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SWM Switch…Directv’s Best Kept Secret!!! Learn to Swim and quit Running (extra cabling)!!!! March 18, 2008

Posted by Tell it like it TI is! in Directv, dvr, multi-switch, sat 1, sat 2, single wire multi-switch, swim, swm-8, swm8, Tivo.

Sorry I have been gone for a while and left you at the hands and silly comments from Fast Follower!  I have been moving into a new home and getting things in order.    But I am back.

Just like everything, this has been a learning experience for me.  And as always, I never listen to the advise of Fast Follower!!!

Wanna here the story?  Here it goes…

 – Moved into house about a week ago.  Previous owner had a REAL nice home theatre.
 – However, noticed that the previous owner had a non-HD Directv Dish
 – Also noticed that the each room was prewired to accommodate one sat input per TV
 – I call Fast Follower to see what he would do to get two sat inputs into each DVR because I want to watch shows an-d record at the same time!

Let me stop here for a second to explain.  My new house has a fully finished basement which is very restrictive when it comes to running new cable and wires… OK…

 – After about 5 minutes of talking with Fast Follower, he had my entire basement with holes and walls knocked out!!!  His only advise was, “you gotta do it if you want two sat inputs per room”…..

Here is the difference between Fast Follower and me.   Fast Follower says, I gotta get two sats in one room.   I say, “I can’t be the only guy with a finished basement, and I can’t be the only one with the issue, and there has to be a solution!”.  Bottomline…. Everyone isn’t busting the walls to their finished basement!!! 

Sure enough, I made one of the coolest discoveries since getting Directv, the “Swim Switch”!  PTIers this is the coolest thing.   Simply put, it increases the signal to each Sat 1 input, enabling the DVR to get two signals from one input.   From a user perspective you see no difference. You have a sat 1 and sat 2 signal, but there is only one cable going into the DVR!   How simple is that?  Now I have plenty of outlets on my switch (only need one for each dvr!).   Problem solved!!

Now the official name of the switch is the SWM8 or SWM-8 switch.  SWM stands for Single Wire Multi-switch, and it works great!!!  As this blog is about solutions and gadgets and not the technical detail, I didn’t too much care about what was going on.  My understanding is that it boosts the signal to a point that the second input is no longer needed!  As close as I am too cool stuff, I am surprised that I had never heard of it.

I asked the tech, and I wasn’t surprised at the response that I received.  He told me that there is really no benefit for the two money-making entities involved.  The switch is obviously more costly than the old type switches, and the installation folks lose the labor hours that it takes to run additional lines!!!!  Go figure.  The customer is last to know again!  Think how pissed I would have been if I would have started bustin up walls as suggested by Fast Follower!!!!

I have looked around, and found a few sites on the swim switch (that’s what the tech called it).  Here are a couple of sites that I found.  I was surprised that there isn’t much information on the SWM switch solution.



 There is one drawback, however.  My older TIVO units have to be replaced.  The tech said that the older boxes can’t take the increased signal power, but the newer non-hd Directv DVRs do.  So looks like Best Buy is going to get a huge order from me tomorrow!!!

The tech said that you can tell if your box is “Swim-compatable” by looking right above or below the Sat 1 input.  If you see the letters SWM, you’re compatible.  That simple. 

So if you have limited number of outlets and it is difficult to run two lines per box,, don’t call Fast Follower, learn to SWIM!!!!

It is great to be back Telling It Like It Is!!!!!!! 

iTouch Usage March 18, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in iPod, iTouch, itunes, Safari, YouTube.

Do I use my iTouch more than I ever used my iPod because it’s new and expensive? Or do I use it more because it has better and more things for me to use? I have to tell ‘ya… I rarely carried my iPod around with me. My iTouch is with me all of the time. Wifi is a big deal. Whenever I’m in a wifi environment, I turn on the iTouch (including at home). I check Gmail through the email interface. I check stocks through the stock market interface. I check Pardon the Interaction using Safari (and my other blog, SpotMeterSports). I watched a full length movie while traveling the other day (Michael Clayton, rented from iTunes). And it’s still a great music player. And it’s got a cool YouTube interface. And I use it to show off my sports photography as well.

The Most Visited Topic March 7, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in Microsoft, XBox, Xbox Freezing, Xbox Tips.
1 comment so far

It’s very interesting that the most visited post on this blog ever is the Microsoft Xbox Freezing problem.  This was originally posted about 1 year ago.  Not only is it the most popular topic, but there still seems to be no Microsoft fix for the problem.

Palm Treo…. Class Act? No… Class Action!!!!! March 5, 2008

Posted by Tell it like it TI is! in class action lawsuit, lawsuit, plam lawsuit, TREO, TREO 600, TREO 650, treo lawsuit.

Extra, Extra, read all about it!!!  Well, PTIers, it was just a matter of time until it happened.  Palm Treos are now the target of a class action lawsuit!!  Remember back in October of 2006 when I first got mine???  Here is the link, if you care to refresh your memories.  I turned in my Treo that day and have never looked back!!!!


There are other posts on Treos, as well.

 This one almost got by me, and it may be old news to most PTIers, but basically Treo 600 and 650 owners who have had their units replaced or repaired at least twice are eligible for cash rebates on new Palm smartphones, as part of a settlement of a class-action suit filed in 2005. The company will also repair any Treo 600 or 650 that hasn’t failed twice, but is outside of the original warranty.  Are you surprised????

But if you want info on the Class Action Lawsuit…. take a look here!!!!


Even when I am late getting to the party, I still TELL IT LIKE IT IS!!!

iTouch March 2, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in iPhone, iPod, iTouch.

There’s a review of the new 32 gig iTouch over on MacWorld.  The reviewer claims it’s much better than the previous lower memory iTouch devices for a number of reasons.  He also claims that the 32 gig iTouch now gets closer to iPhone functionality.  Some of the people commenting take him to task for comparing the iTouch to the iPhone.  They believe comparing the iTouch to other mp3 players is a better indication of its usefulness and superiority.  I agree with the people commenting by the way.  How would I know?  I purchased the 32 gig iTouch last week.  When I told TI about my purchase, my description to him was that I’ve purchased the best iPod ever made.  This thing is a music playing, video watching, youtube enjoying, internet connecting, iTunes communicating piece of wonderful hardware.  It’s also beautiful, intuitive, and very cool.  Did I also mention it’s a little expensive as well?  Again, this is the best iPod ever made.