“We could have installed the Lynx equipment, connected everything and set up the system ourselves. It was simple to do,” Coleman says. “But I estimated it would take a month to do it, and we were under the gun to get the building constructed and the build-out completed.”
Coleman hired a low-voltage contractor to install Cat 6 cable throughout the building, and an RG-11 coaxial cable backbone from the headend on the main floor to the telecom rooms on each of the 11 floors.
He then contracted with Lynx to provide a turnkey installation package. Two certified installers, Sean Haines and Alex Yamnik, installed four 16-port Lynx hubs, fourteen 4-port hubs, 111 single port converters, and 11 RF amplifiers They completed their work in just three days.
Haines says, “One important part of the installation was balancing the signal strength across the entire network. We wanted to be sure a TV that’s only two hundred feet away from a Lynx hub received the same signal strength and picture quality as a TV that’s thirty feet away.”
Coleman says, “Ordering a turnkey installation was definitely the right decision. Haines and Yamnik were very competent and great to work with. Best of all, the picture quality is excellent.”
Hitting a Homerun
The system delivers 59 cable TV channels from Suddenlink, the local cable TV provider. A control at the headend area, where the cable service enters the building, is where the desired channels are selected. PMC also inserts five patient education channels and six FM radio channels.
RF baluns on the Lynx hubs receive “unbalanced” television signals and converts them to “balanced” signals that travel on Cat 6 cable to the point of use. Lynx converters then turn them back to “unbalanced” signals that travel to the TV through a short coaxial cable.
Compared to a coax system, a Cat 6 distribution network provides better picture quality over time, because there are no taps, splitters, or other connectors between the telecom closets and the TVs. Lynx uses a “homerun” network that connects one port on a hub to one TV, which greatly simplifies installation, any subsequent moves, add-ons or other changes, and troubleshooting. This feature made it easy for the new facility to add 10 more TVs, after the original installation.
The total cost of the new, Lynx TV system, including equipment, installation and testing was $41,000, Coleman said, which is only 0.0003% of the $150 million cost of the entire building project. That amount does not include the coaxial and Cat 6 cabling, amplifiers, and flat screen TVs.