Video Distribution in a Digital Age

Need Sky or Video around the house?
The video distribution world is changing…
We pride ourselves on creating a robust infrastructure for your entertainment needs. One of the ways we leverage this infrastructure is by ‘reticulating’ or ‘backfeeding’ Audio and Video signals to different Televisions in different rooms.
It’s a method of video distribution used quite commonly in large commercial building, offices, and schools for sending things like CCTV feeds or even custom internal TV stations.
One of the most common ways we use it in real homes is to take a Sky feed and convert it to Standard Definition so that it can be sent over a normal aerial cable and tuned in like any other analog TV station. This allows any TV in the home that has an analog tuner to watch whatever channel the Sky decoder is currently tuned to
“It can be sent over normal aerial cable and tuned in like any other analog TV station”
This method can also be used to send other sources (such as a DVD player) to different rooms as well.
Recently, however, we have encountered a new set of challenges. The first is Digital Protection that is built into digital AV signals (like HDMI). This specifically prohibits converting the digital signal to an analog one. The second, and more challenging, is that since the Analog Switch-off, many new TV’s only have digital tuners built in. This means that they cannot tune in analog TV stations at all!
“Many new TV’s only have digital tuners built in”
The back panel of a recent model Samsung TV (Digital Tuner only!)
How can we get around this?
There are a couple of ways around this:
Use a Digital Modulator
Use an HDMI Extender (Balun)
Use an ‘end to end’ modulation system
HDMI Matrix Style Distribution System
The first one that occurs is to use a digital modulator. This is one that would convert your A/V signal to a DVB-T (like Terrestrial FreeView) or DVB-S (like Satellite FreeView), so that it could be tuned in on these new TV’s.
The hardware is available, because as previously mentioned it is often used in commercial environments. The issue becomes the cost.
Where an analog modulator can be had for $50 – $100, the digital equivalent runs $800 -$1,200! This makes the proposition of sending a video feed around the house much more restrictive.
A digital modulator for HDMI signals
“Where an analog modulator can be had for $50 – $100, the digital equivalent runs $800 -$1,200”
A second option is to use an HDMI extender. There are two major stumbling blocks with this, and the first is that it requires a dedicated cable ran

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top