2 min read

Transitioning to IPTV: A Q&A for Healthcare Facilities

Transitioning to IPTV: A Q&A for Healthcare Facilities

Over the course of the last few months, many healthcare facilities have been notified that their cable companies will no longer provide traditional programming. This is occurring due to the shift towards fiber and IPTV, which requires a different head-end system to operate.

This trend is especially impacting rural facilities that can’t afford to upgrade their infrastructure, or may not have an IT department to help navigate the options available to them. This is causing many facilities to ask the question: what should we do next?

We sat down with Helen Dahlgren, Director of ProServices at PDi, for insight on how healthcare facilities should proceed.

Fiber 3

Why are facilities losing access to traditional cable TV providers?

As is the case with TV programming at home, many cable providers in commercial markets are moving towards streaming solutions for access to on-demand programming. The new solutions are a great alternative because they can give a huge boost of bandwidth with a single fiber cable going into the facility – up to 10 Gigs worth!

Not only is IPTV more efficient, but it’s also more cost-effective for providers, as fiber cables are more durable, easier to install, and require less maintenance.

Fiber 6

What can hospitals do to ensure they don’t lose programming for patients?

There are a few ways facilities can handle the situation. Obviously, the best option is to upgrade the infrastructure to accommodate fiber input. This means changing the head-end system to be compatible with the fiber handoff, while still providing the features that are important to hospitals, like channel aliasing, different channel lineups, etc. The price of the head-end equipment can range anywhere from $10K to $30K.

The head-end system can also use data cables to distribute IPTV. A lot of facilities are already pulling data to each patient room, so the value in this is patients can access the internet and TV programming both over a single data line.

IPTV has several benefits, such as longer cable runs with HD pictures and no significant signal loss. In some cases, TV, internet, and power can all run over the same data cable.

However, because the head-end equipment is so expensive, some facilities may need to make smaller changes until they can budget the money for a full infrastructure upgrade. This could be as simple as adding hardware to change the incoming signal from IP back to QAM. This would enable facilities to continue to use their old RF infrastructure. They won’t see the added bandwidth benefit, but this way patients won’t lose programming.

Fiber 5

Where should facilities look for their next steps?

If you can’t currently afford a full infrastructure upgrade, the first step is to find out what other cable companies serve your area. One way to do this is by visiting cabletv.com, where you can enter your zip code and see a list of all providers in your location. Another option is to ask neighboring businesses which providers they use.

Next, look at what the listed providers offer. You may be able to replace your provider without much change to your current equipment. This is the ideal scenario. Even if you have to make changes to your current equipment, there are cost-effective ways to manage the change, and PDi can help you with that.

The last step is to compare different channel line-ups and packages. Some packages contain popular features such as music and sports channels, whereas other packages provide limited channels that may not keep patients fully engaged. Additionally, be sure to ask your provider about ongoing deals – they want your business, so there’s a reasonable chance they’ll offer you additional savings.

If you’re still unsure of how to proceed or need more help navigating your options, PDi can help with a free consultation. Our ProServices team has a wide range of technical expertise and can find the best solution based on your facility’s needs.

Book a FREE consultation today!  

Patient TV Signal over Ethernet: IPTV

2 min read

Patient TV Signal over Ethernet: IPTV

Having worked at PDi as the Service Manager for over 13 years, it’s been a long time since we began discussing IPTV as a real option for healthcare...

Read More
The Benefits of IPTV in Healthcare Settings

3 min read

The Benefits of IPTV in Healthcare Settings

IPTV is emerging as the next evolution in TV distribution in healthcare facilities. This modern approach brings significant time and cost savings to...

Read More
A Closer Look at IPTV in Hospitals

4 min read

A Closer Look at IPTV in Hospitals

IPTVremains a prominent topic in the healthcare industry, steadily gaining momentum as a game-changer. In part one of our IPTV blog series, we...

Read More