TV Distribution Systems are sometimes refered as 'Multiroom'. However Sky have their own definition of Multiroom which means installing additional Sky set top boxes in other rooms. Sky multiroom costs an additional £10 per month per set top box on top of your Sky subcription and the additional boxes will include the exact same channel lineup that you can watch on the main Sky set top box. You can have additional Sky HD set top boxes on your multiroom contract however each HD multiroom box will cost another £10 per HD box per month. The benefit of Sky multiroom is simple, you are able to watch a different programme than the main Sky box at the same time. Home Distribution is different The output from the Sky box is distributed to all TV's in your home but you can only watch the same channel on Sky on any TV at the same time, unless of course you already have Sky Multiroom. You are then able to watch the output from any number of Sky Set Top Boxes on any TV making your viewing experience far more flexible. (See the example below for further explanation).
So why would you want a Home Distribution TV network?
Most of our customers are paying providers like Sky or Virgin £50 per month, in many cases much more! The set top box is usually sat under the main TV in the lounge and it is only possible to view on the main TV. The majority of families now have many TV's throughout the home, so unless you have Multiroom (Sky or Virgin) then your viewing choice is restricted to the Freeview channels only on other TV's. With our Home Distribution Systems you are able to watch the extra channels from your set top box on all your other TV's and you are able to use the Set Top Box remote control in other rooms. If your Set Top Box is a PVR Personal Video Recorder (Sky+, Sky HD, Virgin V+) then you are also able to use the Set Top Box remote control to pause/rewind live TV or watch a programme you have recorded previously, all this from any of the TV's in your home. In a nutshell a Home Distribution System allows you to gain the maximum value for money from your monthly subscription. In addition all TV's will receive quality Off Air signals for Freeview and all from a single aerial!
Lowton Aerials can distribute any viewing source to any number of TV's. This includes Sky, Virgin, BT, CCTV, DVD's, PC's (IP TV). We can provide High Definition Distribution so you can make the most of say Sky HD on all the other HD Ready TV's in your home.
To demonstrate and clarify how a Home Distribution System could benefit and compliment your home, we are pleased to highlight the following project and would like to thank Peter and Carole for allowing us to publish pictures and details of what Lowton Aerials successfully delivered for them.
Case Study - Peter and Carole's Home Distribution System
The existing tv home distribution system comprised of an RX12W chimney mounted aerial cabled directly to a Sky+ box located in the living room. The output was then cabled to the master bedroom and piggy backed into a standard Sky box and the combined TV signals then cabled to the loft amplifier (4 way) which subsequently provided 6 further TV outlets being, 2nd bedroom, 3rd bedroom, study1, study2, kitchen and garage. The problems with the system were as follows:-
Lounge TV - Freeview signals ok, sky+ picture output ok, not possible to view the standard Sky box located in the master bedroom.
Kitchen TV - Freeview signals very poor, constant freezing of screen, pixelation, sudden momentarily loss of sound. Sky+ viewing very poor fuzzy picture, standard Sky box output poor grainy picture. Not possible to control either Sky box from this location.
Garage TV - Freeview signals very poor, constant freezing of screen, pixelation, sudden momentarily loss of sound. Sky+ viewing very poor fuzzy picture, standard Sky box output poor grainy picture. Not possible to control either Sky box from this location.
Master Bedroom - Freeview signals weak, frequent pixelation and sudden momentarily loss of sound. Sky+ viewing very poor fuzzy picture, standard Sky box ok picture. Not possible to control Sky+ box only standard Sky box.
2nd Bedroom - Freeview signals marginal, random pixelation. Sky+ viewing very poor fuzzy picture, standard Sky box ok picture. Not possible to control Sky+ box only standard Sky box.
3rd Bedroom - Freeview signals marginal, random pixelation. Sky+ viewing very poor fuzzy picture, standard Sky box ok picture. Not possible to control either Sky box.
Study 1 - Freeview signals very poor, constant freezing of screen, pixelation, sudden momentarily loss of sound. Sky+ viewing very poor fuzzy picture, standard Sky box output poor grainy picture. Not possible to control either Sky box from this location.
