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How do you do....it? Thread, Digital TV signal over coax in Technical; Hey all, My IT director just charged me with finding out what kinds of video distribution we have at each ...
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    Question Digital TV signal over coax

    Hey all,

    My IT director just charged me with finding out what kinds of video distribution we have at each of our 5 schools. No problem there.

    Here's where things get more interesting. He wants a recommendation on where we should go from here, when retrofitting these schools for digital signals.

    ...the typical setup at our high school is a cable TV type input, running from a main box via coax all to each classroom in the building; all classrooms have a mounted TV. Our middle school and elementary schools use a similar input signal via coax, but most classrooms do not already have TV's installed - instead they are checked out when teachers request them.

    Example suggestions:
    -Buy digital tuners for each of our classroom TV's to pick up the digital signal being broadcast in 2009
    -As possible, replace older TV's with digital tuner-equipped TV's
    -Buy monitors with converters for use with video over IP, using our network wiring

    -Will our current coax wiring handle a digital signal
    -Cost (!!)

    Has anyone ever tackled this sort of issue before? I'm pretty weak in the video signal department and will be doing a good bit of research on this next week.

    My initial thoughts are basically:

    For the fewer TV's in the MS and elementary schools, price digital converter boxes, as the # of TV's is small.

    For the HS, compare the price of going to video over IP versus other options (both seem expensive when talking the # of TV's).

    I'd love any ideas you all have. Thanks!

    ..In editing this post and thinking further about the issue, I think I need more information from my director. I'm not getting a clear impression of the problem. ...more to come next week, for sure.
    Last edited by LCPSWolf; 20th June 2008 at 09:13 PM. Reason: Additional info

  2. #2
    richard.thomas's Avatar
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    Depends on how your current system works. If you have a signal coming from an aerial and then going into some sort of splitter/booster then I reckon you want to get a digibox for your current TVs at the middle and elementary schools. No point replacing complete TV box unless you have enough money / current equipment is on the way out.

    What are the TVs actually going to be used for? I presume it's for teaching and would be included in lesson plans and therefore each TV/Classroom has to be showing something different. If this isn't the case and you're broadcasting the same stuff out I'd have a look at some digital signage solutions as most of these offer a DVD/TV input

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Do the classes need to be able to watch different channels or is it just one channel that is broadcast out. If the classes will all be watching the same channel you should be able to keep the existing tvs and just get one digital to analogue converter, if you can get one with RF output put that signal down your existing coax. If you can't get one with RF out there are AV to RF converters available that you could use.

    The whole school could only watch one channel at once and it would have to be changed centrally but depending on how your existing system functions this could still work for you.

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    Bearing in mind that you are in the US and most of us are in the UK, take whatever advice with a pinch of salt. What is available to us may be different to what you can get/need.

    It sounds like you are trying to create a CATV distribution system, which you should be able to do using the existing coax (provided it started life as GOOD coax, and hasn't filled with water, or been otherwise damaged). These systems are put into apartment blocks (See? I do speak American!) and some quite large developments so that one satellite dish can be distributed to all units. It is more or less the same as you are trying to achieve.

    If you have a look at this site (the catalogue is in .pdf form) Taylor Brothers, you can see the type of distribution equipment available. The UK office are very knowledgeable and helpful!

    You can either leave the signal as digital and distribute this, or convert several digital channels near the aerial to a UHF signal and modulate this on a a coax to your classrooms.

    On a big site it isn't going to be trivial in equipment, design or installation costs.

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    How much TV is watched live? It's been a long time since I've known a class to watch a live TV programme (other than some special event)

    If you don't need live TV then would it be better to look at some system for recording TV programs (perhaps centrally) and then distributing them over your IP network?

    If you do need live TV then try looking at the systems used by hotels - I'm guessing they're doing pretty much what you want to do.

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