If you have questions about our service or you would like to get advice about a new installation
or upgrading to a Digital Ready MATV / SMATV / TDT (Pay TV) system please contact us.
The Different Existing TV Distribution Systems
In general it is the case that buildings which are wired in a “star system” won’t require rewiring while buildings wired in a “loop system” should be rewired.
However, out of our experience we can say that some of these old systems can be set up in a way that digital signals are acceptable throughout loop systems as well.
Note: New installations should be “star wired” only!
Further Industry & Government recommendations for Digital Ready Systems are:
- F-type Connectors
- Quad Shielded RG6/RG11 Cable
Even now, years after the analogue TV cut off, we still come across buildings that are not 'digital ready'. TV reception in these buildings is either just working or many residents have signed up to Foxtel to have some TV service.
Every building still experiencing issues should be visually inspected and signal measurements taken from the antenna, the distribution amplifiers and a number of units, generally the furthest ones. The quality of the installed parts should be checked and most importantly the type of cable and the way it is run. The company contacted with this should supply a full report with system drawings, details of the installed parts and measurements of ALL available Digital Channels in the form of data loggers etc showing exactly what the problems are and recommendations on how to fix them.
(Data Loggers are automatically created files from spectrum analyzers, containing signal strength & quality measurements which show if there are problems with digital signals. Digital spectrum analyzers are measurement equipment that is essential for a company which is working with digital TV signals.)
This initial appraisal, if carried out correctly, should take a technician approximately 4-5 hours for a building with 10-100 units including generating a report and is necessary to plan further steps.
This survey will (in most cases) make it possible to classify buildings into 3 different groups:
A- Building is already Digital Ready
There might be no
or only little further work required. To be safe, all push in type connections
could be replaced with F-type and (where easily possible) cables which are not
Quad Shielded could be replaced with Quad Shielded ones.
(There is still the possibility that a number of outlet plates are faulty or that there are other individual problems within units. That’s why tenants should be notified that the building is digital ready and to be asked that whoever is experiencing issues with digital reception should report them to their Strata Company so they can be sorted out before the analogue switch off.)
B- Signal received/distributed is not good enough for stable Digital Reception
In these cases we
suggest a 2-step process.
Firstly to upgrade the antenna, the main amplifier and the cables joining these as well as upgrading splitters & taps within the headend/backbone part of the system to F-type to make sure there is a solid reliable signal going into the distribution system.
Second, once this is done and good digital signals out of the head end are established and distributed to the units, it then again needs to be checked what signal strength & quality is received at the closest and furthest units.
(In many cases this upgrade will be enough together with some fixes for individual units as per description in part A-)
If however digital signals are still bad at outlets plates, rewiring the building entirely or partly has to be considered and checked for possibilities.
(Note: Even if upgrading antenna, amplifier etc. does not make the whole building digital ready, the money spent would not be wasted as this work will have to be done even if the building needs rewiring later on.)
C- Digital Signals received and distributed are good –
Digital Signals at outlets are bad
In these few cases the building will have to be rewired. If it would be possible to run a new backbone only, or if every unit needs a new feed will have to be tested with a detailed survey.
(This will be the case for example where the installed cable is old style ribbon cable or air core cable in some cases, or where there are too many units connected through the same loop.)
This, of course, is some basic information only but the initial survey will give you more certainty about the situation in every individual building.
Before awarding a
Digital TV installation/upgrade to a company, consider & check:
- Does the installer use a Spectrum Analyzer?
- Do they supply you with a detailed report including data logs?
- Does the installer have extensive and long experience in digital TV system installation & service in Multi Dwelling Units? (There is a huge difference in TV systems between “normal domestic installations” and MATV - Master Antenna TV Systems, which means one antenna feeds tens, hundreds or thousands of outlets, check for recent jobs & existing customers)
- Request details of equipment which will be installed
- When comparing quotes do not compare the price only but also the descriptions of the parts to be installed & work to be carried out
DigiSat also offers consulting only as well as quality assessments of installations to make sure everything is as it should be.
As a guideline, DigiSat’s charge for the initial survey of a single building would be $150-$300 (excluding GST) including report. This fee would be waived if any subsequent work over $3000 (excluding GST) will be awarded to DigiSat as a result of this survey and DigiSat’s recommendations.
Please note that –as in any other trade as well- initial prices and quotations of a good and qualified installation company might not be the cheapest because of the quality of the parts, costs of proper measurement equipment & training for employees but using cheap equipment and unqualified labour will cost customers more later on.
In addition, reliable installers will always allow for the worst case scenario and fix problems properly, as they will still be available in case something would go wrong, while many of the companies offering 'a cheap solution' won't be around for too long.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter; if you have any other questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
& Ingo Ruhe