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7 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 104955 23-Jun-2012 19:16 Send private message

Hi, help please...
I work at a school as the ICT and A.V coordinator.

We would like to get sky tv into 13 classrooms for the Olympic games, we will only be getting one decoder.

We have several makes and models of Data projectors in the classes which will be used to display, not the best I know but its what we have. 
The Projects have VGA input as the only wired input, and we have powered speakers wired to composite plugs in the wall next to the VGA plug. They are RGB/Yr over VGA compatible

I do not have the budget to run any more cables.

Maximum budget perhaps $3000

9 of the classes have coax cables going back to a central head with which goes through the amps, duplexes and splitters up to the dish, and UHF terrestrial on the roof

My question(s)
If i get a RF modulator and plug in the sky decoder to it
Then purchase 9 terrestrial set top boxes, will it pick up the analog signal from the modulator? or do they only pick up digital channels?

any suggestions for how to get audio and video to the other 4 classes that only have cat6 network cabling running to them? (all 13 classes have cat6 networks)

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880 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 645214 23-Jun-2012 19:44 Send private message

Hi

If you've got CAT 6 wired to the classrooms then I would suggest trying a client-server HTPC setup.

MediaPortal definitely (and others - DVBLink and MythTV maybe) supports installing a tuner/capture card in a server that can be used to distribute TV to other devices connected to the network.

I'm biased given that I'm a MediaPortal developer, but this is how I would do it:
- buy a Hauppauge Colossus (other tuner cards with capture inputs would work, but the Colossus would get a *significantly* better picture quality)
- install it in a central server
- install MediaPortal TV Server (free) on the server
- connect the Sky box with component cables (I think Sky use HDCP on the MySky output, so unless you have an HDFury or similar handy...)
- configure the Sky box output as a TV channel
- install MediaPortal Client (free) on a laptop or PCs in the classrooms
- connect the laptop/PC to the projector

You could easily extend this system to support Freeview with the addition of a DVB-T or DVB-S tuner card in the server.

Some gotchas:
- the client laptop/PC would need to be capable of decoding h.264 video, so needs a decent CPU or GPU capable of hardware accelerated h.264 decoding
- I think you're aware of this, but to be clear you can only distribute one channel at any given time as the Sky box can only output one channel at a time

Some questions:
- would you have multiple classrooms watching at once?
- would you need the ability to switch to different channels from the classrooms?

I guess you could also go the card-reader/card-sharing route to enable watching different channels in different classrooms. It is more complex to setup I think, and you need the right type of smartcard.

DISCLAIMER: doing this is very likely in violation of Sky's terms and conditions. I am not and never have been a Sky subscriber, and I don't recommend violating their Ts & Cs.

79 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 645221 23-Jun-2012 19:54 Send private message

A partial answer:
One sky decoder output to a RF modulator then fed into your setup before all the splitters (ie mixed with the UHF signals from the antenna) would make a single Sky channel available on UHF to those 9 rooms, except it is an analog UHF signal, and hence your proposed  digital terrestrial set top boxes won't tune it as they are for DVB-T and not analog. For more than one sky channel, you need an extra sky decoder and an extra RF modulator.

I'm only new to the this, so hopefully I don't get it too wrong: For the rooms with Cat6, if you can feed the component signal into a PC that has a capture card which can turn it into a stream (I'm not sure what software can do that, anyone suggest some?) (the stream is like RTMP??)  and then use a computer in each room with UMPlayer (free software) or similar then they'd be able to do the VGA output to the projectors. And if you got this 2nd method to work for all 13 rooms, then you don't need to worry about the RF modulator route for the 9 rooms.

Hope that helps.



7 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 645223 23-Jun-2012 20:00 Send private message

Thanks for that, it puts a whole new angle on it.

We would only be watching one sky channel throughout the entire school at the same time and no we would not need to change it from the classes.

We have permission from sky to split the signal so i don't think we need to worry.

We would be using mysky+ hdi,
Could we connect to the Colossus using HDMI then? and it the client end use the VGA ports on the laptop?

Thanks 

880 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 21

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  Reply # 645226 23-Jun-2012 20:12 Send private message

We have permission from sky to split the signal so i don't think we need to worry.

Excellent.

Could we connect to the Colossus using HDMI then?

As I said previously, I think the HDi has copy protection (HDCP) on the HDMI output, and the Colossus doesn't support HDCP protected inputs. There are devices that can strip the HDCP like the HDFury - would be up to you if you decide to do that.

 and it the client end use the VGA ports on the laptop?

Using the VGA output on the laptop or PC in the classroom is not a problem.



3640 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 645229 23-Jun-2012 20:15 Send private message

mm1352000: I guess you could also go the card-reader/card-sharing route to enable watching different channels in different classrooms. It is more complex to setup I think, and you need the right type of smartcard.

Personally i'd do this, purely from a technical and quality standpoint. DVB video straight from the card directly to clients.

156 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 645236 23-Jun-2012 20:41 Send private message

What part of the country are you in? Maybe there would be someone willing to help?

