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Health Sciences Center Delivers Television On Twisted Pair Cable

The University of Florida’s Health Sciences Center uses Lynx to deliver cable TV to 80 offices and classrooms. They like having a universal cabling infrastructure that lets them deliver data, voice, and television to any location. This lets them expand or modify their television network as their needs change.

The Health Sciences Center (HSC) at the University of Florida uses a Lynx Video Network® to deliver its 22-channel cable TV network to 13 offices and classrooms in three buildings on twisted-pair cable. Recently, HSC expanded the network to 80 more locations with the opening of the new Health Professions, Nursing and Pharmacy Building.

Hansford Taylor
Hansford Taylor

Users enjoy an excellent picture, even on runs as long as 330 feet, according to Hansford Tyler, HSC’s Business Manager for Academic Information Systems and Support.

Tyler was intrigued with a Lynx demonstration at a trade show and ordered a system for evaluation. “It looked like a clever way to serve our customers without installing additional cable,” he said. “We get the cable signal to our main data distribution closets and from there we use exactly the same system as we use for data distribution. Cable television, telephone and data are all distributed from the same IDF wiring closets and all go out on Cat 5e cables.”

The centerpiece of the Lynx Network is a passive broadband balun, which converts an unbalanced coaxial signal into a balanced signal that travels on pair 4 of a twisted pair cable. An identical balun at the TV end reverses the process. The analog signal does not travel on the data network and does not use any bandwidth or slow down the network.

University of Florida campus

“We knew up front that classrooms in a new building would need cable television,” Tyler said, “so we designed a cable plan that did not include coax. Using Cat 5 for voice, video, and data let us provide cable TV at very little additional cost. We pulled coax to the IDF closets, plugged it into the Lynx hubs, then distributed on Cat 5.”

The Lynx network uses 10, eight-port hubs, which HSC staff installed themselves. Tyler reports that Lynx Broadband was very helpful in providing installation information and technical specifications. “The quality control documentation they provided was incredible,” he said.

A key consideration in HSC’s decision to expand the Lynx Network was the product’s flexibility for handling moves, adds, and changes. Tyler simply runs a patch cord from an unused port on a distribution hub to the appropriate port on a patch panel, then installs a single port converter behind the TV.

Product Photos

Lynx 8-port distribution hub
Lynx 8-port distribution hub converts a coaxial input signal to 8 Cat 5 output signals.
Lynx single port converter
Lynx single port converter changes the Cat 5 signal back to a coaxial signal. (3.3 in. long)

System Design

Lynx system wiring diagram

R&D 100 Awards

The Lynx Video Network received the 1996 R&D 100 Award for its ability to deliver television signals on a dedicated twisted pair cable. The Lynx Video and Data Network received the 2003 R&D 100 Award for its ability to simultaneously deliver television and data (Ethernet) on a single twisted pair cable. The R&D 100 Award is presented by R&D Magazine to recognize the 100 most technologically significant new products introduced each year.