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Most recent posts by "Noah Montena"

Getting The Most From Your WiFi - Part 1
Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Noah Montena on April 04, 2014

WiFi is a marvelous thing. We can video chat, shop, catch up on programs, listen to music and control all manner of appliances and home systems, all seemingly from thin air, and all it takes is a pair of unlicensed radios. Most of the time, it really is as simple as following the one page pictogram card that comes in the box with your new router. The IEEE 802.11 family of standards guarantees the interoperability and cooperation of thousands of devices, and even manages the traffic when all those devices get online at once. Despite walls and furniture and greater distances, the signal gets through. And it keeps getting faster and more robust every year.

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Getting The Most From Your WiFi - Part 2
Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Noah Montena on April 11, 2014

Ask yourself, “Is what I’m trying to do reasonable?” A lot of times, even a well-oiled high-performance wireless router just isn’t going to be able to do what you want, but it can be hard to know where the line is drawn. For instance, if you are trying to stream uncompressed, high definition (1080p) video to a large-screen TV, it can require a sustained bitrate of 25-50Mbps (Bluray/H.264/MPEG-4). Most routers claim at least 300Mbps speeds on the packaging, so that should be no problem, right? It turns out, though, that once error correction and normal household interference are factored in, the effective speed of that router paired with your set-top streamer or laptop is closer to a maximum of 30Mbps, and a steady-state of 15-20Mbps. This happens to be in the sweet spot for video with more compression, like DVD/H.262/MPEG-2. Lower quality video will look just fine on smaller screens, but softer-edged and less vivid on big displays. This is how YouTube and Netflix manage to run a perfectly acceptable video on your tablet with streaming rates around 1Mbps or less – on a tiny handheld screen you won’t notice that 98% of the information has been thrown away. On a 60” LED-backlit flat panel with surround sound it looks noticeably blocky and sounds crunchy. Advertising promises are mostly to blame for this mismatch of expectations, not the performance of your network. If you are doing something that needs high sustained rates, wire it.

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Would You Kindly Take A Few Minutes To Do This Survey? - Part 3
Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Noah Montena on April 18, 2014

Wireless is invisible. You can’t “see” the waves bathing the space in your home, so the number of devices on your network (or on your neighbor’s network), and the volume of transactions occurring, (even without your explicit command) might surprise you. With only the three main non-overlapping channels in the popular 2.4GHz band, the room can get crowded, even when you think you’re alone. There are two separate ways to verify the density and intensity of wireless network usage, and they are both something you should do at least once, because it will help you make some informed decisions.

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Location, Location, Location - Part 4
Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Noah Montena on April 25, 2014

Positioning of your router or AP has, perhaps, the single greatest impact upon the performance of your wireless network, and is the easiest to understand intuitively. Moving it, on the other hand, is not always so easy, but may be worth the effort.

Because WiFi signals weaken the farther they get form the source, and as more stuff gets between the transmitter and the receiver, it is always best to center your network close to where you use it, and as far from competing network centers as you can.

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Understanding Moisture Damage
Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Noah Montena on August 01, 2014

We all know that water in an electrical system is bad news. And we do our best to keep it out by specifying waterproof cable and connectors, and following industry best practices for installation and maintenance.

So, what if water does get into a coaxial radio frequency (RF) network? Unfortunately, its presence is not always obvious and its impact can be elusive and difficult to manage. Here are some tips to help you trouble-shoot a persistent moisture problem:

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