Which is better, a headend or individual receivers?

If you own an apartment building, senior living center, or any large multi-dwelling unit. you know that providing television service to your tenants is important. You could just let the cable company in to handle it, but that might be too expensive for your residents, or maybe the cable company just isn’t that competent.

Really, unless you want those cable guys involved, you have two choices: a “headend” system where all the equipment is located in a central closet, or a system where a single dish on the roof feeds all the apartments and each tenant gets his or her own service.

Of course… you could just leave it up to the tenants, but then you’re basically putting a dish on every balcony, and that’s a lot of dishes. It’s better to put one dish on the roof and let everyone share it, and it’s perfectly legal.

The big advantage of a headend system is that you can manage the costs much more easily. You decide how many channels you’re going to offer, and at what price. You know all the equipment is in one place so there’s no reason that a repair person would need to go inside someone’s apartment or room. That makes it a lot easier.

On the other hand the benefit of a single-dish system (which used to be called an “L-Band” system but that term doesn’t really apply anymore) is that each person can decide what they really want. If they want a DVR, or HBO, or whatever, it’s up to them. That tends to make tenants happier, although it does tend to cost more.

Whatever you decide, Solid Signal’s corporate arm, Signal Connect, can help you with a custom quote that includes installation. Just give us a call at 888-233-7563!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.