This query seeks experience of others on cable, digital, and satellite TV
We live in a six-unit apartment building. Is it possible to get a single
cable or satellite service for the entire building -- obviously at lower
cost? It would seem to me no different than getting service in a
single-family residence with TVs in six rooms.
I suppose I could also ask if it might be possible to get a single internet
service, using wireless, which would give every unit a connection. Actually,
you probably could do that without the server even knowing it.
But, as Richard Nixon so eloquently said, "that would be wrong."
In the apts I've lived in, each apt had it's own cable box. Why
would the cable company allow one service for the entire building?
Each apt is a seperate household and they want to bill accordingly.
Also, each apt needs at least one cable box, (except for some cases
where you can receive bare minimum channels without) so it's not even
clear what you mean by "one service".
I'd say from the cable companies point of view it's very different
from one single family residence with service in 6 rooms. If you
follow your logic, why would 6 seperate apts be much different than me
wanting to combine my account with my neighbor's house, so we could
I don't have experience with sat, but doubt it would be different.
Yep, you could. But I bet if you check out the cable company
contract for service, it prohibits it. And if you want to do it
anyway, ask yourself if you want to be the actual real account
holder? Not only do you have possible criminal issues just for doing
it, but who knows what the guy in apt 5 is doing on the internet,
which shows up as activity by YOU.
There are some wireless internet providers in certain areas who are
setting up networks outside the phone/cable companies in some very
select areas. If you happen to be in the right area, that could be a
possibility, but I'm not sure you'd save enough to make it worthwhile.
Lots of apartments provide basic cable or satt as part of the rent. Satt
or cable company charges based on the number of units. Just have the
owner call they up and ask. It'll have to be the owner- they won't allow
the renters to do it on their own.
I should have said that we are a coop apartment building -- each resident
owns an equal share of the building.
But it would seem to me that if building service is available to rental
apartments, no reason it shouldn't be available to coops. The question is
whether we could get a discount price that way.
Uh, how do you know what the policies of the cable services in his
area are? Have you contacted them and asked?
He should contact the cable company, explain the situation, and ask
what his options are. One presumes that he is speaking as the
property owner or his agent rather than simply as a resident of the
property. They may very well have discounted basic service
specifically for multi unit rental properties. You really think that
hotels spend full boat individual-subscriber retail for every room?
Don't need to. I'll buy you your favorite adult beverage if you can provide one
example of a cable TOS that permits the sharing of a single cable TV signal
amonst 6 unrelated families in a multi unit dwelling.
Called MDU, the owner pays a flat fee per number of units! Offered not
only by cable but both satellite providers. I used to be a dish
I dont drink but much prefer a nice juicy rare steak dinner:)
I dont have a clue about the cable tv, but as far as the internet,
what would they do, each unit gets 4 hours per day (times 6 units = 24
hours). Plus they would need at least 6 email addresses (unless they
all use yahoo, hotmail, or gmail "web" type addresses.
I don't think there would be any problem over allocation of hours of service
if you use wireless. It would be like a motel, which gets one wireless
signal and it's available to all units simultenously.
For that matter, my neighbor has an unsecured wireless network which I could
use without anyone knowing it. I hasten to add, I don't do that.
A cable companies will negotiate a rate for the whole building, basic
cable plus a movie pack, but you will need everyone in the building to
agree. They did this in a condo I owned, using the existing "house
antenna" cables. It lasted a while until we had a few residents who
wanted to opt out. Then the cable co came in and ran separate cable to
As for sharing the internet connection, technically a violation of TOS
but hard to prove or even avoid if you got sloppy and ran your router
in the open. The down side. It would be S-L-O-W if several people were
banging it at once.
It is all about the specific entity who will be paying the bill. Owner,
Co-Op president, or Co-Op treasurer. If payments stop, who will be
called into small claims court. What recourse will the cable TV company
have to recover any back owed cash, and who's credit rating will take the
I have lived in places that received a very basic cable TV connection.
As part of the rent, the owner installed his own distribution service of
that basic connection, one outlet per apartment. I didn't like the
service for reasons too long to go into here. Such a system would not
allow Cable Modem for Internet unless owner had two way broadband
amplifier at head-in; not likely to happen. DSL would be the Internet
I much preferred each apartment renter being responsible for own bill.
Motels and prisons, school dorms and nursing home get bulk packages,
called free to guest or MDU. often a bare minimum of channels. the
upfront cost to the dealer for a receiver for each channel plus
modulators etc can be a killer.
theres money to be made by the satellite dealer, who gets nice
residuals.based on the monthly fee for the life of the customer.
I wouldn't expect the cable company to charge a single-family rate for six
units. But instead of charging six times the family rate, they might just
charge five times. That's the whole point of my inquiry.
When we did this at the condo it ended up being quite a bit cheaper
than X times "basic cable plus HBO" price but our "basic" wasn't
exactly what you get in a single family setup, it was only about 40
channels with about the same mix you would expect in a hotel. (I
imagine exactly what you got in the hotel down the street). They seem
to be careful not to allow a direct comparison of the plans. The
problem was that if some tenants wanted to opt out the rate didn't
change. They still charged like we were all in it and those who opted
out wanted a rebate on their dues. It just got to be a problem the
board didn't want to deal with. The cable co ended up wiring each unit
and it wasn't pretty work. (exposed raceways down the hall)
Sharing an Internet connection is easy, all you need is your cable modem and
a wireless router. Many routers allow up to 50 connections. You might want
a router with extended coverage (see wireless standards). Linksys is the
best brand. Each user must then have a wireless adapter installed in their
PC. PCI Adapters for desktops, PCMCIA (cards for laptops, most new laptops
have built in wireless) or a USB wireless adapter that plugs into your USB
port and can be used with any PC.
See more info at http://www.linksysbycisco.com/US/en/home
You could run the Router OPEN, meaning anyone could access the network or
better yet password protect your network and provide approved users with
the network password. Security for wireless networks use to be more
difficult to setup, thus there were many OPEN networks, but todays software
makes it quite easy to accomplish a secure WAN.
Having mulitple users on the same network is not an issue. You could have
20 or more users surfing the net and not notice a slow. Many people only use
a fraction of their bandwith, even with the lowest tier of service. Even
if several users were downloading songs or Utube videos, at once, I doubt
you would see a slow. However if you had one user downloading data from a
usenet binaries newsgroup, using a binary news reader with multiple
connections (8-10) then you would definitly experiece some slows.
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