BOCS FAQs

General

Technical/Install

 

Is the BOCS™ MediaHub HD compatible?
Absolutely. Most users we have found, have a nice HD setup somewhere in the house. Leave all that equipment as is, and you'll continue to get HD on your nice big set. If you also connect those same HD sources to BOCS™ , then the rest of your house, which generally is not HD, can have access to all the same sources. While BOCS™ does not transmit an HD signal all over your home, it works in harmony with what you already have. We send an exceptional quality NTSC signal to all your TVs and in most homes that is better than what you get from a cable or satellite company.

We are working on an add-on upgrade solution so when you buy your second HDTV, you can transmit a full HD signal to it as well. In the meantime, BOCS™ provides a near-DVD quality signal to all TVs, including HDTVs.

How far from the BOCS™ MediaHub will the BOCS™ Remote work?
It varies from home to home, depending on what kind of walls you have, how many stories, and whether you have anything around or stacked on top of the BOCS™ MediaHub; but, in general, you should get whole-house coverage. There are a few things you can try to extend the range: Make sure there is nothing on top of or directly behind the BOCS™, especially metal items. Re-orient the antenna on the back of the BOCS™—if it is pointing up, try swiveling it to point to one side or the other. A reliable solution is to purchase a repeater and plug it in somewhere between the farthest TV and the BOCS™ Media-Hub. A repeater is an electronic device that receives a signal and then relays (repeats) it so that the signal can reach longer distances.

How can I know that I need a repeater?
In a room that is too far from the BOCS™ MediaHub, you will notice a lack of communication between the BOCS™ Remote and the BOCS™ MediaHub when:

  1. Yyou press the buttons on the BOCS™ Remote and nothing happens—DVR channel does not change, DVD Player will not pause, etc.
  2. The power light on the BOCS™ Remote stays on longer than just a "flash." or all three colored lights flash at the same time. This means the remote is trying over and over to send a command, but it is not getting through. Holding the BOCS™ Remote up high, changing the way it is pointing, or even standing up on your bed might facilitate communication—we do not recommend the latter. You will be much safer just purchasing a repeater.

Can I watch two things at the same time from the same DVR?
No. This is a big one, and a common source of confusion – please read carefully. Connecting a DVR to BOCS™ does not change the normal operation of a DVR. A DVR can play one program while recording another, and some can record two programs at the same time, but a DVR cannot play two things at the same time. BOCS™ simply makes the normal output of your DVR available to all the TVs in your home. So if you are watching a pre-recorded program in the living room, a second person cannot access another recorded program without interrupting yours.

If you are comfortable with sharing one DVR, all is good. But for a “typical family” we normally recommend having two DVRs connected to BOCS™. In my home, my wife and I share one on Red, and the kids share another one on Green – that way there is no fighting (at least not over DVRs). Keep in mind that since BOCS™ overlays these new channels on top of standard cable (if you have cable TV) you always also have access to analog cable (typically channels 2-70 or so) by simply pressing the Local TV button on the BOCS™ remote and that is independent of any other TV in the home.

What happens if two people want to watch different things on the same BOCS™ channel?
Instead of putting complicated systems in to allow a user to grab and hold control of a BOCS™ channel, BOCS™ decided to leave the conflict as a family issue. Here are a couple of suggestions:

  1. Be courteous. When you see that someone else is controlling the DVR on the Green channel, either watch what they're watching or choose to watch something on the Red or Blue channels or on the local TV. In my home, we came up with a simple etiquette – always start by going to a BOCS™ channel and pressing menu – no-matter what happens to be playing, the DVR menu will pop up, that gives the original user a chance to switch back to what they were watching. You then know someone was already using that channel and can watch their program or choose another channel – it keeps the “Anyone using the Red channel?” scream through the home at a minimum. Hmmm, maybe a chance to teach your children courtesy…
  2. Try splitting the content if you have two DVRs. Put his stuff on one (i.e. Green channel) and her stuff on the other (i.e. Blue channel).

