Spectrum TV is going all digital, is your office ready?
Dear clients of 3C,
This notice is an effort to create
awareness for TV options in the dental office. If you are a current
Spectrum TV user and your TVs are wired directly to the cable lines
Without ADigital Converter Box, you will lose the TV
signal this year. Many clients are losing the service as I write
this. Below is a screen capture of a notice that is going out to all
Spectrum TV users:
https://go.3ctechs.com/mc-goingdigitalThe change in strategy by the cable
tv provider appears to be hastened by the acquisition of Time Warner,
by Spectrum, in 2017. Why are they doing this? Their cost to
deliver TV in a digital format to you is less than the way they are
doing it now. Moreover, they will eventually want everyone to use
their TV Streaming Application down the road.
So, what are your options? Each
option is going to involve a discussion, based on the way the TV
service is delivered to your patient monitor and where your reception
TVs are located. I would ask that you email email@example.com
to allow us to schedule a call with you a come up with the most
Options (Not limited to these only):
#1 Use Spectrum Digital
Spectrum will come out and
install, but the environment may not support the boxes. Said
another way, you need power, coaxial cable and space to accommodate
the boxes with HDMI out to your TV. We can change the environment
of where the boxes will be located, but we will need to discuss
this on a case by case basis.
Spectrum will charge a
monthly rental fee per box. As I understand it now, the charge is
$4.99 per month with the first two boxes free for the first two
You can switch providers,
but all providers (WOW, etc) are moving this direction anyway.
#2 Controlled Content Television
– Local Network Based Streaming
This is a generic technology
term which means, you control what your patients see. With this
technology, we will utilize your existing coaxial network to create
your own TV channel, using content that you pick and design. These
services include options such as hygiene, local weather feeds,
local news feeds, customizable commercial you can upload, procedure
education, trivia, etc. No more commercials, but not a true
television service either. This service updates at night, which
means you do not use your internet bandwidth to provide content
during the day.
Cost is around $100 per
month typically and will require a RF Modulator (~$400) to
distribute the content to all the TVs on the coaxial network.
There are certain instances where we can distribute the video via
HDMI splitters, but distance limitations come into consideration
for longer HDMI runs. Typically running this over coax makes more
#3 Controlled Content Television
– Cloud Internet Based Streaming
This is the same as #2
above, except you would stream content during the day over your
internet connection, which will likely choke your bandwidth for all
other internet needs. I typically favor #2 over this option until
the video streaming compression gets better.
Costs will be approximately the
same as #2 above.
#4 HD Antennae Over
the Air Reception
There are small over the air
HD antennae available that can be installed on individual TVs or a
centrally on the distributed coaxial network. Moreover, depending
on the model and age of your current patient TV, you may already be
picking up Over the Air HD stations. You won’t have the
abundance of channels and you will have commercials still. Based
on the environment of your office and signal strength, the number
of channels may be limited.
The service is free monthly,
but you will need to purchase antennae.
#5 Third Party Streaming
Services Over the Internet
This includes Netflix, Hulu
and all other streaming services.
In the EULA (End User
License Agreement) these services are not to be used in the
commercial environment unless you have a commercial account with
them. This typically costs 5-6x the normal home user account per
month. This doesn’t mean you cannot do it, but I am here to
present what the rules are from the 3rd party service
Moreover, these services are
bandwidth hungry and you may need to increase your internet speeds,
which will cost you more on a monthly basis. Spectrum and other
internet providers want you to ultimately use their streaming
options. As such, we’ve seen many instances where streaming
Netflix and other 3rd party services on spectrum and
AT&T networks are being flagged and rate limited for multi-use
commercial applications. See option #8.
DVD Players and DVDs in the
Officially, to show a DVD in
the dental office, you must obtain permission to show the DVD to
the public. While this is rarely enforced, it is enforceable.
If you are a member of the
ADA, group licensing is available for $310 per year.
DirecTV – Traditional
You can choose the
traditional DTV option with a satellite and box for each TV.
You pay for each TV box, but
I believe the costs end up being less expensive than Spectrum.
Weather can cause
intermittent issues with satellite picture quality.
Streaming Provider Services
Ultimately, this is where
providers are going to want you to go.
If you have a Smart TV with
a wireless antenna, you would be able to access this service using
the apps already installed in each TV. Depending on the number of
TVs, you may have to create a separate wireless network for
security purposes (ie – to separate access from guests and your
If you don’t have a Smart
TV, we can look at supportable wireless devices, such as Chrome
Sticks and ROKU. Again, these all depend on what the providers’
streaming services support.
This technology is still
evolving and it is in the best interest for the providers to
accommodate this for you. However, in a dental office or any
commercial office with multiple TVs, the delivery of this service
is still going to be bandwidth intensive.
I wanted to reach out with
information to you via a generic method for now. Please contact us
for a more customized discussion if desired. You can reach Mike and
I via firstname.lastname@example.org,
or call us at 614-319-4681.