Hey everybody, it’s Mark Koep with campgroundviews.com and today I’ve got Rob Nasti with me. He has come on here, he actually came on about a year ago into this Facebook group and he came on because I posted something somebody asked about wifi or cable and he said, Mark, you’re wrong. And I said, well I don’t know anything about cable, educate me. And so here we are today and he’s going to educate all of us about what is important about either having cable, not having cable or installing it and are not installing it in your park. So Rob, first off, thank you for joining us here today and you are an expert on cable installations for outdoor destinations, RV parks, campgrounds and the like. And so a lot of conversation goes around about the costs of cable, the cost of channels and blah, blah, blah. And like I was sharing with you before we came on here, I actually don’t know what goes into the cost of cable. So let’s go really high level. When somebody is looking to either install or upgrade cable in and outdoor destination, where do the cost for that come from?
Well, there’s basically three things you can break it down to. You’ve got your service, which means your channel package is more or less, you would choose this for your home as you would for any type of business. Then you’re going to have your, your equipment and this is more or less the electronics that would allow you to bring in this Mmm. This, this entertainment sort of speak. And then there’s also your infrastructure. So if you kind of break it down, it’s kind of like if you look at it to wifi since so many people are sort of on the wifi, you got to have your service provider, you’re going to pick a service that you’re going to get from. If you’re going to get, yeah. A thousand megabytes to, you know, 200 megabytes, all that, that’d be your packaging. And then once you get it in to the actual location, then you’d have to look at your infrastructure. How are you distributing that throughout [inaudible] so everybody gets good service. So that’s what you have to, that’s what you really have to take into consideration. I think the, if you’ve ever talked to me at any of the shows on barbacoa, Koa or anything like that, the infrastructure is probably the most important item that you should consider. Just like wifi, if you’ve got
Yeah, 500 negative that’s coming in, it’s pretty much useless if it stops at your office and you can’t get it out to your campus. We do agree with that. Yeah, absolutely. And that’s what gives you sort of speak your bad reviews and things like that. What’s the same thing with cable? So whether you’re bringing an in through a local service provider like Comcast or time Warner dish direct TV if you can’t get the distribution out to your customers and we’re talking about all the way through the last campsite, cause every single one’s important. Yeah. You’re basically, you’re failing your customers.
When you’re considering doing something like this, you need to look at how is this built? And we’re more or less looking and talking about new infrastructure builds. Meaning there’s nothing in the park where the parks is being built or if it’s already built and we’re adding it afterwards. Mmm. A lot of times you’ll find out people, and this is an any business they’re going to charge you kind of a high amount and they’re going to try to keep their costs as low as possible and keep their profit margin as large as possible. This the business world we live in and unfortunately though, if you’re not aware of what you’re getting, Mmm. Even if you’re comparing apples to apples, they want systems $10,000, and another one’s $10,000. One system is using a subpar infrastructure. Well, [inaudible] even though you’re looking at some things and Oh, it’s cheaper here, it’s cheaper here, you’re going to end up paying for it in the long run. And just some examples from us personally, we went behind camp grounds that had went that route and tried to do the kind of on their own with the local guy and not reaching out through their associations because I strongly believe in the Association’s cause. These are people who specialize in this industry and know
Still a little high level. So you and I have had some conversations off the air about the argument in the first argument you’re going to hear against cable would be that Oh, wifi is super fast and people stream TV and you’ve had some really good responses to that on cable. So, so let me throw that argument at you and you, you can address it for everybody else. So why do I need cable when I can install super high speed internet? MFR
Well we’re going to, it all comes down to it. It’s, it’s a decision as an owner that you have to make, excuse me. The, the one reason why I like it. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do wifi or you know, you should do just one or the other. I kind of liked the fact that you can do both of them together in case your wifi system goes down. Well at least two people can go back and look at TV or if few TV goes down, you have good wifi infrastructure so your people can stream things. Or what not. Like I’ve said before, [inaudible] you know, the streaming thing is nice. It’s nice to have. I suggest always building the best wife prices and you can, and we don’t even do why Phi, but just because if not, you’re going to have bad reviews.
