Digital Headends: When Is It Time to Upgrade?

The easy answer—if your facility is still using any kind of analog equipment—is “five years ago.” While most have already switched to digital headends for their hospital patient TV system, we do find some that are still tied to outdated analog infrastructure.

In some cases, facilities are using a band-aid approach to down-convert a digital dish or cable signal into an analog broadcast. If you’re using a DirecTV analog headend, that signal is going away at some point in 2021.

Why Upgrade?

Today’s patients have increasingly high expectations for their in-room TV experience—and understandably so.

In a world where 4k resolution and on-demand streaming have become the norm, your patient satisfaction scores can be negatively impacted if you’re giving patients a grainy analog signal. And with patient satisfaction scores tying directly to government reimbursement levels, there’s no good reason to put off an overdue upgrade to your TV system.

Digital Headends and IPTV

More and more, we’re encouraging hospitals and health systems to move away from coax cabling entirely and switch to an IPTV solution that utilizes a DirecTV digital headend. This opens a wide range of possibilities for crystal clear picture, on-demand shows, and movies, and patient engagement education and videos—and also results in a smaller footprint in your Data Center.

hospital IPTV

Hospital TV Systems: DirecTV vs. Cable

Currently, hospitals that use regular cable can’t get true HD without a set-top box in every room. The cable company will charge you for each of those boxes, and they are likely incompatible with your nurse call system.

A new DirecTV Comm 3000 Digital HD headend will have some upfront cost, but the ROI is felt almost immediately. That’s because we can lower the monthly cable bill substantially compared to what you would pay a local cable company like Time Warner or Spectrum.

At RTG, we’re a one-stop solution for planning, installation, and maintenance of your healthcare facility’s TV systems. We partner with your in-house Facilities and IT teams to identify and implement the best solution for your needs. And unlike your local cable company, we know the unique TV needs of healthcare systems inside and out.

Ready to talk about options for your next digital headend system? Contact us today!