It seems everything today is offered wirelessly. Making phone calls, surfing the web, watching a movie–heck even starting your car or changing the temperature on your home thermostat can all be done from just about anywhere in the world. When it comes to watching television, we were stuck in a hard wired world for the longest time. Miles and miles of coax running through my house just so I could watch the Brewers game.

When TDS TV announced they would be piloting out wireless set-top boxes, I was both very excited and very pessimistic. While the convenience of getting television just about anywhere in my home is promising, how could they possibly get me the same quality HD service wirelessly? There has to be signal degradation. There has to be streaming issues that would cause hiccups in service. I honestly believed there was no way the product could match my expectations.

I am very happy to admit I was wrong. My three wireless set-top boxes were installed in late November of last year. I haven’t noticed a single issue in quality on any of them. My TDS TV wireless access point (WAP) is in my basement, and I even have a box connected on the second floor of my home. I’ve had absolutely no problems going through many walls and a couple floors. All the functionality is there. My actual DVR box still needs to be connected with Cat5, but the wireless boxes all provide the same viewing experience as the hard wired one. The wireless boxes have no problems connecting to the DVR either, so you don’t lose any functionality of the Connected-Home DVR.

Austin set stop boxesOne of the highlights of my wireless set top box testing came back in March. As I posted back then, I love watching the NCAA Tournament. With the new boxes, I was able to move all of them to my living room, and set up four televisions allowing me to watch every minute of every game. That might seem a little ridiculous to some, but to others the possibilities seem endless. You can feel free to move your television and couches anywhere around the room—without having to think about a half-inch black cable running all across the floor.

If you decide to order the new wireless boxes instead of the standard wires ones, a TDS technician can come and install them for you (note: there will be a one-time fee for each wireless set-top box you’d like). But the set up on the new boxes is tremendously easy. You will get the WAP and the new set-top boxes. You simply plug the new box into the wall, and connect the box to the television and you’re already half done. When starting the box for the first time, the TV screen will pop up saying “connect?” All you do is head over to your WAP (this device will typically be connected directly to your existing router), press a button on the front of the device—an orange light will begin flashing telling you it’s searching, then press “OK” on your new set-top box. The device will begin pairing on its own and in just a few minutes your TDS TV will be ready to go.

Once you have the WAP and the wireless set-top box paired, you won’t need to do it again. So you can feel free to unplug the box from the wall and move it anywhere you want. You won’t need to repeat that process every time you start it up after turning it off.

Not only does this create a lot of flexibility for your interior designer, but the initial install will be a lot less hectic as well. This is one of the product features coming out that really got me excited and it has not disappointed. The instant channel change and all the other features you love are still all there, but without the complication of wires. That’s a big win in my book. Be on the lookout at the end of August for the new boxes!



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