You’re gonna have people complaining. Why wouldn’t you want to do that? Same thing with cable. You want to build the best possible system you could have. It’s not a solution. It’s a nice addition to the entertainments. I mean, imagine walking into a hotel and only having wifi and no television seems kind of odd. Yeah. Yeah. No. The other thing is, personally I’m a camper and when I want to find a new camp to go to, I use a website’s called Harvey review. [inaudible] Kind of gives you reviews of campground, but one of the nice features it has about it is you can put in a check box what you’re looking for. So I want, Oh, I want pull through sites. I want 50 amp service, I want wifi, I want cable television. Or if that one box isn’t checked, somebody’s probably not seeing your park and missing out on business and they’re missing out on an opportunity to visit what might be a wonderful park, that they’ll have many return visits too. So, I mean, there’s a lot of reasons for it. I think it’s an amenity and that’s just expected to come out to it. Mmm. I don’t think streaming’s a bad thing, but it’s just an addition to what your customers expect.
Okay. And you and, and that, that’s the response. We’ve, we’ve talked about that afterwards and it kinda got me thinking that you’re right. You know, and I’m a full time RV or too, right. You know, you know, we travel all the time and I’ve always found the cables actually, you know, wifi has always been traditionally bad in our industry, although it’s gotten a lot better. A lot of parts really kind of upgrade in that. But cable has always been bad. And I realize that, let’s go back to the other conversation about the infrastructure is, is when you, when you plug into the cable box in his grainy, you know, and I’m in a, you know, a new rig and I know my cable connections are good inside my rig and I’ve got a grainy, you know, it’s snowing on that, that cable connection. Is that, is that something that’s being drived derived off of that underlying utility hookup under the ground?
Believe it or not. If you’re, if you’re getting, see, here’s the details on that. Not to get too deep into it, but if you’re getting grainy picture, if you’re getting fuzzy picture, you’re probably looking at analog picture, analog picture, we’ll play sort of speak no matter what. If you’ve got to think of two cans and a piece of string, it’s going to work. It may not look great, but it’s going to work. So with some of the things that you’re talking about, there’s usually very simple, simple solutions to that problem. Number one, it’s usually the connection at the camp site. So if you’ve ever noticed a little barrel that you actually screw into that wears out over time, that’s actually a maintenance type [inaudible] steam though it’s 50 cents to replace that. Unfortunately it can cause problems because the connections sort of wear out. Just like anything else.
You replace your 30 amp plug, you replace your 50 amp plugs because they wear out from people using. Same thing with your cable connections. The other thing that causes that, which is you know, if you could be in addition to this is like myself, I take my piece of RG six and I wrap it up in my camper and I sit in on any bottom part of the fifth wheel and it probably sits there for six months. There’s always in there, the air is getting to it. Well in that copper that copper gets ’em sorta speak like a corrosion on it and analog service, those usually you’ll see people complain about, well my lower stations two through seven or the snowiest and after that it’s short clears up. That’s because those frequencies actually are carried on the most outer part of that copper. So when you have degregation of that outer part of your copper because you’re towards me sitting underneath there and is now got corrosion on it, well half the chance is your own equipment causing that problem.
The other thing is we see a lot, it’s, it’s inside the rigs themselves. Again, I mentioned I’m a camper too and I had to rewire my camper because the wiring is just cheap and bad. And it basically came down to, there was a splitter in there that was just garbage. I tried to take it out and it fell apart once I got everything wired up. Yeah. That’s why all my problems went away. You could have issues with the television itself. There’s a lot of, there’s a lot of things there. [inaudible] You know, 80% of the times when we hear problems with the campers, it’s found in the rig and you know, again, it happens. It happens in brand new campers. I went and did a service call and the gentleman says, I’ve got nothing in my camper. Your system is not working right.
So well, all our systems, we provide a test TV and we always say proof was in the pudding. We say take the TV, it’s a little tiny TV, take it out, look it up. We showed the gentleman that is working perfectly, we put our meter on it just to verify and sometimes people just aren’t convinced about it. So we hook it up to his camper. We go to where his TV is, we put our meter on it and between the outside of his camper where we connect to it. So the T V connection in his camper, well he’s losing like 32 DB. So, and to give you an idea, our meters don’t read past negative 35. So there’s obviously there’s a problem in his camper and we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that was a problem. And to finally prove it to them, we ran a court and probably a lot of people have done this from the site connection right into his front door and connected to his TV. And guess what? Perfect pitcher. So, you know, a lot of times just these industries with cabins and campers and things like that, there was, they use such cheap materials, it’s causing problems like that. But yes, infrastructure can play a problem in that with, you know, drops going back, roading, taps, things of that nature there. And that’s where you’re, your provider should be fixing those issues for you.
Okay. So now let’s, now we’re getting over to the provider part. So I own a park and I want to upgrade or add cable or I’m building a parking and cables consideration when I, when I’m doing that process, when I’m doing the math, what, what should I be looking at? What, what will people be quoting me on? You know, when they’re saying, Hey here, here’s, you know, what are they doing? So what, how do I do that math and how do I know if I’m getting a good deal, a bad deal, or if I’m kind of getting the short end of the stick.
