An IRS is the collection of Satellite, TV & Radio services being combined for distribution, to either multiple individual properties on a large housing project or for distribution to multi-dwelling units such as blocks of flats or new high rise apartment buildings. A typical single satellite IRS system would include a main satellite and aerial array installed at the roof location and from here cabling would connect to what is called a main headend. At the headend, various amplification and filtering would take place before distributing the combined signal over the designed cabling network. Each property would be connected to this system and would have the ability to receive Digital TV Channels, FM Radio, Digital Radio and the option to subscribe to a satellite provider such as SKY or purchase a Freesat set-top box.
An IRS is typically designed using a coaxial cabling structure where for a single satellite and aerial setup you would require 5 x 5mm coaxial cables to distribute the signal throughout the network. Due to the signal loss and degradation over coaxial cable, repeated amplification is required as the network expands further away from the main headend.
A FIRS (Fibre Optic Integrated Receiving System) is designed using fibre optic cabling where a single cable could support a setup providing up to 8 satellites signals. A FIRS system installed by IKM can be designed to support from 32 to over 10000 connected homes each receiving the same signal levels as if they were connected to their own aerial and satellite dish.
The satellite & combined aerial signals are connected to an Optical Device Unit (ODU) where signals are converted to an optical output. This optical output is distributed over the fibre optic cabling network called a PON (Passive Optical Network). The signal can be distributed over a network using optical splitters which take the incoming signal and split it into forms of 2,4,8,16 & 32. From the splitter location, a single fibre cable is run to the end user’s property where it is connected to a Gate Way Unit (GTU) within the home. The GTU converts the signal back to coaxial outputs which are connected to the internal cabling within the home, enabling the customer to connect to satellite (SKY or Freesat) or terrestrial (Freeview) set-top boxes or directly into a digital ready TV or DAB radio.
IKM’s FIRS Systems can be designed to support multiple foreign satellite services to cater for MDU’s where there is a high degree of diversity or where there is a demand for non-English programming.
With a FIRS system, up to 4 satellite signals can be distributed over a single fibre cable for use with Global Switchblade technology. The 4 satellites signals can be stacked together and distributed via coaxial outputs for connection to the home cabling network.
IKM has provided cabling services to Computacenter at Heathrow Airport since October 2012. The IT services and solutions provider provides a 25-strong onsite team, which has worked on more than 300 projects, and installed more than 110 kilometres of cabling.
IKM’s flexible approach and scalability means Computacenter can action cabling moves and changes quickly to meet evolving business needs, while complying with stringent health and safety regulations required of an airport environment.
Neal Bates, Computacenter (UK) Ltd