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MDU headend displaying the channel?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by paradisesatellite, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. paradisesatellite

    paradisesatellite New Member

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    Dec 2, 2007
    I have a 150 room hotel headend on Dish and the management has requested that the channel be displayed when they change channels. They currently have 36 channels modulated to rf distribution. Can this be done at the headend or what??

    Please help me understand!
     
  2. vader78

    vader78 Cool Member

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    Aug 29, 2008
    When you mean channel displayed do you mean channel name or channel number? please clarify. These would have to be set on each of the televisions in each of the rooms to display a name as the SMATV headend distributed over the RF plant will not do that...if he has hotel-grade televisions there will be an option in the programming to do that...non-hotel-grade TVs you will need to go into the setup menu (varying by tv manuf) and label each channel (most let you name favorite channels).
     
  3. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    I saw a hotel TV setup using Comcast that you couldn't beat with satellite based MATV. It was digital cable, and when you started clicking channel up or down, a tiny window would open n the screen showing just the channel number and abbreviation - like, if you were watching channel 38 and started clicking channel up, in the little windown, it would say, in sucession: 39 USA, 40 CNN, 41 TNT, etc., until you either hit enter or, I think, stayed on a selected channel for more than a few seconds. It meant that a guest could surf through an unknown channel lineup without being inconvenienced by disruption of his own program viewing or even losing his place.

    Like vader28 said, whatever you do with a DISH Network SMATV system, you'll have to do at the TV end. You might offer as an alternative to this customer a scrolling program guide that enables him to split the screen with his own promotions and advertising.
     
  4. paradisesatellite

    paradisesatellite New Member

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    Dec 2, 2007
    They would like the tvs to display showing the channel number and abbreviation in a little window like Mike described. I had a feeling this would need to be a function of the TV but thought maybe there was an appliance that could be installed after the combiners.
    So each TV might be able to have the channels labeled in the menu? I'll have to look at that.
    Any other options? The engineer says "that's what management wants and we know it can be done" Hmmm??
     
  5. paradisesatellite

    paradisesatellite New Member

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    Dec 2, 2007
    This from and old cable headend guy.

    "I think in the analog world, program or channel descriptors are inserted into the VBI portion of the video. My assumption is that it would probably be pretty expensive to add this data to each channel. "
     
  6. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    /
    There aren't any other options, other than what you've been given here. If you want to physically force your own visible identification "bug" into each channel, it might cost you a thousand bucks per channel. If you go into the VBI to enhance it, it would cost you more per channel to do that, and you'd still need TVs or cable boxes that would utilize that info the way you want it utilized.

    The demand you are faced with can only be met through salesmanship, because, as a practical matter, you can't do this as well as the engineer would like it done. Convincing the "management" that engineer alluded to might best be done by you directly, rather than through the engineer, and some engineers do get pissed when a supplier tries to make contacts over their head. One way to do that would be to send some scrolling channel guide sales literature to the manager in the form of mass mailing, which could get him to think he has found a suitable alternative, but as others have said in this thread, both hotel TVs and even some residential TVs do have some limited channel labeling functions which, while not as good as what digital cable can do, might be good enough to placate this customer if used in conjunction with a scrolling channel guide.
     
  7. paradisesatellite

    paradisesatellite New Member

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    Dec 2, 2007
    Thank you guys soo much!

    I really appreciate the education and explanations!
     
  8. bigglebowski

    bigglebowski Legend

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    Jul 27, 2010
    We work on hotels that are exactly like what the OP stated. The newer sets being installed have this feature built into the set. A lot of the sets we see here are usually philips or LG. They use software where you must create a "channel map" for the hotel. Within this config software are channel names and even the channels logo. You fill out all the details of the channel map and then flash it into the set. Then depending on the set you flash this channel info onto a usb thumb drive, or utilize the software to flash all the other sets. In higher end SMATV systems there will be a device at the headend designed to do this. That way next year when you ad one channel to the lineup it can reflash all the other sets in the system when they get powered up after this new change.

    However a lot of older "hotel" class TVs even from more than 10 years ago have the ability write out a text label on each channel (Motel 6 does this with CRT sets). You will need master remote to get into the advanced setup screen and edit the whole lineup accordingly typing in each name corresponding to channel. This will be one time consuming job if the sets dont utilize a programmer to flash all of the other sets in the house. If the sets do have the ability to learn the settings into the programmer, then you could take the programmer around and flash each set.

    So they are very correct when they say they know it can be done.
     
  9. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    It sounds to me like you are installing TVs with Pro:Idiom input cards already installed in them. Did you program any LG or Philips TVs that were NOT being used in Pro:Idiom systems?
     
  10. bigglebowski

    bigglebowski Legend

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    Jul 27, 2010
    Yes Mike these sets were pro:idiom sets, I tried not to bring that up that word to confuse the situation, or imply he HAD to use pro:idiom to get that feature. Besides these sets can still utilize an NTSC based SMATV system like the OP is using.

    But yes to answer your question, I know of a handful of locations that do use it without the pro:idiom.
     

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