Top 10 Things you need to Know about MATV Communication

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May 15, 2015

Digital based technology has become more readily available and more cost effective. As a result, analogue TV networks face impending doom. All designed and installed MATV (Digital Master Antenna Television) networks must be digital capable or risk not performing at all. The transition to digital television and digital radio transmission formats is critical to ensuring consistent television and radio receptions. Digital technology and the design, installation, and commissioning of the MATV system must be correctly implemented and precisely commissioned to ensure reliability.

1. The Switch-Over

The switch-off of analog TV signals began in Australia in 2010 and completed by the end of 2013. All TV channels will be broadcast in digital-only.

2. Benefits of MATV

The benefits of MATV digital based technology include

  • greater channel density,
  • improved service delivery,
  • improved overall signal quality (high quality image and audio),
  • pay per view television / satellite distribution, and
  • content from which video / DVD and other players can be recorded.

3. Necessary Upgrades and Modifications

Most homes may not require any significant modifications, and others may need small upgrades to their antenna systems. Buildings which have shared or MATV systems may require more complex upgrades. Existing antennas, satellite dishes, cable, and headends may be able to be reused.

4. Multi-Dwelling Unit (MDU) Facilities

MATV technology services facilities such as apartment buildings, schools, hotels, etc. Typically each facility has numerous television outlets. The MATV network of cables and specialty components combine a variety of video media sources at a “headend” facility and distribute that video information from one source throughout a multi-dwelling unit via FTA TV cable. An MATV headend is the initial distribution fanout point in multi-dwelling units or other locations where a number of TVs need access to the digital TV channels and other services such as FM or the new digital radio services. Other video media may come from a satellite dish, broadband connection, VCR, PC, or other audio/video device.

5. MATV Digital Signal Availability / Converting to Digital

To determine if the MDU MATV system is capable of distributing digital signals, check MDU residents who have an installed a HD set-top box, a TV with a built-in digital tuner, or digital video recorder.

6. Unable to Receive Available Digital Channels

The antenna system should be inspected by a specialized MATV systems antenna installer if you are unable to receive the available digital channels. The Australian Government has set up the Antenna Installer Endorsement Scheme (AIES) to help consumers access reliable antenna installers.

7. Associated Costs

Costs associated with the upgrade may include:

  • changing the antenna,
  • a satellite dish,
  • running new cable, or
  • new amplifiers, multi-switches, and channel processors.

8. Extended Services

An SMATV system extends the MATV system above the 862 MHz limit. SMATV adds the satellite intermediate frequency (950 – 2150 MHz) which allows satellite and FTA TV service access at the user’s wall plate.

9. Security

Security cameras and other devices on the MATV network can function using analogue modulators. Digital modulators may also be used where needed.

10. Information Resource

The Australian Department of Broadband has released a “Digital TV Antenna Systems Handbook” in an effort to assist multi-dwelling units (MDUs) owners, landlords, and managers in readying their property for all stages of the switchover process from analog to digital FTA TV and restack. This Handbook is a good reference for designers and architects, developers, or owners’ corporation representatives, and those who supply or maintain TV antenna and distribution systems.

Connor Pincus Group. Consulting Engineers.

Address: 1196 Toorak Road, CAMBERWELL, VIC 3124

Phone: (03) 9835 5000
Fax: (03) 9835 5050

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