Jump to content

Serious technology question...please


petitepedal
 Share

Recommended Posts

So my senior building is 30 years old.  We are looking at technology options that didn't exist 30 years ago that now are basic options in new construction (as well as being installed in older places like ours)...Our WIFi is a hodge podge that the maintenance guy set up a few years ago with a download speed of 1.6 mbs...WOW I think my dial up was faster than that!!! and it is unsecure..oh an to top it off temperamental ... For Television, about 5 years ago we contracted for 55 Direct TV channels thru a local provider..none are HD with our system and people want more channels....

 

The monthly cost we are looking at are awesome..less than $30 for  200+ TV channels (HBO and some other movie channels included) and 80 music stations....  Internet will be secure if the purchase a router and they may have secure WIFI as well.  We will have 60mbs download and we will also have our own land line phone system (over 70% of our folks still use a land line...Long Distance charges will be additional.

 

SO...especially for you techie folks...the infrastructure costs to get this all set up...including HD/DVR receivers and remotes and all the "other stuff" cables fiber optics and lord only know what else is gonna come to $300,000 or so...

Our concern is will this be obsolete in 5 years????  TV will be with another provider but still Direct...

 

SO give me your thoughts please.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



You have to expect to have a 5 year lifecycle on infrastructure equipment, some companies will squeeze more out, and some less.  I do a number of nursing homes in terms of wifi, but there are questions to ask to find out the specifics.  We don't do the DVR and televisions side, but we provide bandwidth and phone systems through our partners.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, and no. You can't really 'predict' where technology will go, but you can guess and you're probably doing the right thing by asking other people's opinions.

 

My 'guess' is that the WiFi may be obsolete, but it won't be a huge cost to change to something newer because the infrastructure will be similar. It might just be changing the plan with the company and buying a new router to support the new speed/technology.

 

The TV/cable will be obsolete, but if you have good networking capability, I think you will cover the direction that the TV is going. I think (my opinion) that TV viewing will be much more networked based streaming soon (e.g. Netflix). So again, it shouldn't be a huge jump to support that, if (big 'if')...your TV supports network connection. That is - make sure it's a smart TV that can get wi-fi network or plugged in network cable. Also, a SmartTV would be good as it may be able to be updated with apps that one may use for that.

 

That being said...you may want to invest in a Netflix (or whatever the next big thing) streaming service and possibly be a jump ahead of the game.

 

Again, all my 'opinion' about the direction of technology, so take with a grain of salt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah...remember seniors are behind on technology...we still have a few tube TV's in this building...if it ain't broke...why buy new....

 

I would think certainly the internet installation is absolutely important..because the wifi doesn't even meet the needs of our present population.  I think the bigger concern is that the in 5 years we will have to replace 202 HD/DVR Receivers... :rolleyes:  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah...remember seniors are behind on technology...we still have a few tube TV's in this building...if it ain't broke...why buy new....

 

I would think certainly the internet installation is absolutely important..because the wifi doesn't even meet the needs of our present population.  I think the bigger concern is that the in 5 years we will have to replace 202 HD/DVR Receivers... :rolleyes:  

You shouldn't have to update the receivers, I don't think. It may be something at the source that can support it. That would be a question for DTV maybe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh....and you say seniors are behind on technology (I get that), but if they can handle DVRs (that you also mentioned), then I think they can handle Netflix. The great thing about technology like this, is that if they don't understand it, they just don't have to use it. It's not forced upon them to understand just to use basic tv.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have a ton of people who will never even try the DVR option.

That's kinda where I'm going with the Netflix (or equivalent) idea. If you want to accommodate for the future, I'd plan that into the infrastructure. They don't 'have' to use it though, but you asked about predicting what's coming next and I think that's it. I'd try to make sure I could support that capability if it were me (even if you don't add the feature just 'yet').

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a lot of wireless solutions out there.  Have a contractor do a site survey to find out how many access points you need, and bid it out.  Top brands include Ruckus, Meraki, and Cisco.  We use Aruba, which isn't bad either.  Choose a business system.  Done right, you can probably just switch access points in five years as the technology becomes obsolete, because this should be a wiring job, where you have cable run and the access points mount on the ceiling.  In the process, make sure the contractor sets up some sort of filtering and bandwidth control --this prevents two things:

 

1) Somebody's great-grandkid coming over to surf porn, and

2) Somebody's great-grandkid coming over and consuming everyone's bandwidth trying to pirate music and movies.

 

Television --I'd find out if any vendors in your area do IP-TV, which basically means television run over network cabling, then some sort of box each resident gets that translates the network stuff over to tuning on televisions.  Otherwise, I'd get a contract with your local cable provider.  I'd stay away from satellite for large installations.  If you get a contract with your cable provider, you can often get a deal for your residents, and possibly negotiate a rate lock-in for several years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Comcast is $65 a month for internet & TV...for 1 year of a 5 year contract....price is good for 1 year...If we put in a dish....and other stuff...$28 a month....good internet plus land lines for folks who want a land line.

