Access to cable television typically requires a physical connection to the cable source, and most structures are wired with that in mind. When a room doesn’t have a coaxial wall jack, there are three feasible ways to rectify the situation. The best solution is to wire in a new coaxial wall jack, but that can be an expensive project. In some situations, it’s also possible to just hook into a wall jack that’s located in another room. If neither of those solutions work, then a wireless cable TV extender can provide access to a cable TV signal without the need for a physical connection.
Wireless Cable TV Extenders
There are a few different types of wireless extenders, but they all serve the same basic purpose. Some extenders are designed to broadcast any signal that contains both audio and visual information. Other extenders can provide direct access to an analog cable signal. There are also digital cable TV extenders that use HDMI inputs. Many of these devices feature IR repeaters that are capable of transmitting remote control signals.
Analog Cable TV Extenders
Analog wireless cable TV extenders are designed to be used with analog cable, but they can also be used with other analog sources. These devices typically have coaxial F connectors, but some of them also feature RCA jacks. When a wireless extender has RCA jacks, it can typically be hooked up to a VCR, DVD player, or any other device. Extenders that just have coaxial F connectors are primary intended for use with cable TV signals.
When an analog wireless cable TV extender is hooked up directly to a cable source, it can typically transmit the entire signal to a remote television. That makes it possible for the remote television to display any available channel. When an extender is hooked up to a cable box video output, the remote television is typically limited to whatever channel the box is set to.
Digital Cable TV Extenders
Digital cable TV extenders typically feature HDMI inputs, and they transmit digital audio and video signals. These devices are capable of transmitting high definition video signals, but they can also be used with standard definition video sources. While they are primarily designed for use with HD cable boxes, they can also be used with Blu-ray players, video game consoles, and other devices.
Since digital cable can only be accessed with a set-top box or CableCARD, it typically isn’t possible to hook a digital wireless cable TV extender directly to a coaxial wall jack. However, it is possible to connect a dedicated set-top box to a wireless extender. In that case, an IR extender will allow a viewer to change channels on the set-top box.
Wireless IR Extenders
Remote controls that use infrared light signals only work when there is a direct line of sight between the remote and the device it controls. In order to get around that limitation, many wireless cable TV extenders include built-in IR functionality. Wireless IR extenders are also available as standalone devices. These extenders can be used to transmit any IR signal, so they work with cable boxes, Blu-ray players, and other devices that have IR remotes.