When discussions began in January to plan for the upgrade of a clients Clifton Apartment to the new DSTV over Fibre Video system from Smart Village, special planning was needed to make sure that we could meet the expectations of our client. As well as making sure that the system functioned intuitively and delivered high quality picture to the three viewing environments of the apartment.

The process began when discussions with Smart Village and a visit to the apartment confirmed access to the required Fibre. (More information about the Fibre installation can be found here: Fibre Optic Installation.)

Next we had to decide on the type of televisions to use in the upgrade. Mirror Televisions were considered, but it was decided that as this apartment is not occupied full time a an alternate solution would be more appropriate. The stunning Samsung Series 8 55″ LED Televisions were my recommendation for this installation; replacing the existing Panasonic Plasma screen monitors. These 55″ LED Televisions are exactly the same size as the old Panasonic 50″ Plasmas.

We started with replacing this Plasma in the master bedroom.

The original Panasonic 50" Plasma

The original Panasonic 50″ Plasma

One of my intentions was to make the television viewable from the bed as well as from the bath. This meant checking that the new Vogels Pull & Rotate bracket was the correct choice for the Samsung LED in the master bedroom, I had to take a quick picture to confirm this.

Television turned towards the bath

The new Samsung television turned towards the bath

Then the upgrade of the various components of the system began. Starting with the removal of the old, analogue, non-High Definition equipment which was not able to be integrated into the new digital system.

Single View SD Decoder & SD AVR

The original, untidy installation of a Single View SD Decoder & SD AVR

This was replaced with a new Integra 30.5 AVR, Apple TV, Integra BluRay DVD Player, and, most importantly a new DSTV IP HD Decoder.

Integra AVR, Apple Tv, BluRay Player, DSTV IP Decoder

Finished Installation: Integra AVR, Apple Tv, BluRay Player, DSTV IP Decoder

A new multiplug was installed along with shortened power cables to all devices and 2-pin Euro plugs were replaced with 3-pin 15amp South African plugs.

New multiplug and cabling

New multiplug and cabling

Luckily not much work was needed to tidy up the cabling in the master bedroom unlike the upstairs equipment cabinet.

Cyp HDMI Baluns were used in the master bedroom. These use a single Cat6 Cable and carry IR too. This was useful as it allows the client to use the normal remote controls from each of the devices. This is not a long term solution, though, with consideration being given to using a Crestron MLX-3 remote system.

Moving upstairs, we started with replacing the Panasonic Plasma in the bar. The recess was cutout of the joinery specifically for this plasma.

Panasonic 50" Plasma

Panasonic 50″ Plasma

When I was asked, “Are you sure that the 55″ Television will fit where the old plasma is currently?” I had to make sure and checked the specifications online one extra time just to make sure I hadn’t measured incorrectly.

Samsung 55" LED in the Bar Recess

Samsung 55″ LED in the Bar Recess

The new Samsung LED fits perfectly into the joinery.

Next I moved onto tackling the cabling at the equipment cabinet.

Cabling at the equipment Cabinet.

The old Cabling at the equipment Cabinet. This needed quite a bit of tidying up.

With the installation of the Fibre Optic line into the apartment and upgrading the SD Scart Cables to HDMI Cables, the cabling could be tidied up quite substantially.

Much neater cabinet after Fibre Installation

Much neater cabinet after Fibre Installation

Equipment Cabinet

Equipment Cabinet

The equipment cabinet now houses the Fibre Converter, Network Router, Ubiquity Router, HD DSTV IP Decoder and Apple TV.

Cabling needed to be tidied up a the Bar Television before the Cat6 cable for use with CYP HDMI Baluns could be installed.

Cabling at the Bar Television Cabinet

The original cabling at the Bar Television Cabinet

Installation of a new multiplug and some cable wrapping tidied up the cabling and made it far easier to understand where all the cabling was being routed.

Tidied Cables at the Bar Cabinet

Tidied Cables at the Bar Cabinet

Next was to install the HDMI over Cat6 Baluns for the Bar Television. Even though this may never be seen, making sure that it looked great was very important to me. It took a little longer to decide how to mount it to the backing board, but it looks good now and is easily serviceable.

CYP HDMI over Cat6 Balun

CYP HDMI over Cat6 Balun

Once all the connections were made, configuration of the system could begin. Due to the fairly simple upgrade, not much further work needed to be done. This did, however, include:

  • Configuration of Integra AVR;
  • Setting video outputs from the DSTV Decoder & Apple TV to 720p.

I decided as 720P was the common base of all video outputs that it would be best to use this as syncing issues were creeping into the system and causing a handshaking issue with the Video Output of the AVR, further causing the Handshake over the CYP Baluns to get lost.

This problem has been resolved and special note of the bootup sequence of the system is to ensure that the television is switched on first, with the AVR next.

Configuration of two new Ubiquity Routers which were installed by Infracomm took place simultaneously, allowing for great Wifi coverage throughout the apartment. Streaming content via the Apple TV’s works perfectly, providing perfect entertainment for between sports matches.

Bar Tv 3

Including the project management factor of managing the Smart Village installers time onsite. Pre-installation site visits and planning meetings this installation took a total of 80 hours.

This upgrade was exactly what this apartment deserved. This shows that the restriction of HD DSTV in Clifton has become a thing of the past… finally allowing residents of Clifton the opportunity to watch HD sport via the DSTV over Fibre solution.

The full portfolio of this installation can be viewed here: Clifton Apartment