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 facilities. We have reached that point now where IPTV is within reach for any facility. With some cost savings and a better patient experience, this makes IPTV an attractive option in healthcare facilities today to broadcast what matters most.
PDi has long been considered experts in RF distribution systems for healthcare. IPTV is a different animal, and it has different rules. IPTV also has a lot of advantages. Don’t rule it out because it’s different. Sometimes new and different is better.
Check out our 3-part Podcase Series on IPTV.
IPTV Advantages for Healthcare
The basic premise of IPTV is that delivering the TV signal over ethernet provides a consistent HD signal over a longer distance at a cheaper labor and material cost. Let’s break that down. Ethernet is less expensive, easier to work with and can be run longer distances than Coax. It also allows for internet access over the same cable. Power over Ethernet (POE) is available as well, which provides power, TV signal, and internet connection over one CAT6a cable.
Shorter install times
For installers, IPTV benefits include shorter install times and less expensive materials. Ethernet cable is lighter, easier to bend in corners, and can run much longer distances.
The ability to support the TV headend remotely is a great benefit for the facility and for the installer. A few years ago, facilities staff wouldn’t consider allowing remote access to a hospital IT network. However, today many healthcare facilities are in the process of having upgrades to their networks to support high speed data and ensure data security. It is a benefit to healthcare facilities staff to know that a trusted partner like PDi can jump online and troubleshoot any issues remotely.
The footprint of an IPTV system at the headend is tiny compared to the space an old analog system took up. These days the hardware takes 3-6 RU in a rack and the cooling requirements are easier to support. Recently, we disassembled a headend in a facility with 68 channels (68 channel modulators) all analog with an H25 DIRECTV® receiver for each channel. The racks took up most of the closet. The new COM3000 DIRECTV headend system took up one shelf in the rack and created a much cooler and spacious environment. The power consumption is much less also.
Who should consider IPTV?
Thinking of upgrading to IPTV in your hospital? Talk to PDi first. IPTV may be for you
- if you are remodeling a hospital and pulling out old coax,
- if you have cable runs over 150 feet,
- if you have a tiny or no electrical closet, or
- if you are installing a POE infrastructure.
The only times I wouldn’t consider it for an installation are (1) if there are TVs other than PDi sets in the mix that may or may not work with an IPTV stream, or (2) if an infrastructure already exists with a high-quality solid copper core coax that can provide strong TV signal and power for PDi arm mounted TVs.
Lastly, with IPTV, the TV signal can come into the building as Fiber or QAM and be distributed over CAT6a. It will work with most cable companies and satellite companies.
Give us a call to discuss your options if you are looking to upgrade to IPTV or any part of your patient TV experience. At PDi, we are with you every step of the way.