1 Wi-Fi Radio Interference
Radio signals from various consumer electronic products can interfere with Wi-Fi wireless network signals. For example, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, garage door openers and microwave ovens can each take down a Wi-Fi network connection when powered on. You can move your network equipment or (on home networks) change some Wi-Fi radio settings to avoid this problem.
Change the Wi-Fi Channel to Avoid Interference
Position Your Router / Access Point for Best Performance
2 Insufficient Wi-Fi Network Range and Power
Even without interference from other equipment, Wi-Fi connections can drop occasionally on devices located near the edge of the network’s wireless signal range. Wi-Fi links generally become more unstable with distance. Relocating your computer or other gear is a simple but not always practical solution. Otherwise, consider antenna upgrades and other techniques to improve wireless signal transmission and reception.
Position Your Router / Access Point for Best Performance
How Can the Range of a Wi-Fi Network Be Boosted?
3 Unknowingly Connecting to the Wrong Wi-Fi Network
If two neighboring locations run unsecured Wi-Fi networks with the same name (SSID), your devices may connect to the wrong network without your knowledge. This can cause the interference and range problems described above. Additionally, in this scenario your computers will lose connection whenever the neighbor network is turned off, even if your preferred one remains functional. Take proper security measures to ensure your computers connect to the right network.
Improve Wireless Network Security
4 Network Driver or Firmware Upgrade Required
Each computer connected to a Wi-Fi network utilizes a small piece of software called the device driver. The Wi-Fi network device driver controls various functions of the Wi-Fi hardware. Network routers contain related technology called firmware. Network drivers and firmware can both become obsolete over time. Upgrading (over installing) newer versions of these things can sometimes fix network connection problems. Get free upgrades from the manufacturer’s Web sites.
5 Incompatible Software Packages Installed
Wi-Fi network connections may start failing on a computer due to incompatible software installed and running there. This includes operating system patches, operating system services, and other software that modifies the networking capabilities of the operating system. Keep records of each time you install or upgrade software on your computers, and be prepared to uninstall any incompatible software you’ve added recently.
6 Overloading / Overheating the Wireless Access Point
Owners of some wireless routers (and other types of wireless access points) have reported dropped connections during times of heavy network utilization. This can occur during, for example, online gaming or while copying large files. Routers can, in theory, become overloaded with too much data and fail temporarily. If a router’s temperature increases too much, it may also fail until cooled. Install routers (access points) in places with good airflow. Exchange the router for a different unit if the current one doesn’t support your usage patterns.
If you’re considering saving a ton of money and ditching traditional cable service for an antenna and streaming services now available, there are some things you should consider in order to successfully cut the cable without sacrificing the shows you love.
About one out of 10 consumers (11%) canceled their pay-TV subscription during the last year, according to a new report from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). More than a quarter cited alternate options available at a lower cost as the reason for the split, and 21% of consumers say they haven’t had a service provider subscription for more than a year.
More than half (54%) of consumers are getting content through paid video streaming services, up seven percentage points from 2015. Not surprisingly, Millennials lead the charge with 62% choosing paid streaming services. Meanwhile, for those over the age of 35, 71% choose a traditional service provider.
Need to know before cutting or limiting cable | satellite
1. You may need additional equipment. If you’re looking to watch local shows, you’ll need an over the air antenna (OTA). Hoping to transfer content from your laptop to your TV? You may want an Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick or a Roku. If you still want a DVR, you may want a media streaming device like a Roku or an Apple TV. Then ask yourself, what shows do I watch and thru which App can I watch them thru? For shows on big network stations, they are available thru Hulu the next day, for the most part. For older shows and full seasons, check out Netflix.
2. Your Internet connection is important. Without cable, you’ll likely be streaming most of your content, so you’ll need an Internet connection that’s fast enough for your needs. This may require an upgrade to your home networks router, wifi or wiring in your home. You also may want to do a speedtest to make sure you’re getting enough speed to facilitate HD streaming.
3. National sports could be a challenge. Depending on your state of fandom, catching all the sporting events you want to watch without a cable package could be tough. There are apps that can help with national team coverage. Local sports won’t be a problem and will come to the local channels on your TV.
4. Cable news might be tough. You might not be able to view a live stream of your favorite network (CNN, MSNBC, etc) without a pay-TV provider login. If you’re an avid follower of a particular news personality or show, that’s something to consider.
Limiting or cutting cable considerations:
1. Full Cable | Satellite Service
-Large channel library
-Best video and audio quality available
-Advanced features like guide, scheduler, video on demand, pay per view and DVR are included
2. Limiting Basic Cox Cable Service
– HD DVR cable box not included
– Guaranteed list of subscribed channels
– 2 ch. audio/lower audio quality
– Lower video quality (depending on TV, you may get local channels in HD)
– No advanced features like guide, video on demand or pay per view
– No DVR or scheduler
– Basic cable option for Satellite: Does not exist. Satellite companies require one 1 receiver per TV.
