One last look back at 2013

Ah, December 31. The only day of the year that we even remember that “auld” is a word. So full of hope for the future, so full of wistful remembrance of the past. We’ve talked about what happened in 2013 in the world of PCssmartphones, and DIRECTV… it seemed like it would be a good time to talk about what didn’t happen in 2013.

In 2013, no one invented a magic antenna that could pick up signals from 150 miles away. That’s because there is no such thing. Despite competitor claims, there are some very solid scientific and regulatory reasons why you just won’t get HDTV reception at that distance. Antenna makers who say you will are just trying to get your money.

While we saw a bunch of new products this year, no one has yet created a booster for under $500 that will give you better reception in all five important bands so that you can get better voice AND data from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile phones.

Another thing that didn’t happen in the business world was any sort of sanity. Merger and purchase mania drove us nearly off a cliff, and the most costly deal of the year (Sprint) failed to stop that company’s hemorrhaging. The T-Mobile/MetroPCS merger was a bit more sane and did help both companies succeed.

In 2013 we didn’t see the kind of quantum jump in residential technology that we saw in 2012. Instead, both DISH and DIRECTV concentrated on second-generation products (Hopper with Sling and HR44 Genie) that improved upon the experience. We did see some big changes in the way that hotels worked as well as some changes to the bar and restaurant market, though.

802.11ac failed to be the big story this year as most people just didn’t care about networking that was 100x faster than their internet connections. On the other hand, MIMO antenna technology was everywhere, in our tablets and even in a new line of access points that let you boost your signal for miles.

2013 will probably be the last year we discuss mobile DTV, that failed experiment that would give you access to live TV in a moving car without a data plan. Consumers failed to fawn over the technology and there weren’t that many products that supported it. On the other hand, streaming live TV from your home has never gotten easier.

2013 has been a great year even with the things we didn’t get. What are you looking forward to in 2014?

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.