Creating a Private Cable TV Channel for Senior Living TVs

Overview:

Creating a mechanism to share community information within senior living communities is a challenging endeavor. The solution provider must consider a range of health and lifestyle situations, as well as a wide variety of resident technical capabilities. Successfully disseminating information such as weather, menus, announcements, and event schedules to residents has a positive impact on residents’ lives. An innovative U.S. focused systems integrator from North Carolina did just that. Using a customized web portal, voice activated companions, custom configured tablets, smart phones, and an animated common area signage system, this company has built a business on effectively communicating to the wide range of residents in Continuing Care Retirement Communities. Always looking to increase client satisfaction, the systems integrator wanted to make this same information available via the facilities’ cable TV system. Creating a custom TV channel would strengthen the product offering, increase customer satisfaction, and expand their market share.

Goals & Challenges:

  1. Expand product offering from web accessed information to include on site TV digital signage channel insertion
  2. Increase market share by presenting a superior and more comprehensive solution to retirement communities.
  3. An onsite hardware solution that reflects the company’s quality reputation, is easy to install, is compact is size, and is remotely supportable.
  4. A simple, single piece of equipment that can render the existing web based signage and convert it to an in-house cable TV channel.
  5. Cable TV set top boxes are used in most residents apartments. The solution must coexist with existing cable company infrastructure.
  6. Customer has no experience with the logistics involved in installing cable TV hardware
  7. Solution provider must be willing to work with the systems integrator to resolve installation issues and have the right tools to do so remotely.

Solution:

West Pond provided an easy to install, remotely manageable, single unit solution that met all the client’s needs and goals. An evaluation unit was shipped to the development team where it was installed, remotely configured, and quickly operational within their facility. West Pond creative services crafted a simple template that used the FlexStream™ video wrapper and HTML5 signage engine to encapsulate an externally hosted signage website, encode it, and transmit it for TV viewing. The solution performed better than advertised and was self-contained as a single 1U MX-400HY system. A distinct advantage over other solutions that required an external PC and did not have the feature set required to be fully remotely managed.

With the custom channel problem solved, they set out to install at a customer site. The equipment used for this site would be the MX-100ATSC. A cost reduced version of the MX-400 designed for installations where the TV channels are created specifically from internet content, video files and IPTV sources. The installer, with no TV or IT training, would deliver and connect the MX-100ATSC system. Time was short, but the connections were made, and the MX-100ATSC was left for West Pond to test and configure remotely. After a few short conversations with local staff, and a few experiments using the RF monitoring capabilities of the MX-100, the device was remotely configured and fully operational.

West Pond technology and services used in solution:

  • West Pond’s FlexStream MX-100ATSC Shelf Top Smart Headend System
  • West Pond’s Creative Services team developed a custom video wrapper which links the MX-100ATSC HTML5 signage channel to the customer’s signage web site
  • West Pond’s FlexDM remote management was used by both the system integrator and West Pond’s support staff to access and configure the device during installation

West Pond’s FlexStream MX-100ATSC smart headend system is the perfect entry level solution for cost conscious applications that need to create one or more custom TV channels. It’s compact, shelf top, enclosure and is the perfect fit for IT closets without rack mounting hardware.

Other Use Cases

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