Will the BOCS™ Remotes work with anything? Any TV? Any A/V device?
Yes. BOCS™ uses a very large database of IR codes, the same infrared codes used by the high quality universal remote controls. With over 2,000 devices supported, ranging from TVs to DVD players to stereos to DVRs, you really should not have any trouble finding the right code. And to support off-brands from little known suppliers and future models whose codes are not in our database, BOCS™ Remotes are learning remotes. They have the ability to learn codes of just about anything.

Can I connect my iPod to the BOCS™ MediaHub?
Absolutely. The only requirements are:

  1. Whatever you want to connect must have composite output (i.e. video output and stereo audio outputs—red, white, and yellow RCA jacks)
  2. Whatever you connect must be controllable with an IR (infrared) remote control. Look for the little LED light on the front of the remote or behind a red-colored window. Since these kinds of devices are pretty new to the "universal remote control world," only a few codes are available in the BOCS™ Remotes database—but the BOCS™ Remote can learn the codes for just about anything.

Can I connect my Apple TV to the BOCS™ MediaHub?
Apple's iTV product is one of the few consumer devices on the market that does not have a composite output—it has the stereo audio output (red and white RCA jacks), but it lacks the video output (yellow RCA jack.) So you will need a component to composite converter. There are several on the market, but the one BOCS™ has been using can be found here for a little over $100.

This particular converter is only a format converter and does not rescale, so this low cost method requires you to put your iTV in 480i output mode, which looks fine for other TVs in your home but means the resolution on your main TV will be reduced. Many customers are choosing to add a new iTV and dedicating it to serve the home through BOCS™ while leaving another iTV hooked into the HDTV in the living room. Your main computer could easily be set to mirror both devices so the same content is available on both.

Note that many higher end receivers, with a built-in scaler/format converter, can easily handle serving iTV content in HD for the local TV and in composite for the BOCS™ system. Check the manual for you’re A/V receiver to see if you have this feature.

My BOCS™ remote will not learn.
Remotes do not come with learning enabled by default. Originally, we thought we might charge for this feature, but have since decided to provide it free of charge. The MediaHub learns by default on all systems, but for learning TV, DVD, Cable, or AUX devices into the remote itself, you need to have your remote enabled for learning. Simply jot down the serial number of each device you need enabled (Can be found under the left battery) and email them to sales@bocsco.com and we will provide you with a unique code and unlock instructions for each remote.

Can my neighbors see what I'm watching?
No, unless you leave your blinds open. So long as the SuperCombiner is installed correctly, all the audio and video is transmitted only through the cable wiring of your home. Only the remote control's commands are transmitted wirelessly.

What if I have more than three things I want to watch all over my house?
It is possible to install a second BOCS™ MediaHub in your home, Homes with Satellite will not have any complications since there is plenty of space for the three channels that the BOCS™ system adds. Homes using Cable TV have a more limited frequency range, so adding six channels is more difficult. You will likely have to give up some of your cable channels. It takes special equipment and some expertise to determine whether three more channels could be added to your cable company's broadcasting without your having to give up some channels you like to watch; therefore, we strongly recommend that you consult a professional installer.

Why does each remote need to stay in its own room?
Actually it needs to stay with its own TV—whatever room the TV is in. Each BOCS™ Remote is programmed to control a specific TV—to change its channels, volume, etc. Unless you bought exactly the same TV for every room in your home, you will need a different BOCS™ Remote for each TV.

To prevent getting the remotes mixed up, BOCS™ put little stickers in the package with each remote to label which remote belongs in which room.

One little trick though: The remote doesn't really know where it is in the house, so no matter what room you are in, you can use the same BOCS™ Remote to control whatever is plugged into the Red, Green, and Blue channels. If you carry a remote in your pocket, you can change songs or forward through commercials while doing chores around the house, but you might not be able to change channels or the TV's volume in every room.

