DIY TV Link / TV FM Link

To watch TV I use an “iPod Car / Automobile FM Stereo Transmitter” on the TV side ($4.40 on eBay.com: 200 Channel LCD FM Transmitter) and the FM radio of an MP3 player (or your iPod’s, nano’s or any other portable FM stereo receiver). My iCom, plugged into the 3.5mm jack of the MP3 Player / FM Radio, acts as a pair of earbuds. Any other DAI / neckloop interface will work if it can be plugged into the headphone jack of your MP3 Player, FM Radio or TV {1}.

For 2 TVs you need 2 FM transmitters, so you need to buy 2 transmitters and set each one to a different channel (easy child’s play). If your TV or stereo has RCA output jacks (most do) I recommend you buy an adapter cable {2}. It’s worth it, you will enjoy top sound, other TV viewers are not silenced or silence you, you regulate your volume settings on your FM receiver / MP3 Player. If your home theater is already plugged into the TV’s “AUDIO/OUT” jack I recommend you use / buy an “RCA splitter cable” {1}.

BTW, many of these cheap, made-in-China FM receivers have the “campus radio” frequency band, 70MHz and up, the same FM as used in churches, concert halls, auditoriums… Such an MP3 player with bultin FM receiver you’ll buy on eBay for much less than $20 “9-out-of-10” times !

Watching TV over Bluetooth is or might be like watching a “lip-sync’d” movie. Unless both, the Bluetooth transmitter and the Bluetooth receiver have very fast (AD/DA) converters, the sound will arrive in your ears with an annoying noticeable delay. IMHO the Phonak iCom Bluetooth is [too] slow and its Bluetooth-mode battery life is too short for TV viewing (as seconded by gekko, see TVLink evaluation, here). You don’t get that delay from FM and the iCom’s battery lasts much longer.

{1} If you need help with such cords, cables, adapters, the technician at your local RadioShack, TV/Stereo Service Center likely knows and has what you need.
{2} male-RCA to female 3.5mm stereo audio adapter cable, below:

Installation / Trouble Shooting Guide

1- make sure your FM Transmitter gets power from any USB AC adapter / charger plugged into the FM Transmitter’s USB port or from a 12V DC source plugged into the FM Transmitter’s DC-IN jack (either-or BUT not both !!)

2- wire your iPod / FM receiver to your HAs and listen to some FM station.

3- next, find a quiet spot on your FM dial (no FM station, usually at the low end, near or below 88MHz)

4- read the exact frequency, say 87.5 MHz and

5- set the FM Transmitter to this exact same frequency

6- turn on your TV, tune to a strong station, set the audio volume to a normal level

7- plug the FM Transmitter’s 3.5mm headphone plug into the HEADHONE jack of your TV. This should cut off the TV’s speaker(s). If it does not you may have a home theater system, meaning more options, more benefits for you - ask the tech wizzard in your family or neighbourhood to check this out and connect the FM Transmitter to the main amplifier’s AUDIO-OUT

8- if the TV was silenced you should now hear the TV’s sound on your iPod / FM receiver

9- adjust the TV’s VOLUME up/down, as well as your iPod’s / FM radio’s for best sound quality

10- likewise try different frequencies for best reception. Store this best frequency in your FM Transmitter and your iPod / FM receiver

11- last, connect the FM Transmitter directly to AUDIO-OUT using an appropriate stereo audio adapter cable {2}. If your TV has no AUDIO-OUT jacks, for best range / reception I recommend you get a 3.5mm stereo audio extension cord (short cable with 3.5mm female plug at one end and a 3.5mm male plug the other end) and physically place the FM Transmitter as far away from METAL (shelf, table), TV and/or other devices or components

12- after each power failure, unplugging of the FM Transmitter or prolonged TV “Off” time you may have to turn the FM Transmitter back on, verify and reset the frequency

My post is about one specific 200 Channel FM Transmitter which works well in a “worst condition” urban environment (see picture and links, above). Prior to this one I tried two others which performed miserably but might work well enough in most rural / suburban areas and homes.

Andreas, I am using Phonak’s Easylink FM transmitter to listen to TV. It works OK but it is mono not stereo. I am awaiting delivery of an FM transmitter so I can do your hook up and get stereo TV sound! Thanks for the info.

I am interested in an FM receiver which can receive “Campus radio” so I can directly tune to signals in halls and in church. Do you know which MP3 player I should buy in order to get this feature?

Thanks,
Gilbert

I initially bought this Orpheus FM Full-Band 72…108MHz Radio on eBay. hearinglosshelp.com lists it for $74.77

Later I bought a 3" screen MP4 / MP3 player with FM Radio. To my delight I discovered in its setup menu that you can choose the desired FM Band: USA/Canada, Europe, Asia, … and Campus Radio. There are 1’000s of such MP3, MP4 with FM listed on eBay <–click. Not one mentions or states that its FM Radio includes the low end 72MHz band. Likely most of them do because they use the same chip set and are sold and shipped worldwide. Please come back here later. Meanwhile I’ll do a bit more research…

I also have the http://www.landmarkfm.com/LM-Products-Orpheus.html which I use at church. I also have the transmitter, but have not used it much (because I usually listen to my bedroom TV with FM headphones in the morning when I’m not ready to put my HAs in).

Andreas,
Do you know if the ipod nano with fm radio would work? I’m really not up to speed on all this bluetooth technology but am trying to learn because my son bought me the icom with Voiss. I haven’t connected it yet. Your messages have been very helpful - thanks!

Andreas, I purchased one of these transmitters from eBay and I was disappointed with the result. The volume and sound quality were both very poor. I don’t know whether the problem was with my MP3 Player/FM Radio or the transmitter. Also, I did not receive from the FM transmitter on the frequency indicated. I had to find the “station” by using the auto scan feature of my radio.

Thanks,
Gilbert

Likely you purchased another model designed for use inside a car/truck cab ONLY (low power, VERY short range). If not, I just added an Installation / Trouble Shooting Guide to my original post. Hope this helps !!

… as an afterthought, could it be… hmm, can you post the link or the exact title of the item you bought ?

Andreas, here’s the link to the transmitter that I bought on eBay

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130406432331

This transmitter can only operate on 4 frequencies, all in the 106 to 108 MHz range which is already used by local radio stations.

I have now found on eBay what looks like the exact match for the one which you are recommending - 200 channel LCD FM Transmitter. I will now buy this one and see how it works.

Thanks,
Gilbert

The 1st one you bought might have arrived broken or was a defective factory reject. This one should have worked just fine, assuming:
1- at least 1 of the preset frequencies is clear, no strong FM stations “bleeding” / interfering
2- your receiver can be set to the exact same frequency
3- its short cable may need to be extended: a) to make a better antenna and b) place the transmitter further away from your TV, Stereo, etc. (see point 11 in post #1)
4- if plugged into the TVs HEADPHONE jack, remember to turn up the TV’s VOLUME even though the TV’s speakers are cut off !!

In my post (#1) the blue text are clickable links !!