Satellite Master Antenna Television (SMATV) System

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What is a SMATV System?


A SMATV (Satellite Master Antenna Television) system is a type of satellite television system that is commonly found in multi-unit residential complexes or buildings. In contrast to a standard satellite television system, which employs a single dish to receive satellite signals, a SMATV system uses a central antenna to receive satellite signals and distribute them to various outlets within a building. This enables several people to access satellite television services without the need for individual dishes to be installed.


1. SMATV System Requirements


In Malaysia, the SMATV system shall be able to receive all the local TV channels (RTM1, RTM2, TV3 & NTV7, 8TV & TV9), FM radio and ASTRO satellite TV channels. The system shall also provide one TV channel for the viewing of the visitor picture captured by the CCTV camera at the guard house entrance.


The SMATV system shall utilise the latest cascadable switching technology, which shall be able to distribute up to 4 IF (VL: Vertical Low, VH: Vertical High, HL: Horizontal Low & HH: Horizontal High) and the future digital terrestrial (DTT), high definition (HD) & 3 dimensions (3D) channels.


All required components of the SMATV system shall include but are not limited to the satellite dish, antennae, lightning surge protector, channelized amplifiers, modulator, power supply unit, distribution amplifiers, multi-switches, splitters, taps, TV outlets, coaxial cable, with all necessary accessories to complete.


2. SMATV General Requirements


A SMATV system must meet certain standards in order to be installed and operated properly. These prerequisites are as follows:


2.1 A clear line of sight to the satellite


The central antenna must have a clear line of sight to the satellite in order to receive satellite signals. This means that there must be no obstructions in the way of the antenna’s view of the sky, such as trees or buildings.


2.2 An adequate antenna


The central antenna must be capable of receiving satellite signals. The type of antenna required will be determined by the satellite used and the location of the structure. A building in a high-rise metropolitan region, for example, will require a different antenna than a building in a rural one.


2.3 A signal distribution system


Once the satellite signals have been received by the central antenna, they must be transmitted to the individual outlets within the property. A coaxial cable distribution system is commonly used for this. The number and type of outlets required will be defined by the number of users and the type of television equipment utilised.


2.4 Satellite receivers


In order to receive satellite signals, each outlet in the building must have a satellite receiver. The type of receiver required will be determined by the satellite used and the type of television equipment used.


2.5 Installation and Maintenance


To install and maintain a SMATV system, one must be knowledgeable about satellite television systems and signal delivery. This is normally performed by a professional installer who has received SMATV system installation and configuration training. This will assist future maintenance personnel to be able to maintain the system.


3. Advantages of SMATV Systems


3.1 Cost-effective solution


One of the primary benefits of a SMATV system is its low cost. Because the system receives signals through a single central antenna, installation and operation costs are substantially lower than if each individual unit required its own satellite dish.


3.2 Easy to upgrade


Another advantage of a SMATV system is that it is easy to maintain and upgrade. Since the system combines a central antenna and a coaxial cable distribution system, it is extremely simple to add or remove outlets as needed, and to upgrade the system as new technology becomes available.


4. Disadvantages of SMATV Systems


4.1 Poor signal quality due to design


One of the key downsides is that as the satellite signal is distributed across the structure, its signal quality may deteriorate. If the system is poorly designed, the user may experience reduced visual and sound quality. This can be catastrophic the system will not be able to function as intended. Therefore, proper planning and careful equipment selection must be performed.


4.2 Surrounding structures


Moving on, if the central antenna is not properly installed or adjusted, receiving satellite signals may be problematic because surrounding structures and trees may cause in poor or no reception at all. This is why it is critical to have a competent technician handle SMATV system installation and configuration.


5. Summary


Overall, a SMATV system can provide satellite television services to several users within a building or multi-unit residential complex in a simple and cost-effective manner. Users can enjoy high-quality satellite television without the need for individual dishes. However, the system must be designed and the proper equipment selected to ensure optimum function of the system.


Our M&E Consultant Solutions


As M&E consultants, our solutions include:

  • Design of SMATV systems in buildings
  • Design of schematic diagram for SMATV systems


Perunding JW is an M&E Consulting firm based in Malaysia. If you are looking for more information or resources, reach out to our team of engineers. We will gladly assist you. Visit our homepage or call us at +603 7955 5918.

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