What is SMATV?
SMATV stands for Satellite Master Antenna Television, and refers to a system that uses multiple satellite and broadcast signals to create a single integrated cable signal for distribution to a cabling network. In other words, with a SMATV system you can become your own in-house cable company.
How does it Work?
We install a satellite dish and TV antennae to receive programming from satellite providers and local broadcast networks. These antennae feed into several racks of electronic equipment which tunes in the channels you choose for your cable lineup, and combines them into a single cable signal. This feed can also include local on-campus channels such as a campus TV station, information and billboard channels, live campus events and so on.
If you have existing cable service, the changeover is often as simple as disconnecting the cable company feed and plugging in the new system. If there is not a cable plant in place, we can plan and install a campus cable network for you.
What is the system like?
All details are custom configured to your needs. Want more movies or news channels? No problem. Are there lots of local broadcast channels? We can get them. Want to distrbute on-campus programming to the entire campus? We can make it happen.
A typical SMATV system has a variety of the following:
- Local broadcast stations Usually four to ten stations depending on the region and proximity to a major city
- Satellite channels Often thought of as 'cable channels.' They include news, entertainment, sports, business , and movie channels like CNN, Discovery, Bloomberg, ESPN, MTV, TBS, AMC, FX, etc.
- Movie Channels If desired, premium movie channels can be included - such as Stars, HBO, Cinemax and others. They are usually sold in packages of several bundled channels.
- Foreign Language Programming If you have a language learning center, often times the programming they use for language instruction can be added to the campus system. Channels like Scola, Deuche-Welle, Glavision, Univision, and others are often sent campus wide for 24/7 access to international programming.
- On-Campus Channels These include information/bulletin board channels that feature campus news, events calendar, weather data, sports scores, etc - often different departments will want their own channel. The Campus TV station is commonly included, along with campus events - home sporting events or performances live on TV, a 'bell tower cam' with live pictures of campus, etc. This is also a great way to create a closed-circuit channel for overflow seating areas and other innovative uses. The possibilities here are limited only by your imagination.
- Radio Stations Your campus radio station can be added to the signal for easy distribution throughout campus. We can also add equipment to distribute the entire FM band through the cable system so that everyone can enjoy clear FM reception.
How many channels will we have?
That's really up to you. You can have as many or as few as you like. A meium-sized private college of 3000 to 5000 students typically chooses 30 to 40 satellite channels. In addition, there are usually five or more local broadcast stations to select. Most systems also include at least three on-campus channels as well as integration of the campus radio station.
That's an average total of 40 to 50 channels. This would be set up in a system that occupies three equipment racks that can be installed just about anywhere there is temperature control and access to the campus cabling infrastructure. Popular locations are inside a telecommunications equipment room or a TV/electronics studio.
Please call or email today, we would be happy to discuss how a SMATV Satellite Cable TV System could benefit your campus.