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I am wondering how community and HOA channels work. Maybe this is the same as CCTV?


I live in an apartment building that buys cable service from a local cable provider. Basic cable is included in monthly HOA dues. Part of my basic cable includes a channel for the building. The channel shows new about the community and things like that.


What kind of hardware and software programs make this work?


Does the master cable feed (from the cable company) come into a switching box and then the cable gets sent out to each apartment? Is this where the HOA channel gets hooked in? What generates the HOA channel signal?
 

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The HOA (or whomever is doing the work for them) uses a modulator to insert a channel into an unused channel on the cable feed. They may filter out an existing channel to make room...


The equipment to run an info channel is usually just a PC with some software and a video output sent to a commercial-grade modulator.


Way, way back in the day, it could have been an Atari 800. Before that - it was a small CCTV camera pointed at a series of 3x5 notecards with printed messages, that rotated every few seconds on a carousel... Ahh, the good old days...


Jeff
 

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Are you trying to accomplish something in particular with your building's system, or is this just an educational inquiry?


The cable company typically installs a channel deletion filter on your building's source trunkline and follows it with a splitter combiner and inserts the replacement, locally generated channel or channels there.


The program sources in multiple dweling units are typically full page message generators or surveillance cameras. The video output from either would then be "modulated" to the vacant channel. There are a lot of companies that make full page message generators. If you feel that the one your building is using is inadequate, then I might be able to recommend an alternative one, but you'd then have to get the HOA to pony up several thousands of dollars for the upgrade.
 
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