Best Western 88 Room DRE setup

Claude Greiner

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Yeah, it makes no sense that Directv doesn't support clients in a commercial environment. They are cheaper, smaller, lower power, could be used over twisted pair or wireless instead of coax only, etc. etc.
You can use them on a private viewing account, and on a sports bar account where 4K is needed.

Only advantage to clients is they run on a lower frequency. I even ran a 4K client once over cat5 using (2) Deccas
 

slice1900

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You can use them on a private viewing account, and on a sports bar account where 4K is needed.

Only advantage to clients is they run on a lower frequency. I even ran a 4K client once over cat5 using (2) Deccas
Yeah I know about the special case for HR54+C61K per TV to get 4K in a public viewing account, but didn't know that private business viewing accounts allowed Genies/clients.

I just don't get why they don't allow them for public viewing. HS17s with the DVR function disabled would be a great solution. They are going to have to do something eventually, I can't see them continuing with the status quo forever as the H2x line ages and ages (and especially if real 4K sports channels ever appear)

At some point I might have to learn more about those 'COM' headend systems, and figure out what I'd need and how much it would cost. My H20s can't last forever, and once I can't find them on eBay any longer I'll be forced to make a decision.

I stick with them because of the built in tuner; the AM21 solution of two boxes per TV sucks so I had thought I might be able to convert to H25 + LCC but they decided not to support the LCC on the older hardware. H20s and the AM21/LCC will become less and less important if some of the stations around me begin going ATSC 3.0 - if the 'COM' systems introduce an ATSC 3.0 tuner card that could make that solution compelling for me to look at in a year or two. Even if 4K locals never happen they will have far better quality on ATSC 3.0 thanks to the much better compression.
 

Claude Greiner

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I do Comm headend systems. They are great, but you basically get a scrolling guide and so many channels.

There is nothing wrong with H25’s. Granted they are going on 8-10 years old, but they get the job done. You really don’t need any more functionality in a commercial environment.

As far as the genies in a commercial environment. It makes no sense. It wouldn’t be practical to have a receiver dependent on a server
 

Bilbo1

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Always love seeing these posts. I wish there was a definite "list" of hotels with DRE systems. I've always wanted to stay at a hotel that has it, but have never found one in our areas we typically travel to.
So, I stayed at the Hilton at L'Enfant Plaza in DC a couple of times in the past six months... They have a system where you can cast from your phone through their wifi to the TV. They also have mid-teir cable channels, ESPN/ESPN2, CNN, a couple of other news/sports/entertainment channels...

This hotel was undergoing renovations, so I figure it's a newer system. The only place I've seen this system.

I ended up streaming a show from Netflix.

Point being, I'm curious whether these types of systems will turn up more and more on hotels. Also, how difficult will it be to implement these types of systems?


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Claude Greiner

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So, I stayed at the Hilton at L'Enfant Plaza in DC a couple of times in the past six months... They have a system where you can cast from your phone through their wifi to the TV. They also have mid-teir cable channels, ESPN/ESPN2, CNN, a couple of other news/sports/entertainment channels...

This hotel was undergoing renovations, so I figure it's a newer system. The only place I've seen this system.

I ended up streaming a show from Netflix.

Point being, I'm curious whether these types of systems will turn up more and more on hotels. Also, how difficult will it be to implement these types of systems?


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It depends on the owner of the hotel.

Some places just want the cheapest installation possible to get HD, while others are spending tens of thousands of dollars.

Directv has got the advanced entertainment platform that combines streaming. Dish has some garbage called evolve, which is similar.

There are some other hybrid systems out there that incorporate into the check in system and will display the bill and allow check out on the Tv.
 

slice1900

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I do Comm headend systems. They are great, but you basically get a scrolling guide and so many channels.

Realistically, and not including seasonal stuff like NFLST, a restaurant/sports bar may only watches a dozen or so channels plus locals anyway. Assuming it provides a way where channels could be "replaced", that is:

i.e. if one of the QAM channels is currently used by ESPNU but none of the TVs are tuned to it, and an attempt is made to switch one of the TVs to FS1 which none of the channels are set to it would switch the channel used by ESPNU to FS1.