880 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 21

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  Reply # 645237 23-Jun-2012 20:43 Send private message

eXDee:
mm1352000: I guess you could also go the card-reader/card-sharing route to enable watching different channels in different classrooms. It is more complex to setup I think, and you need the right type of smartcard.

Personally i'd do this, purely from a technical and quality standpoint. DVB video straight from the card directly to clients.

Yes, absolutely fair enough. With a bit of extra time (or somebody with some know-how) and a bit of luck with the right kind of smart card this would give a more flexible solution. If the solution were going to be used on an ongoing basis I too would invest the time...



7 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 645245 23-Jun-2012 21:04 Send private message

I am in Auckland,

Sky offers a sky in school package that is only about $35 month for the base channels plus i believe $5 if you want mysky. 

The school can justify this on an on going basis, but as soon as you want a second decoder Or the capability to watch more than one channel at a time (different smart card) it jumps up to around $120 per month per decoder. 

For this reason we are leaning towards the basic single channel split among the classes. Basically for the Olympics. Being Mysky we can also record documentaries etc and the teachers can organise themselves to all watch it at the same time. 

I think the Colossus suggestions could well be the go.

In turn I may look at getting a server/client system for freeview as well. Any suggestions for this?

While on the topic is there a similar system that could be used as an emergency PA system? like in the event of a school lockdown teachers start a client program on their laptop that could be used to stream voice announcements?

880 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 21

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  Reply # 645250 23-Jun-2012 21:17 Send private message

In turn I may look at getting a server/client system for freeview as well. Any suggestions for this?

MediaPortal and the other DVB software previously mentioned will handle this too if you add a TV tuner card with the Colossus. Similar principles - just a little different configuration on the server. Alternatively, I think the HDHomeRun is pretty great as a stand-alone networked tuner. That's assuming you have a DVB-T (Freeview HD) feed.

While on the topic is there a similar system that could be used as an emergency PA system? like in the event of a school lockdown teachers start a client program on their laptop that could be used to stream voice announcements?

First thought that comes to mind is Skype. I don't really know much in that field though so I'm sure somebody will be able to suggest a better option.

156 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 645268 23-Jun-2012 21:51 Send private message

If you go with Media Portal, then you can add Freeview Tuner cards to the server (DVB-S or DVB-T) as money allows, which can be streamed to the clients (one tuner = 1 channel at a time, 2 = two, etc..).

In fact, I have a DVB-S card that you could have if you choose to go down this route.

255 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 20


  Reply # 645302 23-Jun-2012 23:25 Send private message

Is it worth bothering with it at all? are the students even interested in the Olympics these days? and due to timezones if the daily live coverage is 8pm to 12pm the next day. Just how much of it will they see?

Spend the $3000 on real sports equipment and hold your own little midwinter olympics event outside.







66 posts

Master Geek

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  Reply # 645334 24-Jun-2012 07:55 Send private message

Hi,

1) All Freeview terrestrial receivers at present only have digital tuners so will not pick up and decode analog signals, they will just pass through the signal.

2) My suggestion:
a) Install a video capture card with analog (AV) input on a host pc and feed your Sky signal to it.
b) Use some software like "vlc player" to stream the content from your host pc on to your LAN.
c) Use "vlc player" to receive the stream in each classroom on a pc attached to the projector.
d) Make sure your firewall entries allow traffic to the appropriate ports.

Projected cost of this project should be around $100 (assuming you have the pcs), plus your time.

Cheers

AH

5971 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 109

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  Reply # 645340 24-Jun-2012 09:02 Send private message

DTVS is on the money, typically schools are wired for IT not AV, therefore adapt to use the existing infrastructure rather than create a new.

You may need to find some streaming server software and host that at the headend, there are plenty about, not to sure if VLC support streaming to multiple clients if it does then all good.

Cyril

1544 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 55


  Reply # 645350 24-Jun-2012 09:56 Send private message

Apsattv: Is it worth bothering with it at all? are the students even interested in the Olympics these days? and due to timezones if the daily live coverage is 8pm to 12pm the next day. Just how much of it will they see?

Spend the $3000 on real sports equipment and hold your own little midwinter olympics event outside.





+1
What's the point. Live action from the games in London will be during the night in NZ. We are 11 hours ahead timewise.
If comprtition starts at 10am London time it will be 9pm NZ time.

156 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 1


  Reply # 645373 24-Jun-2012 12:01 Send private message

Pock: If you go with Media Portal, then you can add Freeview Tuner cards to the server (DVB-S or DVB-T) as money allows, which can be streamed to the clients (one tuner = 1 channel at a time, 2 = two, etc..).

In fact, I have a DVB-S card that you could have if you choose to go down this route.


Just had a look, the card I have is a WinTV Nova S-Plus, which has a composite input. Not as good as the Collosus RGB input, but if you want you can 'test' with this, that way you don't have to output any money (assuming you have a suitable machine for a server, and the client machines).

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