Streaming in a Business Environment

Discussion in 'Internet Television Hardware' started by chargedan86, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. chargedan86

    chargedan86 Topic Starter New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2017
    Posts:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Long time reader, first time poster. If this isn't the right forum for this issue, please feel free to move it, mods.

    I have a setup question for my TVs at work that I'm hoping to get some perspective on... We run a couple TVs in our lobby area. Because of lobby acoustics, the TVs generally run the same programming. Right now, each TV is sourced from an HD cable box in the back room, each over a long HDMI run.

    I would like to add the option of streaming. However, I need to be able to mirror the same signal to both TVs. I also need to be able to control the source from a remote location offsite. (For those reasons, I don't think it's going to work for me to simply plug in a Roku or Fire stick, though it would make things easier if I could get by with that.)

    What I was thinking of doing was setting up an old laptop (with good RAM and processor speed), and using a wireless HD transmitter to mirror the signal to both TVs. (I was specifically looking at the IOGEAR GW3DHDKIT.) I thought I would install remote desktop software on the laptop (probably Jump Desktop or Splashtop) for controlling the source remotely. I'm also considering signing up for an OTT service and ditching the cable.

    Is there any reason that this would not work for what I'm wanting to do? Or is there a better way?

    Any insight would be appreciated!
     
  2. Claude Greiner

    Claude Greiner SatelliteGuys Master
    Supporting Founder

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    Posts:
    10,808
    Likes Received:
    2,037
    Location:
    Detroit - The Paris of the Midwest
    Because you got to screw with it all day.

    With cable you leave it on Fox News or espn all day and forget about it
     
  3. chargedan86

    chargedan86 Topic Starter New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2017
    Posts:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Ok, perhaps I should clarify how we're using the TVs and why I'm looking to make the change...

    The boss wants to mostly run news, so we run news. Occasionally we'll run sports or a local event, but mostly news. We try to rotate the channels -- CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, sometimes something more focused like the Weather Channel or a business network. But I would like to be able to add some streaming networks -- CBSN, Sky News, Cheddar, and the like -- to the rotation as well.

    (I'll try to tread lightly with the following, since there are political implications and I'm not sure how much I can discuss those here.) We realize our customers have a wide range of political leanings, and given the partisan nature of U.S. media on all sides, we try to rotate the channels to accommodate everyone, as much as we reasonably can. But try as we might, some customers still feel the need to protest when we're running a certain channel that they think they disagree with.

    I have no intention of censoring these channels. I don't believe we should be in the business of censorship, and while one customer may think a certain channel is "fake news," another customer will think said channel is the only one telling it like it is.

    That being said, I'm sensitive to the fact that it sometimes puts my staff in an uncomfortable position, and I would be glad to thin out the frequency of these incidents by expanding the number of channels we run. Not to mention, I'm sure my staff gets tired of the debate segments that often pop up on the big 3 news nets. And admittedly, both my boss and I are news geeks to some degree, but we figure the more (relatively mainstream) sources we can have in the rotation, the better.

    Also, I'm not a big fan of the local cable company. If we could completely get away from doing business with them and save money, I'd be happy.

    For what I'm looking to do, I figure that once this is set up, we could usually just start a channel and let it run all day, not much different from what we're doing now. I don't see how I'd be having to screw with it all day, unless I'm missing something.

    So, is there any reason that the setup I described in my OP would not work for what I'm looking to do? Or is there a more efficient way to do it?
     
  4. navychop

    navychop Member of the Month - July 2014!
    Pub Member / Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Posts:
    43,974
    Likes Received:
    9,130
    Location:
    Northern VA
    Why not just run BBC World News all the time?

    Or AJ and upset everybody? Actually, they're not at all what people expect (in this country). But avoid that battle.

    I have no idea about if any licensing or fees are required for use in a business. But I'd sure love to learn. Beyond OTA, I suspect money must cross palms. And maybe even for OTA in a business use.
     
