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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Preemptive Problem Solving - Sharing the Tribal Knowledge

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 1:05 PM

My favorite blogs to read are those where other installers share their personal experiences in the field and their interactions with clients. It helps us to see that big company, small company, young company or industry vet, luxury high-rise condo in Manhattan, or 1,000 square foot cookie-cutter development in BFE, things are pretty much alike all over.


Last week I read a blog by Heather Sidorowicz titled, “When Failure is Not an Option.” So, while I’m reading Heather’s post, I come across this paragraph:


11:56 a.m.: “Hey,” says my tech, “so, we’re not getting a picture from the FioS boxes to the TVs. I called Atlona and…” he pauses, “turns out Cisco and Scientific Atlantic don’t currently support HDbaseT. To alleviate HDMI issues we had chosen to go with Atlona’s new HDBaseT baluns. This was supposed to solve problems, not create them. So please, write it down and make a mental note. Currently HDbaseT is not supported by Cisco (the boxes we had) and Scientific Atlantic.


I paused, that weird cold sweat breaking out on my forehead. I went back and I re-read it again. I’m a big proponent of HDBaseT tech – I was on their panel at last year’s CEDIA extolling how great it’s worked for my company – and this was definitely news to me. And not the good kinda news like, “ALIENS HAVE COME BRINGING RENEWABLE ENERGY AND LIGHTSABERS!” It was more like a 72-point headline reading “WORLD ENDS!” with appropriate 130-dB alarm klaxons and those flashy fire strobe lights.


Because I am planning on using multiple Atlona HDBaseT transmitters all throughout my upcoming mega install job. Transmitters that will just so happen to need to transmit cable TV. From Scientific Atlanta cable boxes.


Not doubting Heather – OK, kinda doubting Heather – I went over to the HDBaseT website and started clicking around. Lots of things about how we should imagine the future and how the HDBaseT logo all but guarantees world peace and how it’s the greatest thing since the discovery of fire. Lots of that.


But nothing about Cisco or Scientific Atlanta boxes and any compatibility issues.


So I go searching through the FAQ and the glossary but nothing. More praise, but no giant flashing red banner at the top of the page saying, “INSTALLERS! BE AWARE! OUR TECHNOLOGY IS NOT SUPPORTED BY CISCO OR SCIENTIFIC ATLANTA! TWO MAJOR SUPPLIERS OF CABLE BOXES! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, KNOW THIS BEFORE YOU GO INTO THE FIELD!


Continue reading at Residential Systems. And see how you can help share the Tribal Knowledge!

Categories: May 2013, CTA, Rants

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