Walt Mossberg

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Two Houses, One Cable TV Bill

Q:

I have a vacation home and I am paying for cable service at two houses. Is there a practical way to stream TV from one house to another and eliminate one cable bill?

A:

Probably the easiest option is to buy a Slingbox, a device that starts at $180. It connects to a cable box and streams the programming over the Internet to a PC or Mac, smartphone or tablet, using Sling’s SlingPlayer software. If you want to watch the streamed content at the other house on your TV screen, you can either beam it from a mobile device to the TV via a Roku or Apple TV, or purchase a small set-top box from one of several companies, like Western Digital, which build in the SlingPlayer software.

Q:

In my work I often visit places that don’t allow camera phones for security reasons. I currently have a BlackBerry Torch without a camera. I would like to upgrade to an iPhone or Android device. Do any of these type of phones come without a camera?

A:

There are no iPhones sold without cameras. And all of the best-known Android phones have cameras. However, I did a quick search for “android phone without camera” and found a handful, mostly sold in Asia. I haven’t tested any Android phones in the U.S. without cameras, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I also noticed an article about iPhones sold in Singapore, for use on military bases, that have been modified by removing the camera lens.

Email Walt at mossberg@wsj.com.


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