  5. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Posts:
    13,496
    Likes Received:
    1,330
    Location:
    Salem, OR
    I recommend against streaming in an office environment. In fact, I forbid it in my office environment. The cost of the extra bandwidth necessary to support multiple streams is usually much more expensive that most cable company Business TV plans and there's no futzing with extenders, video routers and switches.

    If you have unlimited bandwidth and don't plan on using it to accomplish business goals, then it comes down to how you might control it and that's typically not trivial for streaming sticks and inexpensive streaming boxes that only support on-lan control.

    I'd suggest an alternative of using cable TV in association with a Harmony Smart control and a couple of IR blaster cables. That way if they want to watch something else, they can take a remote out of the company safe and change the channel.

    Plusses:
    • Consumes zero broadband bandwidth (this is especially important if you had designs on using Wi-fi)
    • Few additional parts (if any) and no long, expensive HDMI cables and switchgear.
    • No jumping from a different TV service to station website and back to find the channels you want.
    Minuses:

    Dealing with your cable company (assuming you don't have to do that for other reasons anyway).

    My local Comcast offers Business TV for Offices for around $25/month and that's probably cheaper than a business-grade streaming service that gives you all the channels you want.
     
  6. chargedan86

    chargedan86 Topic Starter New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2017
    Posts:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Most cable companies offer a Business TV package, as harshness alluded to. Usually the Business packages cost a little more (outside promo pricing) or have a more focused channel offering than home packages, and as I understand it, are supposed to cover any public display licensing.

    I appreciate you bringing this up, though. I'd want to make sure my ducks are in a row before making this kind of switch.

    We're actually on a Business TV package with the cable company currently. It's supposed to include most of the news channels but for some reason excludes BBC World News (and CNN International), and I don't feel it's worth $50 more per month just for those two channels. If I can work it out to run Sky News, I'd feel our quota for relatively unbiased UK-based news was met (and personally, I tend to prefer Sky to BBC anyway).

    I have watched some AJ and agree with you. At least based on their English channel, I don't find them to be quite what they're often perceived to be, and in a way wouldn't mind running it. But I'd be a little trigger-shy because of their reputation, fair or not, in this country. (Heck, they have a bad enough reputation, fair or not, in their own part of the world!)

    We have a high enough bandwidth cap that a single stream shouldn't be a problem. Of course, I haven't tested in that office yet and would want to do so before jumping in headlong.

    The Harmony Smart control sounds intriguing. But am I reading it right, that you can only use the app to control your system if you're on the same wi-fi network? I do need offsite control access to be able to program it from remote locations.
     
  7. navychop

    navychop Member of the Month - July 2014!
    Pub Member / Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Posts:
    43,974
    Likes Received:
    9,130
    Location:
    Northern VA
    I'll have to look around for Sky. Maybe it's on Pandora.
     
  8. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Posts:
    13,496
    Likes Received:
    1,330
    Location:
    Salem, OR
    I was thinking in terms of controlling it through a VPN connection. I hadn't contemplated that the Harmony would be connected to a second subnet so that may torpedo that solution. In my case, my Harmony is on the same subnet as everything else.
     
  9. chargedan86

    chargedan86 Topic Starter New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2017
    Posts:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Not sure about Pandora. Sky News does stream live on YouTube, Pluto TV, and their own website/app.
     
  10. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Posts:
    13,496
    Likes Received:
    1,330
    Location:
    Salem, OR
    This is one of the weaknesses with streaming: You have to figure out how to reliably "tune" many of the "channels" and some of them repeat over the course of a day because they aren't set up to be linear.
     
  11. navychop

    navychop Member of the Month - July 2014!
    Pub Member / Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Posts:
    43,974
    Likes Received:
    9,130
    Location:
    Northern VA
    I can't find Sky on Pandora. I'll try YouTube.
     
  12. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Posts:
    13,496
    Likes Received:
    1,330
    Location:
    Salem, OR
    Sky News Live:



    I'm not sure how you might make something like YouTube work on a TV with any kind of consistency and without a certain amount of human intervention.

    Sky News reminds me why I stopped watching news.
     

***

Separate names with a comma.

More...