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 audio/video distribution over seperate TV channels
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Posted - 09/19/2012 :  08:52:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's the deal;

Right now, I have 21 TV's with 21 cable boxes, 1 box per TV. This is at my employers office.

I'd like to setup a distribution system to simply things for the end-user people cause they are getting confused about how things work, and they want to add some additional features that were never discussed before. They'd like to be able to have the man in charge do a video address every so often, and have that show up on all the TV's in the place (among a couple other things).

What I'd like to do is keep the whole thing simple, but I'm not sure how to go about, what any of the terminology is so I can search for things online, etc. etc.

I'd like to make just a few TV channels available, and allow people to switch between them using the TV remote. I don't want a cable box or anything else stuck to it. Just the TV and its remote control.

I was thinking it would be nice to have like 6 or 7 TV channels available, say 2 thru 8, and have like CNN be 2, Fox News be 3, Weather Channel be on 4, and a few local stations on 5, 6, 7 & 8. I'd guess I'll need a cable box to tune each of these HD channels (I'm guessing one per channel I want to provide) and then some kind of combiner & distribution rig to put it all together and feed all the TV's.

I know I can do things like take an old RF modulator set to channel 3 and another set to channel 4, plug in a VCR to one and DVD player to the other, combine them onto one coax cable using a cheap splitter/combiner and plug that into a TV, and have channels 3 and 4 be available to the TV. I end up with the VCR on channel 3 and the DVD player on channel 4. I've done that before and it works fine. I need to go bigger, and I need more channels, and that needs to feed more TV's.

All the current coax cable comes out of a closet, and that is a christmas tree of splitters and amplifiers (all provided and setup by the local cable TV company). So all of my potential feeder cable to all the TV's is already in place.

The other thin I need to include in this now is that they want to also setup a video camera for the head guy to do a monthly company wide address to all the employees. I'd like for that camera/input to interrupt all the other video sources and show that camera on all the RF channels. That way, regardless of TV channel any of the TV's is tuned in to, they'll see this guy make his address, and when that is done it'll return back to whatever TV show was on before the speech. They also want to be able to put a computer display up on all the TV's with annoucements and such, and they'd also like to have a DVD/Blu-ray player in there that would show on all the TV's (the camera, computer and DVD would interrupt regular TV and be displayed on all connected screens as well).

I'm just at a loss as to how to go about combining all these seperate video sources, converting them to separate & sequential RF channels for a TV and getting that pumped out to all the TV's. the other factor to this is they also want to be able to pump this over the computer network so people working at a couple other office locations can tune in to see the announcements and such to, like a video podcast or something. So I need to get the audio/video signal converted into something that would run over the data network/Internet as well. This last bit is something they would like, but isn't a hard requirement.

What hardware do I need to combine my separate sources and convert them to TV channels? How do I get the video camera & other devices connected to all this, and how does any of that that preempt the other video sources and show on all the TV's regardless of TV channel? They don't want people to have to figure out things like switching the TV to a different video source (and which source is which), they want it to be simple and foolproof. Basically, if the TV is on, they want it to show either the TV channel its set to, or the video the company chooses to put in place of it.

I hope this is clear enough. I know I got a bit jumbled there but I think it's getting the point across. I'm not interested this point in what something might cost or anything, just the components needed to make something like this work. I can figure out exact brands and models of things later on, I just need to figure out how to make this all work so I can present it to management and they can make a decision from there.

I was thinking like 6 cable TV boxes, each tuned to a different channel (CNN, FOX, Weather Channel for example). Each cable box is connected to a RF modulator or remodulator or whatever it's called and changed to a different TV channel (like 2 for CNN, 3 for Fox, etc.) and then distributed to all the TV's. So the TV in the lunch room could be on channel 2 watching CNN, and the TV in the break room might be on channel 4 watching the weather channel. Then, when the big guy wants to make an annoucment, that video camera and microphone would interrupt the other TV channel feeds. So channel 2 would show him on video, as would channels 3 and 4 and 5 etc. etc. Then when he is done and they turn off the camera, it would go back to CNN on 2, Fox on 3, etc.

Get it? That's what they would like to do. And in doing so, we'd get rid of like 15 cable TV boxes, and the 15 seperate cable bills for each box so we'd save a bit of money over time. That and they don't want to walk into a break room and see people watching movies and stuff, so they want to control what is available to the TV's (mainly news and weather stuff is all they want). they also want to get rid of all the remote controls everywhere. Right now there are between 2 and 4 remote controllers at each TV. They'd rather have just the TV remote and change channels to get to the different things.

I just don't know where to start or what to look for when trying to figure out what components I need.
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