Dan is getting rid of his cable box and is looking for an analog to digital converter for his over-the-air antenna. Leo recommends the ChannelMaster. It's like a TIVO for an antenna. This is a great option for cable cutters.
Mike wants to expand the range of his television by streaming via the internet. Leo says that since Mike wants to play internet radio through his home theater system, the Chromecast Audio would be the best option. He can then browse to the internet radio station (if supported) and then connect to it. Roku has a lot more stations available, but if he has to get a website up to stream with it, then Chromecast is the simplest way to go. If he wants to connect the computer to it, then using Miracast would work.
Jeff bought a Samsung Smart TV and it's connected to FIOS. Sometimes, though, they connect a laptop to it through HDMI. The TV doesn't like it and jumps back to HDMI 1, though. Leo says that is due to CEC or Consumer Electronics Control, which in theory will switch to the active device. In practice, it's sketchy at best. Some ports may be CEC and some may not be. And Samsung may not call it CEC. Jeff will also have to make sure that CEC is enabled. Another issue is a device going into sleep mode and not grabbing the CEC.
Joey inherited an LCD TV and he needs an adapter to plug in from his old coax cable box. Leo says that coax is an analog connector designed largely for over the air antennas, rather than digital, which is what HDMI or DVI is. Leo says it's going to cost Joey more to get a Coax to DVI converter than it would just to get a new cable box. Then he can get an inexpensive HDMI to DVI adapter. He'll also need a separate sound cable. Since Joey also has component, another option is to go from Component to DVI. That's an inexpensive option as well. But then he could end up with sync issues.
Steve has a Security Camera DVR and he's used a splitter to watch it in several rooms using a balun, but he keeps losing the signal. Leo says that HDMI doesn't throw very far, and using a balun amplifies the signal and sends it over ethernet to the other side. The distance is still limited to around 200' and it could be that he's at the extreme edge of the range. Steve could go RF. The chat room says that using Cat6 Ethernet cables could make it that far, and at MonoPrice.com he could get an extender kit to around 328 feet.
How can Robert move from component to HDMI? Leo says that component is the last bastion of analog and he'll need a digitizing box to move to the digital signal of HDMI. But that's only half the problem. Robert may have an issue with copy protection as well with HDCP. There could also be sync issues.
Michael wants to add a few additional monitors to his Mac Pro but the HDMI connectors aren't working. Leo says it's odd that the HDMI can't be used in conjunction with the Thunderbolt connector, but that could be. He should check out this tech note from Apple.
Glen wants to split his TV signal via HDMI. It works for a minute and then it gets really dark. Leo says the challenge is that Glen is splitting the signal and then transporting it over a greater distance. So chances are it's dropping bits due to interference. That's why Leo says a Balun is a better choice. He can then send HDMI over ethernet and the signal is amplified over both ends. It's much better and not very expensive. Glen can check out HDMI Extenders or Baluns at monoprice.com.
Doug wants to know if he can use an HDMI splitter to divide his Slingbox with his Roku Box and control both. Leo says no because he won't be able to control them. Older Slingboxes have up to five HDMI ports in the back (the Slingbox 500 only has one), so if he has an older Slingbox, he could daisy chain them and control them. But Doug should remember that only one person can control it.
Cheryl bought a $60 Winbook and was wondering if she could add a monitor to it. Leo says it does run a Micro HDMI cable, so she could add a monitor. But most have either VGA or DVI. Can she convert it? Or get a USB monitor? Leo says that she could use a USB driven monitor, and they're cheap. But they are mostly used as a second monitor. A DVI converter is a better idea.