Industry Blog

IPTV: Outshining Cable in the Classroom and Beyond

Jan 1, 2011 by Pete Dugas

Let's face it, cable television (CATV) in the classroom, training room, and other institutional gathering spaces has become a requirement. Utilized for education, entertainment, and timely dissemination of information, we've become dependent on CATV to view news broadcasts during times of emergency or live events such as weather alerts or presidential announcements which may affect us or our organizations. The desire for on-demand access to this live broadcast content is now inherent regardless of the overwhelming marketing highlighting mobile television capabilities in newer cell phones and the latest devices from Apple and Google. This desire for more personalized control of content (in-hand) is as much a result of the effectiveness of broadcast media and its availability in our institutions and our homes as it is a cause. The requirement of availability of broadcast content in institutional meeting spaces is constant.

TV in the classroom is outdated and expensive.

Current standards for providing CATV in gathering spaces including classrooms and training rooms involves the utilization of standard radio frequency (RF)-based distribution, a soon-to-be outdated vehicle for communication technology. Even in 2010, specifications for new buildings and renovation projects mandate that RF-based distribution be used for a portion of the building's electrical scope even though costs associated with deployment of these specification sections range from $40k to $80k. These costs can increase to well over $100k should the scope include CATV tuners or televisions for classrooms.

The basic technology utilized for cable in the classroom leverages a primary CATV connection that is generally provided by a local cable company. This connection is manipulated to network rooms within the school building together. This is similar to an expanded version your home cable television setup, but a lot more expensive. This kind of deployment only gets more expensive with the more buildings a school system sets up.

It is also important to note that RF-based CATV distribution systems provide for limited functionality. it is difficult and costly to locate qualified service technicians willing to support these networks in commercial or institutional applications.

Here is a line item example of the long-term cost implications of traditional CATV deployment in a given school district.

District A – (K-12), US-Based

Existing Legacy Buildings where CATV Systems exist: 35
Average cost to implement (Head-end plus, TVs, Mounts, VCRs, etc): $75,000
Average age of systems: 10 yrs
Average annual maintenance costs: $200
Total cost of existing systems to date: $2,695,000
Planned new schools or renovations: 6
Average cost to implement (Head-end plus tuners only): $55,000
Total new deployment costs: $330,000
Grand Total: $3,025,000
* these cost examples are derived from a school district in the State of Georgia, USA.

The cost-effective, tech savvy solution: Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) via Casscade Media Systems' Media Portal, Light Edition (CMP LE)

As an alternative to distributing CATV or other broadcast sources via traditional RF-based systems, CMP LE provides for expanded functionality at a fraction of what traditional systems cost. By utilizing, in most cases, existing network infrastructure, broadcast TV may be distributed from an institution's central network-based head-end to every desktop in the district.

Through centralizing the institution's broadcast TV head-end, costs that were typically shouldered at each building are only required to be paid for once. As soon as the head-end is set up, the system may be infinitely expanded without having to repurchase new head-end systems. The larger the network, the larger the savings.

System requirements of the CMP LE are standard for typical institutions. In most cases, these features are required for implementation of other technologies required within a given institution. In turn, related overhead and maintenance costs are at most negligible.

Here's a line item example of the long-term costs of IPTV:

District A – (K-12), US-Based
Existing Legacy Buildings where CATV Systems exist: 35
Casscade Media Portal LE (Head-end only required) $500,000
Average age of systems: 10 yrs
Average annual maintenance costs: $25,000
Total cost of existing systems (over same period) $750,000
Planned new schools or renovations: 6
Average cost to implement (Head-end already in place) $0
Total new deployment costs: $0
Grand Total: $750,000
* these cost examples are derived from the smallest school district in the State of Georgia, USA.

Deployment of IPTV will provide a windfall return on investment.

Over time Casscade Media Systems' Media Portal LE provides potential long term savings of $150,000,000 and is a cost effective solution to a significant technological problem in our institutions.

Here are some of the long-term benefits of using the system:

State of Georgia (K-12 Public)
Existing Legacy Buildings where CATV Systems exist: 2524
Average cost to implement(Head-end plus, TVs, Mounts, VCRs, etc): $75,000
Average age of systems: 10 yrs
Average annual maintenance costs: $200
Total cost of existing systems to date: $194,348,000
Planned new schools or renovations: 100
Average cost to implement (Head-end plus tuners only) $55,000
Total new deployment costs: $5,500,000
Grand Total: $199,923,200

State of Georgia (K-12 Public)
Existing Legacy Buildings where CATV Systems exist: 2524
Casscade Media Portal LE (Head-end only required) $7,500,000
Average age of systems: 10 years
Average annual maintenance costs: $650,000
Total cost of existing systems (over same period) $14,000,000
Planned new schools or renovations: 100
Average cost to implement (Head-end already in place): $0
Total new deployment costs: $0
Allocation for District Connections to Head-end (Optional)
(200k for every school district in the state) $36,000,000
Grand Total: $58,150,000

Total Statewide Savings $141,773,200

Conclusion: Casscade Media Systems' Media Portal LE provides a long term cost effective solution to a significant technological problem in our institutions.

For more information about Casscade check out http://casscadestreaming.com/.. For news about all things IPTV check out: http://www.iptv-news.com/ .