3. Cut the Cable: Over The Air Antenna:
– Need 1 Long-Range Over the Air Antenna (HD)
– No guarantee all channels will come in clearly, or at all, depends on antenna and city location
relative to signal source.
– No advanced features like guide, video on demand or pay per view – No DVR or recording feature*
– No national sports or cable news*
* Can be supplemented with a media steaming device in most cases.
Media Streaming Devices:
Through the Apple TV, you can rent movies thru iTunes Movie, stream Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, HBO Go and much more. The price is reasonable and it’s a one-time cost for the hardware. There is even more benefit here or iPhone/ iPad users. Using Airplay, whatever is playing on the device, can be streamed wirelessly to the television. This can supplement TV shows not available natively on the Apple TV, watch Youtube, stream music like Pandora or Spotify, and share your personal pictures on your big screen.
Pro: There is even more benefit here or iPhone/ iPad users. Using Airpaly, whatever is playing on the device, can be streamed wirelessly to the television. This can supplement TV shows not available natively on the Apple TV, watch Youtube, stream music like Pandora or Spotify, and share your personal pictures on your big screen. The remote is nice and offers voice search.
Con: Apple TV does not offer access to the Amazon Prime’s instant video.
Roku has been around for a while as well. They offer a variety in channels, at this time they are advertising access to over a 1000 channels.
Pro: It’s the most robust and inexpensive streamer on the market right now. If you have a universal remote, Roku can be programmed to go directly to the app of your choice ie pressing 1 button on the remote will turn on the TV, Stereo, Roku and go directly to Netflix.
Con: There is limited Apple integration so if you have an iPhone/ iPad, there’s no play media without involving a computer. This extra hassle is probably not worth it if your media is mainly on iTunes.
Amazon recently entered this space with their streaming media device. It is also a box and gives the standard option of channels. They send you the box preregistered with your Amazon account making it very simple to set up.
Pro: They were first to have voice search on the remote. Con: Like the Roku, there’s limited Apple integration.
Chromecaset isn’t not on par with the other players in the field. It is basically a small receiver you can plug into your TV then you can stream from your computer/device to the TV. There are certainly cool uses for this (hotels TVs), but probably is not a good option in replacing your cable plan.
Pro: Perfect for Travel- Price is cheap, it’s small in size, USB input- no cable or power required Con: Clukny operation and like the Roku, there’s limited Apple integration.
Netflix: Perhaps the most well known. Internet subscription is $8 a month.
Hulu: Best for watching local network shows the next day. With commericals:m$8/mo. With upgraded subscription there are no commercials for $12
Sling TV: Offers a handful of cable channels including CNN, ESPN, HGTV.
Let’s look at the savings. Every household will be a different so I will use my personal example. I cut cable 6 years ago. My cable was through Cox Communications and was bundled phone, 1 cable DVR and medium internet speed. I cut the cable when the bill reached $175. My breakdown was $110 for cable, $65 for internet and $10 for phone. Now my “cable” and internet bill is $65/mo to Cox for internet, $8 to Netflix and $12 to Hulu. That comes to $1200 a year. If you purchased a streaming box for $100 and a long-range antenna for $200 that would be about $300 plus $7 a month for something like Netflix, that comes out to $234. Obviously these are some loose numbers, but it is clear you can save money in the long run.
In rare cases, the broadcast frequency of channel may change unexpectedly. This may go unnoticed but there are times when a physical move or relocation of the antenna is necessary to continue receiving the full list of channels available in your area. Internet and network can also play a part in maintenance cost. If you are cutting the cable, it is suggested you audit your internet connections and speed. Consider upgrading your modem, router and wireless internet hardware.
Here’s a sad fact: even though the factory picture presets most TVs use are pretty horrible, more than 50% of us never change any of our TV picture settings. This means that the majority of people out there simply aren’t getting the best from the TV they spent so much money on.
Fortunately you don’t need either a great deal of time or a degree in rocket science to put this sorry state of affairs right.
Here are six simple tips to making your TV viewing experience better.
1. Turn off the TV’s Eco mode.
Eco modes on TVs use external sensors to adjust picture settings based on how much light there is in your room. However, I’ve yet to see any TV clever enough to deliver picture results using this automated adjustment system that are as good as the results you can achieve yourself using your own eyes.
This is especially true when your room is bright, as TVs which adjust their settings automatically tend to push brightness and color saturations much too aggressively under bright room conditions, leaving images looking unnatural, over-aggressive, unbalanced and low on detail.
