Communal Sky install

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by t0by, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. t0by

    t0by
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    I live in a block of flats that currently just has terrestrial aerials. These are now so old that they are starting to fail so some of the residents have managed to persuade the residents association and landlords that it would be a good idea to replace them with a digital service.

    The problem is that no one really knows much about it and I am keen to do as much as I can to research the issue so that we don't make any mistakes. I'm really keen to get Sky/Sky+ and I also want to be sure that we future proof any installation to be capable of handling any new technology that may be on the horizon.

    This is also a sales opportunity for any of you dealers/installers in the Watford area. I know that no company has been awarded the contract yet so I should be able to get you in to provide a quote. FYI, there are a total of 42 flats, on 3 floors in 3 separate blocks.

    If anyone is able to offer me advice on this project, I would be very grateful.

    Many TIA
    Toby Henderson
     
  2. IanW

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    Toby,

    If you are looking for a company to come and do this for you try giving my wife's business a call, they do these systems all the time. I have sent you PM.

    Ian.
     
  3. t0by

    t0by
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    Thanks, Ian. I will give her a call.

    Toby
     
  4. cjking

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    We're having an upgrade from analog cable to communal Digital set-up at the moment. Our management company and managing agents are extremely competent and thorough, so I've no doubt they have selected a very good company to do the work.

    Unfortunately I threw away the paperwork, all I can tell you about them at the moment is their name, "Community Vision."

    Apparently the system they are installing will utilise the existing coaxial cables going to each flat (which currently carry analog cable.) Apparently we will be able to use the new system to received Sky digitial, Digital terrestrial, Digital radio and FM radio.

    (I think the following info. I found via Google is the same company:-
    Community Vision Ltd
    Crundalls Ho/Gedges Hill
    Tonbridge
    TN12 7EA
    01892 722887
    )
     
  5. Fernsehman

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    I've no doubt they selected "lowest quote". Use the existing cables and combine that lot to send down them? Good luck! ;)
     
  6. cjking

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    I am wondering how this is all going to work. I have a feeling that there is going to be a box in my flat that decodes the coax into various aerial outputs. To re-use the existing coax, some sort of encoding/decoding would be needed anyway even if they were merely installing Sky, as Sky+ needs two coax inputs. I know decoding one coax into two for Sky+ is technically possible because I have come across info. on such systems on the internet.

    We were originally told they were just installing Sky, so I wonder if the leaflet saying we could have all these options is actually accurate.

    One of the other options the management company looked at was recabling, installing new coax plus fibre-optic (plus "cat5"?) to each flat. Obviously this would have been much more expensive (not least because there are 300+ flats and all lots of corridor floors would have to be taken up to lay cable) Not enough people were interested in the broadband access this would have supplied for it to be viable.

    The management company did employ an independent consultant to advise them on the options and help draw up the invitation to tender.
     
  7. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    WE have the same system for our showroom, Analogue TV modulated Digital TV, DTT, DSAT and CCTV all running round on a coax system. it is possible but complex and you will have issues with the system especially if existing coax is old and was cheapo stuff (which it probably was) we recently lost the whole system due to a screw peircing the coax feeding one side of the shop.
     
  8. cjking

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    Aarrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Got letter on friday asking me to make an appointment for installation this week. Letter says I can only have Sky+ if I already have two TV points in the flat. I do not.

    They are going to install a new faceplate with outputs for terrestrial TV, FM Radio and Satellite.

    Strangely, apart from ordinary Sky, they will also offer Eutelsat, if I want 600 foreign languange channels (which I don't)

    I will ask them why they cannot use a stacker/destacker. No doubt they will tell me that it is because the cable is too crap. I will have no way of knowing if they are lying, so I will have to just accept it. (I already don't trust them because their letter explains the Sky+ is only possible if there are two cables and makes no mention of stacker technology.)

    In previous letters and in residents meetings we were always told we would be able to get Sky+, with no mention of any restrictions.
     
  9. cjking

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    Well they told me bluntly that they will not ever install a stacker/destacker because it's too unreliable. I don't want to believe them, but from what I've read in various places I suspect they are right. My flat is part of a very complex block and the coax cable has a fairly long run, so it's far from an ideal scenario to even try this technology.
     
  10. Fernsehman

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    Accept the Eutelsat offer. That will get you the additional cable. Later, get them to hook it up to the Astra system.
     
  11. t0by

    t0by
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    Sounds like I am pretty much in the same boat as you cjking.

    We have now been told that they are going to use the existing coax, stick a triple faceplate on it (aerial, FM, sky) and that's that. If we want Sky+ we will have to pay for an extra cable run from the equipment.

    I queried whether the coax would be up to the job and was assured that its 'satellite ready'. Since the flats were built in the late 60's, and I suspect the aerials and cabling are at least 10-15 years old (at best), does anyone have any comments re. the likelihood of this statement being a bag of rubbish? Does anyone know, in technical terms, what I should be asking them in terms of defining how they can say for sure that its 'satellite ready'? Any way that I can test it or something? As you can tell, I am very sceptical...

    TIA
     
  12. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    SAT quality cable has been around for a long time but I seriously doubt that communial installers would have used CT100/RG6-11 to run cables to people's flats.....All co-ax will work but there is "work" and "WORK"......If you can get at the co-ax and it is solid insulator twin screen (braid and foil) then it might be OK, if it is cheap air spaced and single screen it might not....

    There is nothing wrong with triplexing signals into one cable and splitting them back out again at the wall, it just has to be done properly with good kit. SKY+ really really does need two cables from the multiswitch. I would never specify a stacker/destacker in any of our installs. Not even sure it would work with SKY+ anyway.

    Re-running cables in blocks of flats is a very expensive business normally. At best they resort to surface trunking in the corridors to do the runs as digging up the floors and chasing out the walls isn't economically viable....In contrast swapping over the head end to allow SAT provision isn't that expensive and really is quite easy.
     
  13. cjking

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    Laying new cables was ruled out as an option for us. I think it would have cost something in excess of £500 per flat. For that they would have taken up corridor floors and carpeting and install Coax + CAT5 + fibreoptic to just inside the front door of each flat. After that you would still have had to pay extra to cable inside your flat. Knowing how complicated the layout of our flats is I don't believe this quote was excessive. The extra cost of laying other cable types in addition was negligible once you were already paying for the floors to be taken up.

    In a way I'm relieved to know that Sky+ was never really a viable option - it's just unfortunate I was led to believe otherwise.

    I'm going to keep my eye on Home Choice. I live just outside their area of coverage in London. Now that they are going to carry the Sky Sports channels, they will be a viable alternative to Sky if/when they upgrade their infrastructure to provide full PVR functions. (At the moment they just let you replay a small selection of programs on a couple of channels.)

    I've already decided to switch my movie supply from Sky movie channels to Tesco DVD rental, so the lack of S-Video and digital surround sound on the ordinary Sky Digital box doesn't matter so much. (I needed S-Video to feed to my Iscan Pro line-doubler.)

    This weekend I bought a Digifusion Freeview PVR, which basically does the same things as Sky+ on Freeview channels. The only other channels I might want PVR functionality on are Sky One, E4, Paramount and Sky Sports. Maybe a DVD recorder will be a sufficient option for them.
     
  14. GrahamMG

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    Good luck!

    BTW, IMHO SKY+ is far better than any of the PVR alternatives, they simply have it sussed end of story.
     

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