Well, again, going back to what kind of materials are they using? If somebody is going to say, Hey, we’re going to go ahead and we’re going to build you a new system and we’re using Archie 11 to run the whole system. You know, my suggestion is to find a different company. That wire is not intended to run main feed throughout parks.
What, why? Or should they be, what should they be saying instead?
Well, we use what’s called mainline or hard line and this is what’s, you know, again, our company, just give me a little bit of background we’ve built for and still do for Comcast time Warner charter. We do Errol underground fiber. So you know, the, the satellite aspect of it is kind of a, another portion of it. So if you want good service, if you want reliability, if you want something that’s supposed to last you 2025 years, you’re going to use commercial grade type items. So my example is if you’re going to use water pipe to run
Water through your park, you wouldn’t use a one inch water pipe to feed your entire park, would you? No. You’re going to use three inch probably pipe, four inch, whatever it is you use, and then you’re going to kind of distribute it from there. So you’ve got your main feed coming in and there’s plenty of pressure. Cable kind of works the same way. You need to make sure that your feed coming in is significant enough and doesn’t die out at the end of it. Same thing with water pressure. You don’t have enough water pressure at site 131 of your last four sites are probably going to have real low water pressure and you’re not going to provide good service for. Same thing with cable television. Our G 11 and [inaudible] were not designed to carry that type of service throughout, you know, acres of land and through obviously the different types of components.
So that’s a, that’s like I said, that’s a major, major mistake that people make. And yes, sometimes it might seem cheaper, but you’re really paying more in the long run when you figure out everything else. The other thing you want to make sure to Mark is your, is your not Daisy chain your sites together. So a lot of people get by without putting taps in without putting main line in because they or Daisy chaining with either RD 11 or RG six. So again, the same problem is your signal degregation it’s happening there, you’re losing too much at the end if it’s not being amplified correctly. And the other thing is with the Daisy chain process and they basically look like little splitters but they feel bad very easily. It could be a power surge. I’ve seen campers that aren’t gravity correctly that feed back into the cable and they burn out. Well now you have a problem. Every single site beyond that stops working and who serviced the senior park for you to get that done? It’s up to you to find out what’s going on there and it’s just an insufficient way to do it.
Okay, so you got the, the, the line in the ground man and going for something that’s called a main line. What’s the next piece of, of the equipment that they’ll be quoted on the install cable in their part?
Well, you’re going to have your electronic source weaker the infrastructure. Are you going to have taps that are going to be your basically work? Each drop, each section is going to have an individual line or each site’s going to have a dedicated line run to it. You’re going to go to those taps or you’re going to have items like that. There’s things where, you know, you got fittings for the main line, you know, that has to be considered. Then we got housing, the housing fittings that connect all the equipment together in the pedestal. She got the pedestals itself. And you’ve got amplifiers, you’ve got amplifiers. I gotta go through the park and we’re talking about proper amplifier is not something that you’d have to plug into a one 10 outlet. That’s not what we use. And we don’t recommend using that, especially in an outdoor environment.
So that’s one of the biggest failures there are. And so you have power supplies for that. So basically you know, you’re getting a lot of that cost just from the material. And we use everything in condos. So that’s, you know, that is an additional cost there. But again, it’s helpful for the customer down the long run to keep things working longer and easier to repair if we have to do something in the middle of the season. So that’s, that’s your cost. There are other costs is going to be your feed March, so you’re going to have some way to feed this. So if you’re particularly looking at the satellite industry, you know, you’re gonna look at, you know, direct TV or are you going to look at dish and you’d have what they call a head end basically. And in the, in the past years, new technology has come out and we are particularly using what the smart box,
Let’s stop there cause like I’m not falling. So when you say feed or head unit, you’re talking about, I’m going to put it in my terms, you’re talking about whatever your, your provider is Comcast time order that becomes your feet or your into your head unit. Is that what you’re saying?
Well it’s, it’s kinda like this. If you kind of picture, we have the cable system, right? What do you, what information you putting on that cable? So let’s just consider the feed being, we could use a DVD player for the feed. So we’re going to hook up a DVD player to the input of that cable infrastructure. That DVD player now is considered to be your feet. That’s where you’re getting your broadcasting from. But in this case here, you’re using satellite equipment. And the head end type units are made for commercial applications. So you’re not, you don’t have to give out any type of equipment to the campers. They basically plug in and they do a channel scan and it works. Everybody knows or heard about the digital transition where the cable companies are wanting you to hand up, you know, digital boxes for every television.