Study 2 - Freeview signals very poor, constant freezing of screen, pixelation, sudden momentarily loss of sound. Sky+ viewing very poor fuzzy picture, standard Sky box output poor grainy picture. Not possible to control either Sky box from this location.
General - The cables from the existing aerial, Sky dish and disribution run on the outside brickwork of the property, spoiling the appearance of the property.
Minimise cables on sight on the outside of the property.
Upgrade to Sky HD and be able to watch quality TV pictures and control the Sky HD box from any TV point in the home.
Be able to watch Sky in true HD on Lounge TV and 2nd Bedroom TV.
Be able to watch quality TV pictures from the Sky+ box on any TV point in the home and control the Sky+ box from any other TV point in the home, except for the 2nd Bedroom which will have its own Sky+ box.
Be able to watch quality uninterupted freeview TV from any TV point in the home.
Removal of random phone and TV wires built into the property but unused.
Lowton Aerials Solution
The existing aerial (RX12W) was replaced with a Vision Log40. The RX12W would have provided satisfactory signals for Freeview from the Winter Hill transmitter. However the RX12W is not very directional and would also pick up signals from Moel Y Parc in Wales, with amplification the unwanted signals would have been a greater problem (for Home Distribution we need to try and maintain only the wanted signals and keep the rest of the signal spectrum free as it can cause problems with the RF output of the set top boxes included in the system). The Log Periodic Aerial is perfect for Freeview in strong to medium area's and delivers little gain across the RF frequency range. In these circumstances the Log Periodic is ideal and helps us keep costs low by not having to include signal levelling and filtering equipment in the headend equipment.
Before - Existing RX12W fitted to 1" diameter galvanised steel 6ft mast with 6" pressed steel galvanised bracket.
After - New Vision Log40 fitted to 1.25" aluminium mast with 9" heavy duty galvansied fabricated steel bracket.
The existing systems aerial downlead and 2 cables for the Sky+ Box in the lounge were fixed on the outside of the sidewall of the property:
Here's a close up:
The new Sky HD box was relocated to Study 2 so all the above cables were removed. With the new system the only cables required in the Lounge would be a coaxial cable for Freeview and Analogue signals (from the Sky boxes) and a HDMI link from the High Definition Distribution from the Sky HD box. To keep in line with the customers requirements we located these cables within the wall cavity so there would be no cables on show internally or externally, see below:
The downlead from the new aerial fed directly into the loftspace to minimise visible cabling:
On the inside of the Lounge we disconnected the existing outlet plate and expanded it to a double outlet with plug in connections for HDMI (Sky HD) and RF (Freeview, Sky+ box and return path for IR remote signals):
Before - The existing outlet plate was installed at the time of build. The builder had however used RG59 coaxial cable in the install. This was 1 of the main contributing factors in the poor signal reception to the rest of the TV outlet points in the home. This existing outlet plate was used to transfer the Sky+ signals and freeview to the rest of the home. Lowton Aerials use RG59 cable for CCTV installations only, RG59 is fine for baseband video (30m max length) but totally unsuitable for RF distribution. The gold outlet plate is not fully shielded, this can contribute to poor signal distribution. The existing cables from the aerial and sky dish (2 off) can be seen at the bottom right of the picture.
After - The new outlet is a Triax Double outlet, the modular connections are customisable to suit the clients needs. All Triax RF and IF outlets are fully shielded to minimise impulse noise and interference. The Lounge outlet plate shown provides connection for RF signals for Freeview, Sky+ box and Sky HD Box viewing and IR return path. The HDMI connection is for viewing HD output from the Sky HD box. The holes left from the old cables have been refinished with plaster.
From the Lounge it is now possible to watch Freeview, output from the Sky+ box, output from the Sky HD box, Sky HD in true HD and to be able to fully control the Sky+ box and Sky HD box using the appropiate remote control. The picture quality for all inputs/formats is now superb:
Lounge TV displaying Sky News
The cabling from the existing Sky dish was removed, the Quad LNB was replaced with an Octo LNB so we could cater for the Sky HD box and 2 x Sky+ boxes:
Before - The existing Sky+ cables can be seen running down and around the side of the property. The existing standard Sky box cable can be seen running up to the soffit.
