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Understanding Wiring Requirements for Cardio Equipment

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As cardio equipment becomes more innovative, it’s more important than ever to understand the infrastructure required for seamless installation, and to avoid costly mistakes. Even though technology is constantly evolving, there are a few critical pieces of knowledge that can save a lot of money in the long term.

What to Know About Cable, Satellite and IPTV Set Top Boxes

Since 2011, cable companies have been evolving how their signal is delivered to cardio equipment. In the past, it was rather simple, but due to cable companies changing to digital, a set top box is often required for each piece of equipment. You can install a set top box for each piece of cardio equipment, or you can choose a limited number of channels to offer by installing modulating equipment.

The benefits of a cable, satellite or IPTV box for each piece of cardio equipment is that the exerciser will have access to the entire channel lineup that is part of your subscription. To eliminate the battery-operated remote control to change channels on the set top box, you can purchase console adapter boxes that allow the controls on the console to be used. Most of the cardio equipment brands have updated their technology to allow this control. In contrast to individual cable, satellite and IPTV boxes, a modulated system is usually limited to a number of channels due to the higher hardware and installation costs of the system.

Wiring Requirements

Wiring requirements vary depending on the features available on the cardio equipment, but there are generally three things that could be required: internet, a TV signal and IR control (for controlling set top boxes). If you are building a new club or upgrading your existing club, the ideal wiring setup would be one COAX and three CAT6 cables to each piece of cardio equipment.

This may seem like a lot of cables, so let’s define it further: COAX is used for sending the TV signal and there are still a large percentage of cardio equipment and set top boxes that rely on this connection. There is talk that CAT6 will eventually replace the COAX cable but, in order for this to happen, the cardio equipment must have an HDMI input. If your cardio equipment is going to have internet, and your club will have more than eight to 10 pieces of cardio, then hardwiring using a CAT6 cable is recommended. The other CAT6 cable would be used to control a cable, satellite or IPTV box if you choose to locate the set top box away from the cardio equipment.

Here’s a review of the cables:

  • COAX cable — Used for a TV signal if the cardio equipment does not have HDMI inputs.
  • CAT6 — Used with an extender for a TV signal if the cardio equipment has HDMI inputs.
  • CAT6 — Used for internet if the cardio equipment has internet capability.
  • CAT6 — Used with a console adapter box to control a cable or satellite box when it’s located away from the cardio equipment.

If you don’t have the ability to run the number of cables as noted above, then your option is to purchase an extender that would allow for multiple types of signal to be sent through a single CAT6 cable. These extenders range in price depending on the length of the run and the number of signal types you are pushing through a CAT6 cable.

Mark Blake is the chief operating officer at Broadcastvision Entertainment and can be reached at 888.330.4283 x 102 or markb@broadcastvision.com. Diagrams relating to this article can be accessed online at 7vzga9ms.sibpages.com.

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