of the same wall the monitor is installed. The problem is that I need to walk out to the family room if I need to change channel.

What do you think I should do?

A You can get a component with a tuner and connect it to the monitor, but I don't think that is the best solution for you. How about a solution that provides full functionality of your family-room cable DVR, without being in the family room?

Connect the monitor to the DVR in the family room, but use an infrared remote repeater to control it.

An infrared remote repeater will receive the signal from the remote and broadcast it via radio waves to a transmitter in another room, which will reproduce it and control the device. An infrared remote repeater costs $30 or less.

First, connect the monitor to the DVR through the wall. Set up the receiving unit of the remote repeater near the TV. Then place the transmitting unit in the same room as the DVR, facing it.

You can then use your remote as if it were in the same room as the DVR. There is nothing to program, because the repeater just reproduces whatever signal goes into it. Just take the remote from room to room and enjoy your televisions.

Camera makes a fine gift

Last week I discussed a premium-priced compact camera for serious photographers and professionals. This week we have a compact camera for everyone looking for something much more affordable and aimed at the consumer market.

The Canon SD4500IS is a 10-megapixel compact camera that is available regularly for $170 or less. It has a 10x optical zoom lens with optical image stabilization, 1080HD video recording and a wide variety of shooting modes for every situation.

It all comes packaged in an attractive shell that is available in several appealing colors.

The big appeal, of course, is the picture quality, which is as good as it gets for less than $200.

If you're looking for a small, affordable camera as a gift, the Canon SD4500IS will definitely make recipients smile when they open it -- and smile even more over the years as they use it.

Submit questions and read past columns at www.soundadviceblog.com.

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