After - The new cabling and Octo LNB has 3 Webro WT65 Shotgun cables running up to the soffit and into the loft space. 2 cables run on to the Study 2 loft space the 3rd travels along the loft space and down the cavity to Bedroom 2 Sky+ box. These cables could also have been routed through the wall cavity however the customer did not consider this important or cost effective.
Bedroom 2 was fed directly with a coaxial cable from the existing loft mounted 4 way amp, the coaxial cable was inferior and located on the outside of the property. Lowton Aerials removed the old cable and routed new coaxial cable, HDMI cable, 2 IF Sky feeds, Telephone cable (ringer not active) down the wall cavity:
Before - Existing RF cable feeding Bedroom 2
After - Cable removed new feeds are in the wall cavity!
From Bedroom 2 it is now possible to watch Freeview, output from the Sky+ box in Study 2, output from the Sky HD box, Sky HD in true HD and scart output from the additional Sky+ box located in bedroom 2. (Note this Sky+ box cannot be viewed in any other room except Bedroom 2). The Sky HD box can be fully controlled and the dedicated Bedroom 2 Sky+ remote controls the Sky+ box only in Bedroom 2. The picture quality for all formats is now superb:
Bedroom 2 TV showing Sky sports.
The outlet points in Bedroom 2 are shown below:
Before - Bedroom 2 existing RF cabling. TV viewing; poor Freeview signals, fuzzy sky+ signals, standard Sky box signals acceptable.
After - The new outlet on the left is a Triax Double outlet, the modular connections are customisable to suit the clients needs. All Triax RF and IF outlets are fully shielded to minimise impulse noise and interference. The Bedroom 2 outlet plate shown on the left provides connection for RF signals for Freeview and Sky+ box viewing and IR return path. The HDMI connection is for viewing HD output from the Sky HD box and the telephone connection is for the Bedroom 2 Sky+ box to comply with Sky Multiroom terms and Conditions. The outlet on the right is for satellite IF connections to Bedroom 2 Sky+ box. The hole left from the old cable has been refinished with plaster (bottom right). All the cabling has been hidden in the wall cavity.
The new Sky HD box and the existing SKy+ box were relocated to Study 2 to create a hub for the distribution system:
Before - Desk area in Study 2 designated for the distribution hub. Note the existing signal booster on the desk that was needed to attempt to lift the existing distribution system signals to an acceptable level for Freeview and viewing of the Sky boxes.
After - Sky Hd box, Sky+ box with existing Freeview box and all associated wiring travelling through outlet plate to the void area behind Study 2.
From Study 2 it is now possible to watch Freeview, output from the Sky+ box, output from the Sky HD box, and to be able to fully control the Sky+ box and Sky HD box using the appropiate remote control. The picture quality for all inputs/formats is now superb:
Study 2 TV showing Sky sports.
Within the void area behind study 2 we fitted the Super Plus Combiner. The combiner manufactured by Global Invacom is a fantastic piece of kit. It allows Sky remote signals to be routed to specific Sky boxes. This is critical if incorporating several Sky+ boxes or Sky HD boxes into a system, or a mixture of Sky+ or Sky HD boxes together as many remote signals for Sky+ and Sky HD are the same and will inadvertantly control the 'wrong' Sky box. With this particular system the Combiner facilitated us isolate remote control signals so that the Sky HD remote controls only control the Sky HD box and the Sky+ remote controls to only operate the Sky+ box located in the Study. This means that the remote control assigned to Bedroom 2 will only operate the Sky+ box located in this room and not the Sky+ box located in the Study which is distributed around the home. However the Sky HD remote control can be used in Bedroom 2 to control the HD box. As HDMI distribution is included in Bedroom 2 then the ability to control the HD box is important. With the Super Plus Combiner Lowton Aerials can configure an infinite number of Sky remote controls to control specific Sky boxes.
Global Invacom Superplus Combiner fitted in Study 2 void space.
All cabling even in void spaces are securly fitted and neatly routed.
The combined RF signals (Freeview, Sky+ and Sky HD) and HDMI output are cabled to the loft space and then distributed to the designated tv outlet points.
8 way distribution amplifier located in the main loft supplying RF signals for Freeview, Sky+ and Sky HD outputs to all 8 tv points around the home. IR return is included to allow remote control of either Sky box from any TV point in the home.
