What is analogue’s advantages and what can be done to ensure adequate performance in a digital age.

Much confusion surrounds analogue modulation, video distribution systems, and foxtel in hotels. Many hotels have poor tv signals on foxtel via analogue modulation. Some clients have counter balanced this with minimal budgets that are only apportioned to maintenance not to upgrading existing working, albeit poorly at times, equipment .

Many customers have been told upgrade to digital, this will fix your picture quality issues. To a point this is true, however as we will discuss here analogue is still a good and workable option.

The biggest issue with video distribution is not budget however, it is generally installing and maintaining existing equipment adequately.

What do I mean? With digital there is FEC (forward error correction). What this means is that if the signal is corrupted instead of snow or distortion, lines running through the picture etc, you’ll often have a perfect picture. Then as things further deteriorate the signal drops below the digital cliff edge (generally below 22 dB MER is indictative of this cliff edge) and the signal will start to drop out. Above 24dB MER is the recommended minimum. Digital will compensate, to a point for issues with cabling, amplifiers, power supplies and filtering. The wrong couplers and amplifiers could still mean issues with either digital modulated foxtel (less likely) or alternatively with free to air digital television.

Which is better digital or analgue modulation. Undoubtedly neither. Analogue does not have FEC, it cannot correct picture quality issues, but is much cheaper, easier to maintain as equipment is simpler (provided your technician has an understanding of the technology involved). Digital compensates for errors so in a poorly configured system it is better. Most every television supports analogue, whereas many televisions do not support all digital parameters and services, which has been one disadvantage with digital. So upgrading to digital is not going to fix your system if the wrong modulator is chosen. We say this as there are a tonne of parameters in the DVBT signal, earlier digital televisions support some of those parameters, but not all.

What are our recommendations? Contact a professional. Many electrical companies have expertise with basic digital television. What they may not understand is the instalation and maintenance of complex analogue and digital video systems. Choosing the wrong integration levels or frequency can greatly diminish the quality of the signals you are receiving and may even cause problems further down the line.

Antenna IQ is happy to extend the offer of a free system assesment of your MATV system (including the first half hour) for approved hotels in the South East suburbs of Melbourne for the month of July 2019. If you’re wondering what we can do, please give us a call on 0427004604 or https://antennaiq.com.au/contact/