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Author Topic: HD RF Modulator  (Read 6453 times)

brian maddox

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HD RF Modulator
« on: January 29, 2014, 03:26:13 pm »

Okay, our church is upgrading to an HD video system.  Currently our SD video is distributed throughout the building using an RF modulator.  There are RF jacks in every room so it's very easy to access the signal.

Basically all the TVs in the various rooms are HD capable flat screen TVs.  my question is is it possible to to get an HD RF modulator that the TVs can tune into and receive an HD signal, or is that just not possible.  The system was originally set up with several modulators to enable access to different signals at each tv by simply changing channels, but at this point all we use it for is the one signal from the main auditorium so i just need a single channel modulated.

Any help greatly appreciated.

brian
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"It feels wrong to be in the audience.  And it's too peopley!" - Steve Smith

brian maddox
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Jonathan Kok

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Re: HD RF Modulator
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 04:13:24 pm »

Okay, our church is upgrading to an HD video system.  Currently our SD video is distributed throughout the building using an RF modulator.  There are RF jacks in every room so it's very easy to access the signal.

Basically all the TVs in the various rooms are HD capable flat screen TVs.  my question is is it possible to to get an HD RF modulator that the TVs can tune into and receive an HD signal, or is that just not possible.  The system was originally set up with several modulators to enable access to different signals at each tv by simply changing channels, but at this point all we use it for is the one signal from the main auditorium so i just need a single channel modulated.

Any help greatly appreciated.

brian
Yes, assuming the TV's all have built-in QAM tuner cards. There's a few manufacturers out there. The DVEO Apollo IX will take HD-SDI in. They've also got a 4-channel HD Encoder (HDMI in). (I'm not making recommendations here, just pointing out a couple options I'm aware of).

EDIT: you should also be made aware that you may need to upgrade your distribution hardware. Not a huge deal.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2014, 04:17:17 pm by Jonathan Kok »
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brian maddox

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Re: HD RF Modulator
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2014, 04:58:40 pm »

Yes, assuming the TV's all have built-in QAM tuner cards. There's a few manufacturers out there. The DVEO Apollo IX will take HD-SDI in. They've also got a 4-channel HD Encoder (HDMI in). (I'm not making recommendations here, just pointing out a couple options I'm aware of).

EDIT: you should also be made aware that you may need to upgrade your distribution hardware. Not a huge deal.

excellent info.  what kind of distribution hardware upgrade are we talking about?  right now the modulator goes to a wall full of passive RF splitters.  basically they just strung together a bunch of 1 in 4 out passive splitters.  not sure how many outputs it has ultimately but i'm thinking around 40 or so.  then the cabling goes out from there to the various RF jacks in the building.  do you think i'll need different splitters?

FWIW, the building was built in 2006, so none of this equipment is terribly old.  Also, i probably don't need all the outputs as many of them go to places that i know don't have and will likely never have tv's attached to them.
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"It feels wrong to be in the audience.  And it's too peopley!" - Steve Smith

brian maddox
bdmaudio@gmail.com

'...do not trifle with the affairs of dragons...

       ....for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup...'

Thomas Lamb

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Re: HD RF Modulator
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2014, 08:20:57 am »

excellent info.  what kind of distribution hardware upgrade are we talking about?  right now the modulator goes to a wall full of passive RF splitters.  basically they just strung together a bunch of 1 in 4 out passive splitters.  not sure how many outputs it has ultimately but i'm thinking around 40 or so.  then the cabling goes out from there to the various RF jacks in the building.  do you think i'll need different splitters?

FWIW, the building was built in 2006, so none of this equipment is terribly old.  Also, i probably don't need all the outputs as many of them go to places that i know don't have and will likely never have tv's attached to them.

Brian,
As long as you have enough signal at the end if the line all you need to change are the modulators. We use pro video instruments zeevee and others make good products as well. The PVI modulators have a loop through so you can stack multiple Channels. Remember with digital it will either work or it won't you get HD or nothing. In the case of nothing you may need additional amplification that all depends on the quality of your current distribution and length of cabling.
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Scott Carneval

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Re: HD RF Modulator
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2014, 10:40:25 am »

Okay, our church is upgrading to an HD video system.  Currently our SD video is distributed throughout the building using an RF modulator.  There are RF jacks in every room so it's very easy to access the signal.

Basically all the TVs in the various rooms are HD capable flat screen TVs.  my question is is it possible to to get an HD RF modulator that the TVs can tune into and receive an HD signal, or is that just not possible.  The system was originally set up with several modulators to enable access to different signals at each tv by simply changing channels, but at this point all we use it for is the one signal from the main auditorium so i just need a single channel modulated.

Any help greatly appreciated.

brian

Yes, this is very easy to do and won't cost much at all.  I've done several large installations with HD modulation over coax using ZeeVee modulators.  It's a QAM catv signal, so most TV's will be able to tune in just fine.  You can purchase a stand-alone QAM tuner for about $150 if your TV/projector, etc. doesn't have one built in.  There's no need to upgrade your existing infrastructure as long as it's rated 5-1000mhz, which most are.  I would highly recommend RG6 as opposed to RG59, but it's very unlikely you have RG59 in the first place if the original install was 2006.

The ZeeVee product is very good, but there are other manufacturers out there as well.  As far as I'm aware, ZeeVee supports composite, component, VGA, and unencrypted HDMI.  You won't find any RF modulator legally sold in the US that will pass HDCP signals such as BluRay, AppleTV, etc.  If you need SDI, look at Blunder Tongue or one of the other options already mentioned.

