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How much should a 24ch MDU Bulk Rack Cost

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by itzme, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Feb 3, 2011 #1 of 14
    itzme

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    I'm asking this for a friend who has works at an elderly care facility. He's wondering how much a he might expect to pay for a 24 channel MDU Bulk Rack System and Installation (that's the term he gave me). He's also wondering how much it might cost to add an in-house channel.

    Don't ask me alot of follow up questions, because I'm not really in the know. I think he's just looking for ballpark figures.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Feb 3, 2011 #2 of 14
    carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    I can't answer your question even if I knew more details, but I think you are going to have to provide a little more information.
    1. Standard definition or high definition?
    2. Is he wanting to have 24 DirecTV channels modulated and distributed? I would assume so or you wouldn't be asking in this forum. Any locals added into the mix, or is he assuming they will be part of the DirecTV feeds?
    3. What channels (recurring cost will vary based on this)?

    You might also indicate what city you are in. Perhaps someone here works that area and can provide a direct quote.
     
  3. Feb 3, 2011 #3 of 14
  4. Feb 3, 2011 #4 of 14
    itzme

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    I believe he's already gotten or is getting quotes. This would be in the mid-west, SD and HD channels, and I don't think he wants to consider the programming just yet, he knows he has options there. Yes, 24 channels (of the least expensive channels/packages).

    I wondered if you guys had a ballpark figure.
     
  5. Feb 3, 2011 #5 of 14
    BattleZone

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    There is a HUGE difference in cost between HD and SD.

    SD will work with virtually any TV, and the components are fairly common and simple. Cost for equipment is going to run around $200-250 per channel (bigger systems = lower per-channel cost). The specific circumstances will impact cost, of course. Many systems add an "in-house" channel with a DVD player; just add the cost of the DVD player to the normal channel cost. If you're trying to have a custom channel with graphics (event calanders, daily menus, etc.), then you've got to add the cost of a PC with a custom application and high-end video card (usually $2000-$3000).

    HD requires a lot of much more expensive head-end gear (figure $1500 or so per channel), and will require specific TVs that have a special Pro:Idiom decoder card in them. That means all TVs in the system generally have to be specifically bought to work with the head-end.

    All of this assumes that the location already has (good, well-balanced) coax distribution from the "head-end room" to the residents' rooms.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a system we built for a convenescent home, including an "in-house" channel with a DVD/VCR (top right).
     
  6. Feb 3, 2011 #6 of 14
    itzme

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    BattleZone, not knowing much about these systems, I'm impressed! With the system and the useful detail in your post, thanks so much!
     
  7. Feb 4, 2011 #7 of 14
    cabletech

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    To ITZME,

    1) Not able to open your link to your setup

    2) If your friend is looking for JUST THE RACK, you can get them for about $200.00. If he is looking at building a complete system, I will put it this way, in the last 45 days I put in a standard 15 channel DTV with 10 OTA complete with new dish and all rack equipment with install +/- $18,000.00 and then I put in a 30 channel plus 10 OTA complete +/- $28,000.00.

    I do use a little differant equipment then what Battlezone is showing, but it is all the same and I am feeding 100 old standard tv's on both systems.

    If you and your friend need or would like more information, connect me at cabletech03@hotmail.com.
     
  8. Feb 4, 2011 #8 of 14
    BattleZone

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    To be sure, I use a number of different configurations, depending on what the client is looking for. This particular customer wanted to go as cheap as possible on the headend, and had plenty of space for equipment, so I used full-sized modulators, which are much cheaper and are amplified to start with. In this system, no launch amp was needed.

    Other customers either want more channels or have a smaller space, and so those would get mini-mods, which are more expensive but use considerably less rack space. Here's an example, using Dish receivers. More channels, less floorspace, using mini-mods.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Feb 4, 2011 #9 of 14
    cabletech

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    hey battlezone I see we like the same equipment. No launch amp? Must be very small property.
     
  10. TwoPhases

    TwoPhases Legend

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    Nice rack!
     
  11. bigglebowski

    bigglebowski Legend

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    Battlezone said about what I would say in terms of cost for the type of system I imagine you are looking for. When looking for companies who do this or talking to Master System Operators they might call this type of system "SMATV" or "FTG". It seems like MDU type systems are more likely to have the receivers at the TV rather than in a head-end like other post pics show.

    We work for a hotel provider and here is an example of a mixed HD/SD system they use. Sorry for the bad pix quality this was a quick snap as it was still being tested and not finished. I posted it to point out how if you put in 24 channels of SD you could always add HD at a later time when hopefully more solutions will be available for systems of the scale you are after. As Battlezone pointed out they are VERY expensive right now. This particular system will only work in Pro:idiom environments like hotels where the TV is capable of decrypting the signal.

    The pic of the rear of the rack is a similar rack at another hotel.
     

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  12. BattleZone

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    That one was a lower-end convelescent home with 28 rooms (with 3 residents per room, in most cases). Some rooms had multiple TVs, but many only had one. Longest cable run was around 250'. We did all the distribution there; a home-run to each room through the attic.

    We've been doing a lot of high-end assisted living facilities lately, with room counts over 100, which require drop amps to balance out the system. As I'm sure you will agree, each system is unique. :)
     
  13. JoeTheDragon

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    You do not need a high end video card to run a slide show i have seen local city channels that show stuff like event calendars, and other info. It's just power point. video cards with s video out are cheap.
     
  14. BattleZone

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    I guess it depends on what kind of quality you are expecting. Most cards with analog composite or S-Video are mediocre at best. Many are downright lousy. Getting a card that does better will cost a little. It doesn't have to cost a fortune, though.

    Where the real cost comes in is the software. PowerPoint can work fine, BUT you need some pretty computer-savvy users to be able to update it and put it back in display mode over the network (via Remote Desktop or VNC). That's too much to ask of most users, so most folks choose a software that has a remote client that allows updates from multiple desktops and automatically updates the primary display with virtually no user intervention. This is pretty specialized software, and it isn't cheap, but without it, most folks would never have their stuff updated.

    Most elder-care facilities don't have anything approaching "IT staff" and need super simple solutions.
     

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