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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!!!!!!!