We know it doesn’t work in this industry. So that’s what your head in does. Your head end is the electronics that takes the feed from the satellite processes it and distributed it to down to your, to your infrastructure, which cable. So a lot of times you hear people, they say, well, I’ve got cable service or satellite service at this camp Brown. Yeah. Technically it’s kind of a hybrid system more or less because it’s a true cable television. It’s just because the way you decided to feed it is through a satellite. Some people say, well, it’s satellite television. Well it’s a satellite fee, but it’s cable television. It’s how it’s processed. We’ve converted into a cable system. Does that make sense?
Yeah, yeah. So you, you mentioned that there was some new technology in the space. Is that what you’re talking about where you don’t need a box of each trailer in order to get that or you know, what do you talk about with the newer technologies?
Well, for years we’ve used a, you know, a standard head and which everybody has seen it. It’s the taller racks with the receivers in it. And we still use them to this very day. There’s nothing wrong with them. But there have there has been new developments in the commercial television industry where now you can kind of use something. Everybody has seen the red box w that’s in particularly with dish and it’s about the size of the microwave. So you’re saying, well, why would I use that versus a standard head end? There’s a lot of reasons for that. Number one, the reliability factor. With the, with the standard head end, do you have a lot of sort of moving parts and you’ve got, you know, we do 48 shops, you’ve got 48 modulators, 48 receivers, you’ve got environment, you’ve got all these different things and every time you add a component to it, it’s a point of failure.
And it’s like that with anything you build an engine, the less moving parts, you have less, less points of failure. Now with these new components that they’ve come out with. The nice thing about it, there’s a lot less moving parts to as more of a sort of IP based type. Head end unit. So it’s all digital now and eliminate all those points and problems with the traditional traditional head end and go with this, this type of unit here. Usually you have a lot more. Mmm. You can get greater picture quality for when we use it in particular you can use, you can receive HD at your television. People say, well that’s no big deal. I’ve had HD at my house for, yeah, 10, 15 years. It’s a big deal in the campground industry because normally to receive HD service at your home, you have some sort of converter box, whether it’s through time or direct TV, that box allows you that HD to be these scrambled to a signal that’s your TV season.
And the, it’s scrambled is there’s a lot of times it’s really got to do with security. So you know, the, the cable industries have done this and one of the advantages to it is it’s, you know, the old, Hey, we can steal HBO or we can steal. Okay, well you can’t do that no more. Well now that everything’s vigil. So this box allows us to do that. But the beautiful thing about it is at the end of the line, you’re, you do not have to have a converter. So that means your customer does not have to put any additional witness as what we call the end user. Most of the televisions that are put out today have what they call qualm tuner in it. You might’ve heard that a time or two and that’s basically works as the digital receiver, but it’s built into the televisions. Now. That piece of technology allows that television to talk to, to the head end. So it is a big advantage in this industry it’s in fact it’s dish. What I like about dishes, they really focus on the RV industry with a tailgater. They have their own RV division. So it’s, it’s good to see people paying attention to this industry.
Yeah. And so now we’ve got the hardware, we’ve got our feet coming in. You, you mentioned you like dish cause they’re servicing this industry. What should park owners consider as like a reasonable cost? And I know it might vary by number of sites or whatever, but what should they be looking at like, you know, is, is this, is this something that you can install for a few hundred bucks? Is it a few thousand dollars? I mean, what’s it cost to install a, you know, a quality cable system into a park of a reasonable size? Let’s say a reasonable size is 90 sites.
There’s a lot of dynamics to that. Mark. I could have a park with 90 sites in it that’s on one or two acres of land and I might be exaggerating there, but I did, I did a park where it was 110 sites, but it was so spread out that we put over a mile of cable in the ground.
Oh wow. Okay.
Well obviously that’s going to cost more than the part that’s put on two acres. So distance and how spread out you are plays a big factor in what the cost is because obviously the more material you’re using, the more labor you’re using also to get it into the ground. And what people seem to almost forget, they think, well, I just want cable. I just want you to dig a hole and put the cable in the ground. Think to yourself, what would it cost if you called an electrical company or electrician and said, I need my tire part, rewire for a lecture and replaced all my components. That’s a pretty pricey little little price tag. All right, well more or less, we’re doing the same thing. We are visiting every single site and we are putting mainline in to feed the entire park, just like the electrical system.