2. Reduce your TV’s backlight setting if it has one
Most LCD TVs now let you adjust their backlight output separately to their brightness. This is a good thing. However, many TVs tend to leave their backlights set very high – even at maximum – with their out-of-the-box settings. This isn’t helpful to picture quality at all, as it reduces contrast, shadow detail in dark areas, and color accuracy.
There’s no set backlight value I can give you that works for all TVs – not least because some brands use completely different scales of backlight adjustment to others.
What you are trying to achieve, though, is a backlight value that lets your screen deliver the deepest, least greyed-over black colours it can without leaving colours looking dull or crushing too much detail out of the picture’s darkest corners.
Also worth looking out for is backlight clouding – the appearance of areas of extra brightness in the picture caused by unevenness in the way the TV is distributing its lighting across the screen. Reducing the backlight can often dramatically reduce the obviousness of these distracting light ‘pools’, making for a much more engaging, consistent viewing experience.
To achieve this, make your room as dark as you can and then find a very dark scene in aBlu-ray or DVD film you own (the final Harry Potter film is particularly good for this!). Tweak the backlight until the above balance between a convincing black color and retained shadow detail is hit.
Note that you may have to adjust the backlight a really long way down – to as little as a third of its maximum value – with some TVs before you get a natural look to dark scenes. The only exception to this is OLED TVs like the LG 55EG9600, which enjoy extremely strong native contrast.
There are sadly some LCD TVs out there – especially those that use IPS panel technology – that never give you a truly convincing contrast performance. But even with these you can get things looking far better via the backlight setting than they do in their initial state.
You might also want to consider establishing separate night and day settings on your TV. The backlight setting that works best for serious dark-room viewing may leave images looking a little muted and dark when your room is bright, so if you feel this is the case ‘hijack’ one of the TV’s other presets and recalibrate it for a bright room environment, taking care that you don’t push the backlight so high that colour looks forced or black levels look washed out.
One last thing to add here is that you shouldn’t confuse the backlight setting with the brightness setting you’re probably more familiar with. Brightness adjustments don’t really work in the same way on flat TVs that they used to on CRT TVs, and more often than not you’re better off leaving the preset brightness level on an LCD untouched, or only adjusting it by a small amount.
3. Turn off all noise reduction systems when watching HD or 4K
For some reason almost all TVs tend to leave their noise reduction systems set to on even when they’re receiving very high quality content. This almost always makes those pictures look less sharp and crisp than they should, especially if the source you’re watching has any natural grain in it. So make sure you turn noise reduction processing off when watching a good quality source if you want to enjoy all the clarity and purity it has to offer.
4. Reduce the contrast setting
Most LCD TVs set their contrast to maximum in their out of the box state. This isn’t helpful because from my experience it tends to lead to an exaggeration of any noise that might be in the video signal, as well as an exaggeration of any issues an LCD TV might have with motion blur. Furthermore, it can lead to the loss of some subtle detailing in the image’s darkest and brightest areas.
Although it’s impossible to establish a single contrast setting rule to suit every TV, experience suggests that you can fix these issues on most LCDs simply by reducing the set’s contrast by around 15-20%.
There are a couple of other contrast related features your TV may have that you ought to pay attention to. Most modern LCD TVs, for instance, feature a dynamic contrast system, where the TV automatically adjusts its settings in response to changes in the incoming content. For instance, during a dark shot it will reduce its light output to boost black level response, while during bright scenes it will ramp the light output higher.
The only problem with this is that if it’s not done sensitively and swiftly, it can lead to distracting ‘jumps’ in the picture’s light level as the content changes. So with the vast majority of TVs you’ll find that you get the most stable, immersive results if you only have this feature running on its lowest level of power (most TVs provide a range of different dynamic contrast settings). You could even try turning the feature off altogether, though you may find that this leaves dark scenes starting to look a little too grey.
An increasing number of TVs are also starting to use a feature called local dimming, where sections of the lights that illuminate the picture can have their light output controlled independently. Generally speaking this is a very welcome feature, but if it isn’t implemented very well, or it’s too aggressive, it can cause you to be distracted by either haloes of light around bright objects or even, with TVs that use LEDs placed around the edge of the screen, horizontal or vertical bars of light stretching the full width or height of the picture.
These light issues are much more likely to be visible if you’ve got your backlight set too bright, or if you’ve got your TV’s local dimming feature (if it has one) running on too high a setting. With most TVs you will find you get the best balance of improved contrast and even lighting if you set the local dimming system to the lowest setting on offer short of turning it off.
5. Tame your color
Most TV brands seem to think when they design their picture presets that you want your TV pictures to be so bright and aggressive you almost have to squint to watch them. Part of this unhelpful focus on picture aggression leads to colours that look oversaturated to such a degree that they look unbalanced, unnatural and short of tonal finesse.
Greatly improving this, though, is often no more complicated than simply nudging your TV’s colour setting down a few notches, especially if you do this in conjunction with our suggested backlight and contrast adjustments.
