Tuesday, September 27, 2016

TV & Internet Hassles

TV at this retirement community can be a hassle.

The service is available from Comcast, rather expensive, or from Willow Valley via SrTV.  With SrTV frequently certain channels do not work.

(Alternatively, television stations can be accessed via internet from either of the above or alternative internet providers.)     

Internet TV can be more reliable.   Many TV station broadcasts are available from internet from your computer   On demand are  free broadcasts, and live TV can be provided through CBS live at $6/mo. or sling TV @ $20/mo for the major channels.  CBS News live 24/7 is free.  For those who speak German Sling provides the main German channels.  Just Google to find the channels you want.)

SrTV here uses satellite to obtain channels and sends TV out through different wiring in different places. Here at the North campus there have been many periodic problems related to the ungainly older cable technology being used, and the fast growing demands of TV and cloud based devices, which require constant continuous interconnection.

(Recently, slowdowns here remind us that cable bandwidth usage is skyrocketing as users access more and more internet TV and cloud-based voice recognition!)

Cabling in the North is done with what I consider obsolete coax cable designed many decades ago originally for one-way communication for the now abandoned primitive analog TV.   As IT director for the second largest nonprofit in Philadelphia I abandoned this cabling for internet use many years ago for what is commonly called twisted pair ethernet. (We called it 10baseT.)    Nowadays fiber optics works even better for both internet and TV, and is simpler and cheaper to install and maintain.

The old coax cabling does not carry the signal very far and it's very subject to twists and turns.  It is VERY expensive to maintain.

The coax technology is even more complicated. The signal on individual channels may vary widely, especially at the higher channel numbers.   Central IT routers may fail when no one is here to reset them.

Vizio and Sony receivers have been cited by IT here as having bad tuners. However they are widely sold and do work fine for everybody else.

Before abandoning your old set be sure to contact Willow Valley Renovations to check out your system. That can be done by submitting a service request through the normal process and asking for a check up from WV Renovations as opposed to maintenance. They have the equipment to analyze your signal.

In my case my old TV set which had been cited for years by IT as having a bad tuner cam back to life and is now working just fine.

In time the old cabling at Willow Valley North needs to be, and wlll be, updated if only to reduce the very high support costs for an antiquated system.      

For internet, use of all  cabling could be eliminated altogether simply by extending the Wi-fi system already in place in the public areas.  Residents would need no routers or access points or support, and would be spared those costs and annoyances.

Then maybe we could move ahead faster with efforts to keep seniors connected as they grow older without the many issues we have had in the past.

No comments:

Post a Comment