So I think there’s a misconception of how easy it is or how it should be inexpensive. And it’s not that we’re trying to make it expensive, it’s just the, the undergoing of the project. It is a big thing, you know, and you know, sometimes I play it down because this is what we do every day of our lives, but, you know, digging in the ground and going around the roads and doing bores and you know, hand digging. It’s a lot, a lot of work to get this done. Now I’ll give you an example. We are working with a camp Brown now that’s doing a 200 a site extension, beautiful place, a very good people, very great honors. And they decided to hire the electrician to put the wire in the ground. So the electrician’s going to open this trench up and he’s going to put the cable in the ground for their electric in the water and everything he is.
We said, well, well we’ll give you the materials because it’s easier for timing and dynamics to get it in altogether. And he’s charging about $11,000, Josh, to put the materials, which I mean that is a wire in the ground. We still have to come back and do the site connections. Finish up the, the connections up to the sites. We have to install the course, we have to splice the main line, we have to put in the amplifier, we have to do the head end. So there’s a lot of work that comes down to that. And I put that number out there for that just as something people compare. Now that would be for 50 sites. Now I’ve given out a recent quote of just under $10,000. And we’re going to do all the splicing and everything, all that included in that.
So you could see how there’s a big range of pricing there. Depending on where you go to. Mmm. You know, is probably gonna cost you a little bit more. And what most people think, well, the electrician should be able to do this electricians or not qualified cable, install it so they can, they can basically put it in the ground, which you need to have somebody who’s in this field that knows how to do the splicing, knows how to balance the signal, knows how to get the power down to the amplifiers. You know, there’s a lot more to it than most people think. They think of cable, they think, Oh, I’ve got it in my house. It’s a little piece of wire that goes from the pedestal out there to my house. Right? And I have cable. So again, think of it if you had to rewire your apartment electric, that’s the type of dynamics that goes into what we do for a living.
So everything’s different. Ground conditions are different where you’re at. So it’s, it’s hard to pin that down, but it if you have a, if you have questions I encourage you to ask who you’re looking at, your provider, you know, what kind of material you’re going to use, what’s going to be involved and getting this into my park. Those are the type of questions that will probably make more sense. I’ll give you a perfect example. I could never understand why crab legs cost so much. We will all watch that show on discovery or history, whatever it is, and we see these guys out there bearing sea and these guys look like they’re getting knocked around like crazy. And you see that and now you’re like, Holy cow. I mean, I can’t believe I’m paying that little for these crab lakes because I wouldn’t go out there and do that.
So until you actually see it, you can put it in perspective. It’s hard to understand. And we know that. And especially for new owners who’ve never been in this industry. And especially if you’re not used to paying the utility, that’s the hardest part Mark, is because it’s just like if you’ve lived in a house and all of a sudden now you have to pay for, for water and you have to pay for phone and you have to pay for cable. You’re not used to paying in that. But now it’s available in your neighborhood and you’re saying, well that seems kind of hard. But really the reality is it’s probably a fair market price.
Got it. So I brought Rob on here. As you can tell, he knows, he knows this topic for you. I know there’s a discussion going on right now within the group about cable and wanted to bring an expert on here. So he’s here, he’s in the group. If you have questions about cable, I want you to reach out to him and ask him. I mean, we’ve, we’ve got the experts here to help you better run your parks. Rob, go ahead and plug yourself name your company and, and obviously you can respond to this video and, and he’ll pop on there. Nancy answered some questions, but Rob, go ahead and employ your company and you’ll be at the Carolina show here in a few weeks also.
Oh well. So we are assisted TV solutions. You can contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org or you can reach out to me by telephone. It’s area code three three six four four two four, nine three five, hit extension two. And that’ll get you right to my desk. And again, you know, I serve on the Carolina board. I’m here because I’m interested in, in this industry and I’m here to help people. You don’t have to do business with me. You can just ask me for some advice. I’m more than happy to talk to people for cause let’s face it, we’re all, we’re all in this together. We’re all small businesses and it’s fun. One handheld.
Yeah. And it’s, you know, this kind of goes, I’ve learned something today. So thank you Rob, for taking the time to educate us a little bit. And it does go to that underlying service for the customers if, if, if guests are camping and having a better experience and that better experience could simply be having a solid TV signal so they can watch the game on Sunday. I mean, just that alone may may make their entire weekend. So you’re helping make that happen. Thank you for your time today, Ron.
Well, one more thing I wanted to add Mark, just before we go. Mmm. When we do send out information, we do service all our stuff. So everything we do is warranty and is, you know, we service it for you at no additional charge. So just, just to put that out there as well. Very cool. Rob, a member of this board, feel free to comment below and he’ll be happy to answer your questions, help you along. Thanks Rob. Thanks Mark. I appreciate your time.