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Advice On Antenna Distribution System In Old People's Home


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#1 rah

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 12:54 PM

Hi, I'd like some background info on the likely equipment setup in an aged care facility my mother-in-law lives in.

In her room, there are two F-type wall sockets - one for Foxtel, and one for FTA.

Foxtel - no problem, but we recently cancelled that as it was becoming too confusing for her to manage.

FTA - the Panasonic tv auto-tunes all available digital channels, and up until recently, all was good. But in the last week or so, Channel 7 (and ONLY Channel 7) is pixellating, freezing, etc, and the basic signal strength and quality 'bars' in the tuning menu option show wildly fluctuating signal STRENGTH, however the QUALITY bar was steady in the green. (I cannot work that one out, but that's what my wife reported when she was in there last week)

One guy called in to look into it said he needed the password, however the current owners took over the facility some years ago, and don't know anything about a password.

It's particularly irritating as she's a tennis fan, and guess which channel is showing the Australian Open! Can anyone shed any light on what sort of equipment is typically used in this sort of distribution setup, and with further crystal balling, what would cause just one channel to crap out?

Thanks guys - sure hope you can help here.

Edited by rah, 21 January 2014 - 07:25 AM.


#2 Z2TT

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 08:19 PM

Depending on the size and layout of the retirement establishment differnet components are used but could be any or all of following :

Splitters, Line Amps, Distribution Amplifiers, Power Supplies, Taps, Headends - As you can see the fault or faults can Lie in many different areas.

Did the person you called out use a signal meter to measure the signal and advise of Channel 7's Signal Level and Quality compared to every other channel or give any other information?

In situations like this the best solution is to get the management of the retirement establishment to get in contact with a technician who is familiar with these commercial setups.

Edited by Z2TT, 23 January 2014 - 08:27 PM.


#3 rah

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 12:00 AM

Thanks for the info. Sounds like it could be any number of things, but those items you listed -- Splitters, Line Amps, Distribution Amplifiers, Power Supplies, Taps, Headends -- are they usually password-protected?

Assuming the antenna's OK, isn't it really just an exercise in tracking down the culprit and swapping out the faulty component?

I'm very much an outsider looking in here. The establishment has so far called in at least two 'technicians' (that I'm aware of), and both presumably skilled in their professions. That they're unable to rectify the situation is beyond me!

The stress level ramps up because ma-in-law, and the other residents affected are paying to be there, and TV is a major component of the day's entertainment.

I have a spare Fracarro LP45 in the shed and a broom handle to mount it on outside her window, but they probably wouldn't allow that. Perhaps a set of B&W era rabbit's ears is the answer...

Grrrrrrrrr! :angry:

#4 Z2TT

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 07:58 PM

Those components while might not password protected, may be in a locked up area so they can only be accessible by authorized persons. I'm curious did any of these 2 installers do any tests, signal measurements or troubleshooting and forward the information to management?

Remember this is not a regular residential house where anybody can just rock up with a smile, swap an antenna and fix a problem. You need to talk to the management of this retirement establishment so they can call somebody in who has experience with commercial TV / MATV, not Bobs Antenna Service.

Edited by Z2TT, 24 January 2014 - 08:01 PM.


#5 M'bozo

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 12:11 AM

crystal balling


A street view (dated 2009) that I think is the place in question, shows antennas (plural) aimed towards Brisbane: this could have changed with the switchover.



the current owners took over the facility some years ago


But then again, maybe nothing was done pre/post switchover, and things have been left as they were.



Panasonic tv auto-tunes all available digital channels


There could be, & most likely are, multiple transmitter sites covering the facility. Without knowing how the Foxtel/FTA distribution is set up, it's possible the Panasonic is tuning to an incorrect transmitter. Does the TV come up with a "New channels found" message when turned on?



I've dealt with similar facilities where there is no "as built" information & have had to go through & make up a mud map. Some times easy, sometimes hard, usually time consuming.

Someone with the smarts should be able to sort it, to my way of thinking, the headend might be password protected, I can't think of anything else. Have a look at the number & type of antennas on the roof, this may give an idea as to how the reticulation for digital television is set up for the facility.