Many TVs go so far as to provide a full colour management system containing really fine adjustments for each constituent part of your TV’s colour. If you’re a real picture enthusiast you can certainly end up with a more balanced, subtle-looking picture if you spend some time in these menus. However, you can also end up in a bit of a mess if you don’t know what you’re doing. Plus you usually get the most benefit from these menus if you’re using them in conjunction with some colour measuring equipment.
6. Remember that it’s possible for a picture to be too sharp!
As part of their mistaken belief that TVs should shout as loudly as possible about every facet of their picture quality, many manufacturers push sharpness far too hard with their factory picture presets.
This can cause pictures to start to look overly noisy and gritty, as well as causing extra problems for the noise reduction processing that we’ve already recommended that you switch off.
If you feel when watching any content on your TV as if edges of objects in the picture look too pronounced or have a ringing effect around them, or else you feel as if the picture looks excessively ‘fizzy’ and gritty, then you should try reducing your TV’s default sharpness setting. You need to take a little care while doing this; as you might expect, reducing sharpness too much can make pictures start to look soft and blurred. But too much sharpness can actually be more disruptive and distracting than a little softness!
One other issue connected to a TV’s sharpness is motion processing. LCD TVs have a tendency to blur or suffer with judder when showing motion (follow this link for a discussion of video frame rates and screen refresh rates), so many sets provide some sort of processing to combat these issues. However, this processing can cause issues of its own if it’s not done very well. Fast movement can flicker, sometimes the picture can seem to skip a frame or two, and moving objects can appear with a sort of smeared halo around their edges.
Some people also hate the so-called ‘soap opera effect’, where motion processing can make the 24 frames per second appearance of a typical film look more like the 50/60Hz appearance of a made-for-TV show.
These problems all depend on the individual quality of the processing engine and algorithms a TV employs, so motion processing tends to work more effectively on relatively high-end TVs.
Some picture quality enthusiasts automatically turn off all of their TVs’ motion processing as a matter of course. Personally, though, while some brands do better with motion processing than others, I feel motion processing can actually improve picture quality – especially on 4K UHD TVs, where even the slightest trace of motion blur can stand out like a sore thumb.
My recommendation is that you at least experiment with the lowest power settings of your TV’s motion processing (as with noise reduction, you’re usually provided with a series of motion processing ‘strengths’), as these can reduce judder and blurring without causing much in the way of unwanted side effects.
In fact, with one or two of the most recent high-end TVs I’ve tested this year – especially flagship models from Sony and Samsung – you can even try the mid-strength motion settings without things staring to look too unnatural or ‘processed’. I haven’t as yet seen any TV, though, that really benefits from having the motion processing set to its highest level.
You may want to reset your router for several reasons-
- can’t remember the administrator’s password
- can’t remember the network’s password or wireless key
- to troubleshoot connectivity issues – either internal network issues or perhaps with the internet connection from the ISP.
Several different router reset methods can be used depending on the situation.
Shutting off and re-applying power to a router, a process called power cycling, can be used to recover from glitches that cause a router to drop connections, such as corruption of the unit’s internal memory, or overheating. Power cycles do not erase saved passwords, security keys, or other settings saved via the router’s console.
Power to a router can be shut off either by the unit’s on/off switch (if it has one) or by unplugging the router’s electric cord. Routers with backup batteries must be kept on AC power or have their batteries removed.
Some people like to wait 30 seconds out of habit, but it’s not necessary to wait more than a few seconds between unplugging and re-plugging a router’s power cord. As with hard resets, the router takes time after power is restored to resume operation.
When troubleshooting internet connectivity issues, it can help to reset the connection between the modem and the router. Physically unplug the cable connecting the router to the modem and re-connect after a few seconds. Compared to other kinds of resets, soft resets take effect almost instantaneously as they do not require the router to reboot.
The most drastic type of router reset, called hard reset, erases passwords, keys, and most other configuration parameters, restoring the the router to use initial configuration values that it had when it left the factory. Hard resets do not remove or revert the currently-installed version of router firmware. This method is most commonly used when an administrator has forgotten their passwords and wishes to start over with new values.
- Note: To avoid internet connectivity complications, disconnect the modem from the routerr before performing a hard reset.
- To perform a hard router reset, keep the router powered on.
- Find the unit’s reset button, often located on the rear of the device. Use a pen tip or bent paperclip if necessary to depress the button and hold it down. We are taught to hold the button down for 30 seconds; your router probably does not require waiting that full length of time, but this is a good general rule to follow. After releasing the hard reset button, a router may need up to 1 minute to reboot and resume normal operation.
An alternative method for hard resets involves holding the reset button down for 90 seconds instead of 30, unplugging the router from power and then re-plugging it partway through.