HDMI 2 way splitter located in main loft to provide HD output on Lounge TV and 2nd Bedroom TV. These splitters are fully cascadable allowing the customer to add HD to any of the other TV outlet point in the future as needs arise.
The cabling to Study 1 had been fitted at the time that the home was extended and was diplexed into Study 2 also. This was 1 of the main causes of signal problems to both rooms. The existing cabling was re-routed to serve Study 1 only and terminated at a covenient point in the main loft and re-coupled using our standard TX100 cable. From Study 1 it is now possible to watch Freeview, output from the Sky+ box, output from the Sky HD box, and to be able to fully control the Sky+ box and Sky HD box using the appropiate remote control. The picture quality for all inputs/formats is now superb:
Study 1 TV showing Sky sports
On the original system the standard Sky box was originally located in the Master Bedroom. The combined output from the Lounge Sky+ box was cabled into the standard Sky box to add the signal from the standard box to the system. The existing cable used to couple up this link was part of the original RG59 cable installed at the time of build at the property. Again another major problem factor with the original system. The signal output which now includes Freeview Off Air signals and output from the Sky+ and standard Sky box was then cabled back up to the main loft for distribution. The cable used was average quality coaxial cable as was the original cabling to Bedroom 2 and Bedroom 3 so the picture quality of the standard Sky box was acceptable on the TV's located in Bedroom 2 and Bedroom 3. Because the original system has a 'piggy backed' format then only the standard Sky box was able to be controlled from Bedroom 2 via the existing Magic Eye. The picture quality from the existing Sky+ box in the Lounge was inferior on all TV's except the lounge due to existing RG59 cable being reused.
Master Bedroom outlet. We used the existing backbox and replaced the existing RG59 cable with TX100. A new fully shielded Triax outlet point was installed.
The new cable for the Master Bedroom was run on the outside of the
property but hidden behind the downpipe. You can see the cable entry
tail to the Master Bedroom on the above picture. The customer intends
to have a new LCD TV wall mounted in the Master Bedroom shortly with HD
distribution from the Sky HD box, so it was considered to run this cable
externally to keeps costs down. When the HD cable is fitted to this
room we will also run this RF cable within the wall cavity also.
The existing cabling to the 3rd Bedroom ran from the loft inside the bedroom and down to floor level within plastic trunking, the cable was then routed under the carpet to the other side of the bedroom. Lowton Aerials removed this poor quality coax and installation and routed the cable within the wall cavity and included a fully shielded Triax outlet plate flush mouted.
Bedroom 3 with new Triax fully shielded outlet plate fitted. Cabling is run within the wall cavity.
Bedroom 3 showing Sky Sports, picture quality from the Sky HD box, Sky+ box and freeview is now superb. It is now possible to fully control both the Sky HD box and Sky+ box from this location.
The last 2 TV's in the system being the Garage TV and Kitchen were connected via the existing RG59 cable that had originally been installed at the time of build. The RG59 had initally supplied just the Kitchen, however the Garage cabling had been taken from the rear of the Kitchen outlet point. The result was very poor quality reception at both these TV outlet points. The customer had fitted set back amps at both outlets in an attempt to lift the signals for Freeview and both existing Sky Boxes to an acceptable level for TV viewing. However amplification at these points proved pretty useless as the original signals were of too poor quality to amplify to an acceptable level. The RG59 was disconnected and 2 new TX100 feed cables were routed through the garage.
Garage TV showing Sky, the cabling supplying the Garage TV and the Kitchen TV can be seen at the top left of the picture contained with plastic trunking. The picture quality from the Sky HD box, Sky+ box and freeview is now
superb. It is now possible to fully control both the Sky HD box and
Sky+ box from this location. Just the job to keep your mind busy while doing a 30 minute workout on the treadmill!
New Kitchen TV outlet point. We re-used the existing backbox but ran new cabling through the Garage to minimise any damage internally of the home.
Kitchen TV showing Sky Sports, picture quality from the Sky HD box, Sky+
box and freeview is now superb. It is now possible to fully control
both the Sky HD box and Sky+ box from this location.
Following the completion of the works for Carole and Peter, we were pleased to receiving the following message of support: