What is IRS and where would it be used?

Individual houses will usually have their own television aerial or satellite dish, often mounted on the roof or at a higher point of the building.  But in a building of multiple occupancy, for example a block of flats, this could lead to dozens of aerials and satellite dishes fighting for the best spot, so what is the alternative?

In this article we look at what IRS is, and 5 situations where it could be used.

What is IRS?

IRS stands for Integrated Reception System. 

One main satellite and aerial is installed on the roof of the building  with cables run to a central point, a main headend.  Here, the necessary filtering and amplification is carried out before the signal is transmitted through cables to each individual room or property in the building. 

It can provide a range of services including Terrestrial Digital TV (Freeview & Freeview HD), Satellite (Freesat, Sky, Sky+, Sky HD) and Radio (FM, DAB) to multiple occupants in the building.  The system works just as if the occupant had their own television aerial or satellite dish and allows the end user to choose exactly which services they would like to use.  

For example, if the occupant wanted to watch Sky then the satellite dish is already in place – all they would need to do is contact Sky to obtain a Sky box and subscribe to their chosen channels.

5 situations where IRS could be used

#1 – Private Landlord

Television is often seen as an essential service, and as such tenants expect a television aerial to be provided in their property.  If you own several flats in one building, an IRS means that you can fulfil this requirement but you do not need to choose one particular form of TV programming – instead this choice is left to the tenant.

Installing an IRS avoids the need for multiple dishes and aerials on the building which are not only unsightly, but can be difficult to maintain as the signal often varies.  Instead, an installed IRS provides a reliable service with low maintenance costs.

#2 – Property Developers

These days it is expected that a new property will have a TV aerial in at least the living room and perhaps also the bedroom as standard, and new flats or apartments are no different.  By installing an IRS in the building, property developers can market the fact that purchasers will be able to move straight in without having to arrange their own aerial or satellite dish installation.

As a further benefit, having a minimal amount of dishes and aerials installed means the visual appearance of the building remains appealing, an important factor for marketing the sale of a property.

Liaising with an IRS installer at an early point in the project means that the most effective solution can be installed, creating a service that works for everyone – this could also provide the opportunity to install additional TV points in the property at the construction stage if desired by the end user.

#3 – Student Accommodation

Despite their perceived image, it won’t necessarily be the case that students will spend the majority of their time in the Student Union or other local bars!  Having a room that is a home from home is important while away from family and friends, and a bit of downtime watching TV is sometimes the perfect break from studying.  

Some students may be living on their student loan while others might be working part-time or receiving support from family – whatever the situation, monthly budgets will vary from one student to another.  IRS installation means that students are given access to television services as they would expect, but that they are able to choose a service that fits within their budget – this could be free terrestrial TV or a paid subscription.

#4 – Commercial Builders

When building a commercial office block most developers won’t know in advance who their tenants will be.  Different businesses have different needs, and so it is important to make your commercial building as accessible to as many different types of business as possible.  For example, while some businesses may have no use for a TV aerial, others may prefer to install a TV in a waiting area that can be used by visitors.

Offering services such as this alongside fibre broadband connections and CCTV will of course be of huge benefit when it comes to advertising the offices to potential occupants.

Related Content: CCTV Rules and Regulations; A simple guide to the do’s and don’ts of CCTV in the workplace

#5 – Assisted Living Complex 

Assisted living provides support to older or disabled people who need a little more help day-to-day, but still allows the individual to live independently as opposed to the full-time care provided in a care home.  Often it will be a self-contained flat or apartment, but with communal areas and emergency help on hand when needed.  

Television provides a much needed way for individuals to feel connected to the goings on outside their home and can be a central focus of entertainment.

Installing an IRS would remove the maintenance element for the individual but still provide them with the choice of which television services they would like to access.  The reliable nature and low cost maintenance of an IRS means that maintenance costs could be covered by the rental price of the property, or perhaps through a monthly factoring fee that may be in place for other communal services.

Summary – What is IRS and where would it be used?

Installing an Integrated Reception System (IRS) is an ideal way to provide multiple occupants of a building with terrestrial television services like Freeview, or a satellite service such as Sky, but without multiple aerials and satellite dishes being installed.  This means that the building remains visually appealing, and occupants are given the functionality to choose whichever television or satellite service they would like to watch.

There are many different situations where an IRS may be an ideal solution to the television and satellite needs of the occupants, as this article highlights.  For more information on whether an IRS is the solution for your multiple occupancy building, we recommend contacting an approved IRS installer.

As approved CAI installers, Nicoll & Stewart are able to advise and install your IRS system – get in touch with the team to discuss your requirements further. 

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