How is this different from other modulators on the market? BOCS™ uses a type of technology that is similar to commercial name-brand modulators, but we take entertainment to a higher level by using a very unique user interface and control system. Unlike other cobbled together distribution systems, the BOCS™ system:

  • Does not require new wiring in the home
  • Does not require external filters or additional combiners—everything you need comes inside the Supercombiner
  • Has no placement restrictions—can be plugged into any cable outlet in the home
  • Can be installed in as little as 20 minutes—as opposed to a full day adventure with other systems
  • Is easily adjusted to balance Cable-TV and BOCS™ signals so everything looks the same on every TV
  • Does not require the user to remember the channel number where your A/V device is located—wherever you are your DVR is always on Red etc.
  • Does not pause Green and Blue when Red channel is paused—each channel is handled independently
  • Can handle as many remotes as you need to cover your whole house
  • Can be extended to cover even the largest of homes with add-on repeaters
  • Is a fraction of the cost of any competitive system!

I'm using the scan feature to find a TV code on the remote but it's not working.
Let's do a quick review:

  1. Turn on your TV either directly or with the remote that came with it.
  2. Press and hold down both the Guide button and the Local TV button. The power light comes on and stays on. If the light does not come on and stay on, you didn't press the two buttons at the same time. Yes, some folks have to try a couple times—you can do it; keep trying.
  3. Press the Local TV button which tells the remote to scan only within the list of TV remote codes saving you waiting for it to go through DVD players, VCRs etc.
  4. Now, point the remote at the TV and hold down the white up arrow (BOCS) (because the scan starts at the bottom of the code list and moves up.) You will notice that the power light blinks once every second or so. Every time it blinks it is sending out a "power" command using a different TV code. You should pay close attention so when the TV goes off you can quickly release the up arrow (BOCS). Likely you were a little slow in reacting, no problem, just release the up arrow (BOCS) and press the down arrow (BOCS)one or more times – slowly - to go down one code on the list and re-send that code's "power" command. If the TV comes back on, quickly release the down arrow (BOCS) and press OK to save that code. You may have to push the up and down arrows a few times, watching each time for the TV to turn off or on, in order to narrow down to the correct "power" code. As soon as the TV goes off or on, press the OK to save that code. Do not wait more than about 6 seconds between button pushes or the remote will go out of program mode (power light on the remote will go off), and you will have to start all over.

If you go through the whole set of TV codes (you will know because the power light will go off) and the TV never turns off, look up the code for your TV and manually type it in (see the instructions in the manual on pages).

Some TVs respond to more than one code—you might find a code that turns a TV off but will not control the volume. To try to find another code that works that same TV, follow steps 1, 2, and 4 above, skipping step 3. If you skip step three, it tells the remote to start in the code list right were you were and not start over at the beginning.

When I push a BOCS™ button on the remote I don't get a BOCS™ channel— The most common problem is that the TV in question is not set to cable TV. You should access the TV menu, find the place where you can choose air or cable, and make sure the TV is set to Cable or STD Cable.

This is how the BOCS™ Remote works in the standard installation: Pressing the Red button is actually telling the TV to tune to channel 14; the Green button is a shortcut to channel 98; and the Blue button brings up channel 96. To tune the TV to channel 14 with a regular remote, you press two buttons—first, the 1 button; next, the 4 button. This sends two infrared signals to the TV—a signal for 1 andd a signal for 4. You've probably experienced getting the wrong channel if you pressed the buttons too quickly, or too slowly, or if the remote was not in the TV's line of sight. The BOCS™ Remotes work essentially the same way, except pressing the BOCS™ color-coded channel buttons sends two infrared signals with only one button push:

  • Red = 1 and 4
  • Green = 9 and 8
  • Blue = 9 and 6

The most common problem is that the BOCS™ Remote is not kept pointing at the TV long enough for the TV to receive the second digit signal. The solution is simple—make sure you point the remote at the TV and keep it pointed there until the TV has time to tune in the channel. Some TVs take longer than others to repond. If the TV only sees one digit, wait until that clears before you try pushing the BOCS™ channel button again.

One other thing to watch for, some TVs need a long time in between pressing buttons. If you press the Red button and you see the 1 on the TV, but the 4 never shows up, see the next FAQ item "When I push a BOCS™ channel button on the remote it only sends one digit."

