Getting TV in a Room Without a Wall Jack

Community member Goatyeah shot a message over to the TechLore Experts with a common, but frustrating problem that many apartment dwellers face. They asked:

Question: I recently moved into a great apartment, and in one bedroom they don't have a cable jack installed in the wall. The managers have told me I can't drill in the wall, but i need to have TV in that room. What can I do or buy to solve this problem? I dont mind spending a few $100 to get this solved.


Don't worry Goatyeah... there are solutions for getting around this problem. And the good news, some aren't even that expensive. What you'll need to do depends on a few factors, like what kind of source devices you have available, and whether or not you're looking to pump HDTV into this room. 

You didn't indicate what kind of TV source you have. I'm going to go on the assumption you have a pay TV service like cable or satellite. If you have rely on broadcast, you'd only need a set of rabbit ears to get TV in that second room.

The big question is quality. You'll need a different approach if you want to get high-definition quality. Going HD will cost significantly more, but the picture will also look significantly better.  

That said, there are more than two ways to skin a cat. Below are the two solutions that I would choose from; one more expensive and HD, the other less expensive and analog. 

1. Terk Leapfrog - Distributed A/V on a budget

If you're okay with analog quality, the Terk Leapfrog is your friend. This little kit comes with a transmitter and a receiver. Plug your source into the transmitter, and then plug the receiver into the TV. It includes an IR blaster, so you can even use your remote to control the source device from the other room.

With the Leapfrog, it really doesn't matter which service you have, so long as you have some kind of external box to tune the signal, meaning a cable box or satellite box. If you have basic analog cable services, a old VCR will suffice. 

You can pick up the Terk Leapfrog for less than $100 at .

2. Slingbox PRO-HD & SlingCatcher - Your TV in the other room, and even around the world.

If you're looking to go high def (or better prepare yourself for the digital age), I'd seriously look at the Slingbox PRO-HD and the SlingCatcher.

The cool part about this solution is that you'll not only be able to watch TV in that other room, but on any computer and many smartphones anywhere in the broadband connected world.

Slingbox connects to your cable or satellite box, as well as into your home network (I'm assuming you have a home broadband Internet connection and a home network router). Once you've gotten that set up, you'll be able to watch and control that TV source on any device that can run SlingPlayer, like computers and many different types of smartphones. There are several different models of Slingbox, but the PRO-HD will accept and stream in high defnition.

Slingbox PRO-HD has a built-in ClearQAM cable tuner, so you're not required to have a cable box or VCR with this solution if you have cable service.

SlingCatcher is an accessory device to the Slingbox that connects up to your home TV and router. It includes a version of the SlingPlayer software designed to let you watch and control your Slingbox and TV source on your TV. SlingCather can also play digital and audio files from devices like portable hard drives.

The downside to this solution is cost, the PRO-HD and Catcher add up to around $400 or more, even higher if you need a wireless or powerline networking solution. The plus side is that it does more than get you TV in one room, and it's a full high definition solution.

You can read a lot more about Slingbox-PRO-HD and SlingCatcher at our sister site,

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