What format and connection is your HD source? 
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brian maddox

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Re: HD RF Modulator
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2014, 01:36:30 pm »

Yes, this is very easy to do and won't cost much at all.  I've done several large installations with HD modulation over coax using ZeeVee modulators.  It's a QAM catv signal, so most TV's will be able to tune in just fine.  You can purchase a stand-alone QAM tuner for about $150 if your TV/projector, etc. doesn't have one built in.  There's no need to upgrade your existing infrastructure as long as it's rated 5-1000mhz, which most are.  I would highly recommend RG6 as opposed to RG59, but it's very unlikely you have RG59 in the first place if the original install was 2006.

The ZeeVee product is very good, but there are other manufacturers out there as well.  As far as I'm aware, ZeeVee supports composite, component, VGA, and unencrypted HDMI.  You won't find any RF modulator legally sold in the US that will pass HDCP signals such as BluRay, AppleTV, etc.  If you need SDI, look at Blunder Tongue or one of the other options already mentioned.

What format and connection is your HD source?

my production switcher outputs HD-SDI, HDMI, and Component all simultaneously.  Unfortunately, the central hub of the RF distribution system is located across the building in our computer network room some 200 feet away.  The existing cable run is a single Coax and a couple of two-pair audio cables.  Running new cable between these places will be difficult to put it mildly.

I am hoping that the existing Coax will handle an HD-SDI signal.  From what i've seen, HD-SDI input modulators can get pretty pricey so i was thinking about going with one of the cheaper ones that has either HDMI or Component analog and just using a converter on that end.  Assuming the cable getting there can support the HD-SDI do you see anything wrong with that strategy?
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"It feels wrong to be in the audience.  And it's too peopley!" - Steve Smith

brian maddox
bdmaudio@gmail.com

'...do not trifle with the affairs of dragons...

       ....for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup...'

Scott Carneval

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Re: HD RF Modulator
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2014, 03:10:46 pm »

my production switcher outputs HD-SDI, HDMI, and Component all simultaneously.  Unfortunately, the central hub of the RF distribution system is located across the building in our computer network room some 200 feet away.  The existing cable run is a single Coax and a couple of two-pair audio cables.  Running new cable between these places will be difficult to put it mildly.

I am hoping that the existing Coax will handle an HD-SDI signal.  From what i've seen, HD-SDI input modulators can get pretty pricey so i was thinking about going with one of the cheaper ones that has either HDMI or Component analog and just using a converter on that end.  Assuming the cable getting there can support the HD-SDI do you see anything wrong with that strategy?

If you have a coax in the room with your switcher, why not just put the modulator in there, and send the RF modulated signal over coax to the network room, and tie into your splitters there?

Look at the ZeeVee Pro 810 http://www.zeevee.com/products/zvpro/zvpro820-810
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brian maddox

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Re: HD RF Modulator
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2014, 04:36:09 pm »

If you have a coax in the room with your switcher, why not just put the modulator in there, and send the RF modulated signal over coax to the network room, and tie into your splitters there?

Look at the ZeeVee Pro 810 http://www.zeevee.com/products/zvpro/zvpro820-810

i thought of that but wasn't sure if the extra 200' of cable on the RF would have too much effect.

guess it's easy enough to try.  :)

and thanks for the specific product link.  that helps a LOT.

I'm assuming that if i just wanted to add this signal to my existing analog RF Combiner so that the other analog SD VHF channels [that we rarely use...] would also work too i could?  RF is RF after all.  so long as obviously it's on a different frequency/channel from those already in use...
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 04:43:16 pm by brian maddox »
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"It feels wrong to be in the audience.  And it's too peopley!" - Steve Smith

brian maddox
bdmaudio@gmail.com

'...do not trifle with the affairs of dragons...

       ....for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup...'

Scott Carneval

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Re: HD RF Modulator
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2014, 05:30:48 pm »

i thought of that but wasn't sure if the extra 200' of cable on the RF would have too much effect.

guess it's easy enough to try.  :)

and thanks for the specific product link.  that helps a LOT.

I'm assuming that if i just wanted to add this signal to my existing analog RF Combiner so that the other analog SD VHF channels [that we rarely use...] would also work too i could?  RF is RF after all.  so long as obviously it's on a different frequency/channel from those already in use...

The newer ZeeVee stuff can output as high as +45dbv, so 200' shouldn't be a problem.  You'll see a few db of attenuation at that distance, depending on the frequency.  Higher frequencies suffer more attenuation.  But most TV's want somewhere around 10-12 dbv, so there's plenty of signal left.  You can integrate with existing RF signals just fine.  We've done two sports bars that have basic cable in addition to 14 or so channels of modulated DirecTV content.  Just make sure you set the modulator to an empty RF channel.  CATV spectrum analyzers are fairly expensive, so I'd just start by doing a channel scan on the TV.  Set the modulator to one of the 'empty' channels and go from there.  If it works, use it.  The output of the modulator is adjustable, so set it as low as practical. 

I don't claim to be an expert, but I'm happy to help where I can.  My number is in my sig, feel free to call if you get stuck.  I'm an authorized reseller if you do decide to go with ZeeVee.
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Erik Jerde

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Re: HD RF Modulator
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2014, 09:55:57 am »

I've got an older zeevee modulator and it has worked nearly flawlessly.  I'm converting from hdsdi 1080i to component and feeding the modulator with that. 

The only problems I had was the unit would stop passing audio about once a month.  Turned it it was because I was doing the audio delay (long audio delay to get proper lip sync) in the modulator.  When I changed the delay to be done on the audio console matrix output I stopped having problems.  I think it's got over 700 days of uptime now.

The new zeevee products are very nice, I'd go with a 2 or 4 channel unit so that I could put digital signage on one channel, live broadcast on another, youth content on the third and kids on the 4th.  Makes a super flexible system which would allow the building rf system to easily be used all week.
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