When I push a BOCS™ channel button on the remote it only sends one digit.
Some TVs need a long time in between button presses. When you push the Red button, the BOCS™ Remote sends a 1 then pauses and sends a 4 (assuming you have the default configuration where Red is on channel 14.) If you press the Red button, and you see the 1 on your TV, but the 4 never shows up (and you were a good user and kept the remote pointed right at the TV), it is likely that the remote is sending the channel commands too quickly for your TV. We have noticed some Insignia TVs and a few others that have this problem.

Since different TVs have different "pause-time" requirements between channel button presses, BOCS™ has added a feature to customize the BOCS™ Remote to the pause-time required by your TV. For now you will have to play with it a little to discover which pause-time works best on your TV. As we get more feedback from users, we will publish a detailed pause-time list for various TV models. If you have to adjust the pause-time for your TV(s), please let us know the brand and model of the TV and its required pause-time.

To set the pause time:
Hold down the Menu button and the "4" button. The power light should come on and stay on. Press one of the following and then press Select/OK to confirm:

  • 1 for a pause time of 1/10th of a second (fastest channel changing)
  • 2 for a pause time of 1/5th of a second (a little slower...)
  • 3 for a pause time of 1/2 of a second
  • 4 for a pause time of 3/4 of a second
  • 5 for a pause time of 1 second
  • 6 for a pause time of 2 seconds

When I press a BOCS™ channel button, the corresponding activity light on the BOCS™ unit does not flash.
Every time you push one of the BOCS™ color buttons (on any remote) the corresponding light on the front of the BOCS™ MediaHub should flash once. If you do not see the flash, it means the BOCS™ MediaHub is not recognizing that remote. If the Red, Green, and Blue lights on the remote do not light, you probably need to put in a new set of batteries. Stand in front of the BOCS™ MediaHub and press the remote's Red button. If the Red, Green, and Blue lights on the remote do three fast flashes, the remote needs to be paired to the BOCS™ MediaHub.

Every BOCS™ Remote you use must be paired with the BOCS™ MediaHub. If you add a new BOCS™ Remote to your system, you must follow these steps to pair it:

  • Press and hold in the BOCS™ logo button on the front of the BOCS™ MediaHub until the Red, Green, and Blue lights on the front of the MediaHub begin blinking.
  • Then on the remote that is not working, simultaneously hold down the Menu button and the Channel-UP buttons for about 2 seconds. The power light on the remote should flash twice and, the lights on the front of the MediaHub should stop blinking. The pairing should be successful.

Test it by pressing the Red button on the remote and making sure the red light on the front of MediaHub flashes once.

The video quality of the BOCS™ channels is not as good as my Cable TV channels.
If you had an installer come out and put in your BOCS™ system, they should have already adjusted everything, but just in case, BOCS™ allows you to adjust the quality of your BOCS™ channels by using the remote control:

Make sure the remote is able to communicate with the BOCS™ MediaHub by pressing the Red channel button on the remote and making sure the red light on the front of BOCS™ MediaHub blinks—if not, see the FAQ above about pairing a remote to the BOCS™ MediaHub.

Go to the TV farthest from where your Cable comes into your home. If you don't know where that is, just go to the TV where you think the BOCS™ channels are the weakest. Using the BOCS™ Remote for that room/TV, hold down the buttons Menu and 1 until the power light on the remote comes on. Now (so long as you don't ever pause for more than 10 seconds which causes the remote to get out of program mode) you can press the up arrow (BOCS) to make the signal stronger and the down arrow (BOCS) to make it weaker. There are about 16 different levels. When you find one that looks good, press the Select/OK button to save that setting.

We recommend that you set the signal as low as you can and still get a good picture. Setting it to its highest level could interfere with other TV stations you receive.

Now you should go around to all the other TVs and make sure they all look good as well. You can up the signal again to try to get the best picture everywhere.

Keep in mind that every time you make this adjustment, you are adjusting the signal level for the whole house—not just for the TV you are observing.

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