I know some matrix systems can do stuff like that, not sure if the COM system is able to or it is targeted more at the static mappings that headends typically do. If they can't do that you'd need to set it up with mappings for all the NFLST channels even though you only use those a few hours a week, and while you could switch them out seasonally it would still be a pain and require licensing a lot more QAM capacity than you'd need if it could change the mappings dynamically based on need.

But either way a finite number of channels is all you need, you aren't ever going to put on Discovery Channel or MTV2 or whatever, and the guide is rarely used (we print off a schedule of sports each week and keep it behind the bar - that's easier than having bartenders fumble around with the guide trying to find a specific game when the place is slammed)
 

HoTat2

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You can do a COMM for a sports bar. It’s called media tune.

Basically 1 qam channel per Tv. Everything is controlled via iPad.

Makes sense when you got 30 or more televisions
I thought a COM system is like a CATV system for distribution?

Where there is no relation between the number of TVs and QAM channels.

The TVs, regardless of their exact number, all share the same total group of QAM channels. And each individual QAM channel carries two or more DIRECTV channels as a time-shared MPTS just like digital cable.

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Claude Greiner

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I thought a COM system is like a CATV system for distribution?

Where there is no relation between the number of TVs and QAM channels.

The TVs, regardless of their exact number, all share the same total group of QAM channels. And each individual QAM channel carries two or more DIRECTV channels as a time-shared MPTS just like digital cable.

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The media tune app is a reverse headend.

Each Tv or group of televisions gets fixed on 1 QAM channel.

Instead of changing the channel on the Tv, the channel is changed on the headend using the iPad app.

If you have 30 or more televisions, this makes a lot more sense to wire than putting boxes on each Tv
 

slice1900

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The media tune app is a reverse headend.

Each Tv or group of televisions gets fixed on 1 QAM channel.

Instead of changing the channel on the Tv, the channel is changed on the headend using the iPad app.

If you have 30 or more televisions, this makes a lot more sense to wire than putting boxes on each Tv

From what I've read about the COM3000 the QAM module it comes with starts with 16 QAM channels and is software upgradeable to 48. Are these RF QAM channels, so 16 QAM channels they talk about would allow supporting 48 TVs if they carried three HD channels per QAM? Or is it one TV per QAM, so if you had 30 TVs you'd need to upgrade the license to 30 QAMs?

Sounds like one of the tuner modules gives you 8 SWM channels to start and is upgradeable to as many as 23. I couldn't see needing more than a dozen, and even that's probably overkill if I add an ATSC card to pick up my locals.

Is the QAM stuff even necessary? The thing outputs ethernet, right? If you don't have hotel type TVs the pro:idiom boxes you'd need handle ethernet input, so it seems like you could dispense with QAM entirely and run over twisted pair instead of coax.
 

HoTat2

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The media tune app is a reverse headend.

Each Tv or group of televisions gets fixed on 1 QAM channel.

Instead of changing the channel on the Tv, the channel is changed on the headend using the iPad app.

If you have 30 or more televisions, this makes a lot more sense to wire than putting boxes on each Tv
But this sounds like you're saying each TV always stays tuned to only a single QAM RF channel frequency. Which would mean the specific DIRECTV channel that modulates the QAM channel can be changed by remote command from the Media Tune app.

So that means there is only one DIRECTV channel carried per QAM channel at any time.

Is that the way it works?

Which doesn't make sense as most assuredly the integrator instruction manuals for these various COM system speak of multiple DIRECTV channels carried by each QAM RF channel.

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Claude Greiner

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But this sounds like you're saying each TV always stays tuned to only a single QAM RF channel frequency. Which would mean the specific DIRECTV channel that modulates the QAM channel can be changed by remote command from the Media Tune app.

So that means there is only one DIRECTV channel carried per QAM channel at any time.

Is that the way it works?

Which doesn't make sense as most assuredly the integrator instruction manuals for these various COM system speak of multiple DIRECTV channels carried by each QAM RF channel.

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Each QAM channel can carry 3 HD channels.