 

Tell Comcast that you won't bite unless folks get a lock-in rate for a specified program.  Tell them how many people you have.  If they don't budge, walk.

 

Dish usually uses DSL for their internet from another provider, or (*shudder*) satellite, which is horrible.  Find out how they're going to get you the Internet and what speeds they'll guarantee per user.  Admittedly, seniors don't need super-fast Internet usually, but it should be a system that doesn't bog down too easily.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A nore on your infrastructure costs:  If you are having cabling run, especially for new construction, make sure that it is run inside of conduits large enough to accomodate any future cablinbg upgrade or replacement needs.  Then it can just be fished through without requiring major renovations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a lot of wireless solutions out there.  Have a contractor do a site survey to find out how many access points you need, and bid it out.  Top brands include Ruckus, Meraki, and Cisco.  We use Aruba, which isn't bad either.  Choose a business system.  Done right, you can probably just switch access points in five years as the technology becomes obsolete, because this should be a wiring job, where you have cable run and the access points mount on the ceiling.  In the process, make sure the contractor sets up some sort of filtering and bandwidth control --this prevents two things:

 

1) Somebody's great-grandkid coming over to surf porn, and

2) Somebody's great-grandkid coming over and consuming everyone's bandwidth trying to pirate music and movies.

 

Television --I'd find out if any vendors in your area do IP-TV, which basically means television run over network cabling, then some sort of box each resident gets that translates the network stuff over to tuning on televisions.  Otherwise, I'd get a contract with your local cable provider.  I'd stay away from satellite for large installations.  If you get a contract with your cable provider, you can often get a deal for your residents, and possibly negotiate a rate lock-in for several years.

 

 I wouldn't get Meraki, I would get Aerohive if I was considering a controllerless solution.  Meraki ceases to function, at all, the very second you let the subscription expire.  At that point, your equipment is useless.  Aerohive still works, you just can't update the software when you let the service run out.   Cisco solutions need to have a controller(s) if you are running 802.11ac, you can't really go autonomous without fully wonking the ios, and then you cannot revert back.  Aruba is a real pain in the ass to work with as a vendor, and the pricing sucks, I just think that it is a really messed up organization.  Btw, we sell all the platforms I mentioned.  Aerohive is incredibly strong in retail, education, and healthcare facilities (not hospitals, though, those folks really like controllers).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd suggest you seek proposals from consulting engineers to prepare a recommendation for you, unless you have some (real-and-not-self-proclaimed) communications experts on your staff.  The money you invest in that recommendation will likely save you from installing a system that will become a millstone around your neck in a few years.  And then paying to re-install it all over again.

 

Once you get the recommendation you can decide if the system is complex enough to warrant hiring the engineer to design it.

 

For what it's worth, when we specify and design systems we set them up with enough expansion/flexibility to anticipate a 15 or 20 year lifespan with little additional cost.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 I wouldn't get Meraki, I would get Aerohive if I was considering a controllerless solution.  Meraki ceases to function, at all, the very second you let the subscription expire.  At that point, your equipment is useless.  Aerohive still works, you just can't update the software when you let the service run out.   Cisco solutions need to have a controller(s) if you are running 802.11ac, you can't really go autonomous without fully wonking the ios, and then you cannot revert back.  Aruba is a real pain in the ass to work with as a vendor, and the pricing sucks, I just think that it is a really messed up organization.  Btw, we sell all the platforms I mentioned.  Aerohive is incredibly strong in retail, education, and healthcare facilities (not hospitals, though, those folks really like controllers).

 

Of what I listed, I'd probably go with Ruckus, myself.  Aruba is what I have to deal with, and it works well, but Ruckus is on the edge of things, with some really new (and good) technology for reducing interference and increasing range.

 

I've also heard good things about Aerohive, however, I'd prefer to get a system that doesn't require paying a renewal fee.

 

Cisco has controller-based and controllerless-based (in their small business line) access points.  Having a controller isn't always bad, though.

 

P.S.  Thaddeus, WiFi is advancing so rapidly right now that a 15-20 year lifecycle, well....while some systems can be planned for, wireless can only go so far.  802.11n is still the most cost-effective for large scale deployments.  802.11ac is more desirable but costs a ton more, and there's improvements to that just coming down the pipe that we'll probably see in the next 2 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Cisco has controller-based and controllerless-based (in their small business line) access points.  Having a controller isn't always bad, though.

 

 

 

Not in AC, they don't, only in controller-based.  

 

Controllers make sense in some situations, for Petite's I don't think they do.  Added expense, for one, plus even more expense if you are gonna smartnet it.  Then, if you don't have the horsepower on staff to make it all happen, then you are really getting expensive.  Simple is better.

 

If you are going to slum it with 802.11n, then refurb is the way to go.  Use that for 3 more years, then go to ac when pricing on ac refurb brings the costs lower.  You are going to pay one way or another.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...