Can I Distribute Off-Air Digital TV Wirelessly?

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Q Several months ago, I cut the cord and started relying on over-the-air digital broadcasts for TV, supplemented by a Roku streaming box. Here’s my issue: I get decent reception, but know that it could be better if my indoor TV antenna was located at a higher point in the house. My wife, however, doesn't want an outdoor antenna installed on the roof or in the attic. Running cable from the second floor to the first is also out of the question. Is there a solution similar to wireless speakers that would let me install the antenna and a wireless transmitter on the second floor with a receiver connected to the TV on the first? —Rick Mesick / Simsbury, CT

A Yes, but it won’t be as simple as setting up wireless speakers. You could buy a cheap digital TV Converter and connect it to a wireless A/V sender. The wireless A/V sender I linked to even has an IR extender that lets you change channels on the digital TV converter from a remote location.

A better solution, however, would be to buy a DVR designed for recording off-air DTV signals. There are a number of such products available, including models from TiVo and antenna-maker Channel Master. In your case, though, I think you should investigate the Tablo 2-Tuner OTA DVR ($219).

Why the Tablo? It connects to your home network, letting you stream recordings to various devices, including tablets, smartphones and Roku boxes. There’s even a Tablo Roku channel that also provides program guide information.

Another reason I suggest the Tablo is that it can connect to your home network via Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet. With Wi-Fi, you get the option of placing the DVR upstairs and wirelessly linking it to your home’s network router, much as you would a Sonos speaker. (Another option for connecting to your network router without drilling holes and running cables through floors: a powerline network adapter.)

I haven’t tested the Tablo, but from reviews I’ve read, it’s reliable and the subscription fees for its program guide/DVR are much less than what you’d pay for TiVo’s Roamio. It will certainly cost less than your cancelled cable TV subscription.

hk2000's picture

If you don't mind connecting a computer running windows 7 to your TV, you can get a Silicondust Prime "" network tuner. You connect it to your router and share 3 tuners between all your devices.

mtymous1's picture can only descramble signals with the help of a CableCard and subscription.

If you want to " free broadcast TV throughout your home [and] watch live TV on your tablet, smartphone, smart TV, PC, or media player..." then use the HDHomeRun EXTEND. (You can learn more here:

As a heavy Windows Media Center (and HDHR Prime) user, WMC features are just as good - if not better - than Tivo and/or any DVR-rental I've tried. If you don't have/want WMC, there are plenty of open source solutions available, as well. (The combination of Kodi and MythTV immediately come to mind.)

hk2000's picture

Yeah, sorry I missed the cable card part, I use a prime and HDHR4 which has 2 ATSC tuners, but you're right WMC beats anything out there- including Myth, Kodi and all the rest!!

mtymous1's picture

As far as features and ease of use, WMC certainly doesn't have close competition. However, keep in mind that the majority of this readership is crApple-crippled, so they HAVE to use something like MythTV. ;-)