For example 2 QAM channels RF channel 30.1, 30.2, 30.3, 31.1, 31.2 and 31.2

So if you had 30 Televisions each showing 1 channel, you would need to license 10 QAM channels and have 30 tuners licensed on the COMM.
 

slice1900

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Each QAM channel can carry 3 HD channels.

For example 2 QAM channels RF channel 30.1, 30.2, 30.3, 31.1, 31.2 and 31.2

So if you had 30 Televisions each showing 1 channel, you would need to license 10 QAM channels and have 30 tuners licensed on the COMM.
OK that's what I figured but it wasn't clear from the info on Technicolor's site. So as long as you have enough SWM tuners licensed to cover the maximum number of different Directv channels you'd want to tune to on all your TVs, you're fine.

Do you happen to know what the ballpark pricing is on this stuff? It isn't something you can google, the places that carry it all say "call" and probably cater only to installers anyway.
 

HoTat2

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Yeah ....

Sorry to be such a dolt on this issue ...

But it seems that it should be that as long as you have enough virtual channel slots among all the QAM RF carriers to carry every licensed SWiM channel you want to provide on your COM headend system. The number of connected TVs, from one to whatever, is irrelevant.

As each P:I TV may tune to any time multiplex slot on any QAM RF carrier frequency on the system.

Again, like a digital cable system ....

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slice1900

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Yeah ....

Sorry to be such a dolt on this issue ...

But it seems that it should be that as long as you have enough virtual channel slots among all the QAM RF carriers to carry every licensed SWiM channel you want to provide on your COM headend system. The number of connected TVs, from one to whatever, is irrelevant.

As each P:I TV may tune to any time multiplex slot on any QAM RF carrier frequency on the system.

Again, like a digital cable system ....

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Yeah, so long as the numbers work for the upfront cost of the system the only cost to adding additional TVs is the $100 or so for the pro:idiom set top box. It isn't like a giant sports bar with 100 TVs is likely to watch more different channels at once than one with 30. It will just have more TVs tuned to each channel.

Obviously this solution isn't going to work for the small place with fewer than 10 TVs, because the cost of the headend portion amortized per TV is likely to be pretty considerable. Makes more sense for them to stick with receivers, though they may be SOL as far as 4K if Directv doesn't ever provide a better solution for that.

If you go 4K you'd lose the 3:1 sharing you get with HD channels so you'd need more QAM licenses, which is why I'm curious whether QAM is required or not - it would be a superior solution if could run via ethernet to those set tops.
 

slice1900

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Since I've got time to kill these days I downloaded the manual for the COM3000 to answer my own questions. It does support an IPTV config without needing a QAM card, but there's a mention of needing a QAM license that is normally supplied by the card if you do so. So while it may be a simpler system that way, it may not be any cheaper if the license cost is similar to the cost of the QAM card itself.

There's also a compatibility matrix that shows the COM360 chassis (used in the older COM2000) is compatible with the COM51 cards that are designed to connect to a DSWM30 instead of 8 tuner analog SWM like the COM46. What isn't clear is if that config would support 4K channels. There is less bandwidth for the ethernet (the COM400 has 10 GbE ports) but 1 gigabit should be more than enough since it do IPTV via multicast, so it has the bandwidth to support probably 25-30 different 4K channels at once via IP but whether it is fully compatible with 4K (especially if Directv ever actually uses bonded transponders) is another matter.

But if that works (or if you don't mind replacing the chassis someday if 4K ever happens) the COM360 chassis is probably "good enough" and might save some money assuming you could find one on eBay. Out of curiousity I checked eBay to see what there was, nothing current but a used empty COM360 chassis sold for $500 last month.

It looks like it is pretty easily controllable via IP as well, so you don't need to use their iPad app. I'd probably use one of the smartphone remote control apps instead which I could also set up to control my sound system, so I could have all my managers install it on their phone without needing a dedicated tablet. Given how many remotes for the sound system I've had to buy over the years, I'd hate to see iPads suffer the same fate of getting drinks spilled on it or falling into a sink behind the bar!
 

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