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New apartment installation questions

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by dberkowitz, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. dberkowitz

    dberkowitz New Member

    Aug 16, 2010
    Our apartment building is upgrading to DirectTV. We have pre-existing, and separate low-bandwidth coax, as well as separate higher bandwidth for standard-def cable coax.

    Our building consists of 15 units, three per floor. Telephone service is controlled through a box in the switch room in the basement. Cable service was an afterthought (the building is almost 100yrs old), so there are two exterior jumper boxes, located on either side of the building.

    If we are going to upgrade services, the real expense is in installation, not the cable itself so it makes sense if we're upgrading to handle DTV to do it all together.

    What would you recommend for handling such an installation in order to allow for hi-bandwidth TV (Comcast, DTV, and eventual FIOS), as well as high speed internet connections? We do have existing wiring from the roof for our over the air antennae that could be used for fishing the runs to an outlet box for each unit. These are likely in three runs as the 15 units are 3 per floor, and the existing wiring went top to bottom.

    Would you run everything to a central switch box and allow the vendors to tie into a centralized patch panel to feed tv and data to each unit? Suggestions?

    Would it be useful to send fiber everywhere? etc.


  2. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

    Nov 7, 2003
  3. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    The quick & dirty:

    - DirecTV doesn't deal with MDUs; that's all contracted out to MDU retailers.

    - Most MDU retailers won't touch such a small location unless you pay cash upfront for everything, and even then, it's just installing the dish and switch equipment. It isn't economically viable to do a traditional MDU.

    - A single, central antenna (dish) system has some nice advantages, but there are some disadvantages as well. You'll need the connections locked up where only authorized folks can get to them, and you need to make sure all tenants are WELL versed in the procedure to access them. Likely, you'll need someone on the property to help administer the system, as tenants come and go or add/change receivers. DirecTV residential techs won't touch these systems, so you'll have to have all the tenants work with the MDU provider to subscribe. For this reason, certain things may be more expensive and/or certain "deals"/promtions may not be available.

    The alternative is to let everyone have their own dish, but that's also a problem. Tech will be running cable everywhere and chopping up the stuff that's already there. And you'll have a bunch of dishes to deal with.

    What it comes down to is that the tenants will have to want to work together on this. They'll need to understand the pro's and con's and come to an agreement, or you'll have chaos instead of order.

    I'm not saying this can't be done and done successfully, but you need to know what you're getting into. One again: DirecTV residential techs will NOT touch a central dish system...

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