Retirement facilities will often designate a specific channel to display messages about current events, menus, birthdays, etc. This is known as an in house channel or community channel. A computer is used to run software that enables you to design screens with messages, pictures, videos, and sound clips. The video/audio output of this computer is ran through a cable tv channel modulator and out to the televisions within the facility. The latest edition of software is MessageNOW. These pictures will help you identify the computer that runs your community channel, and explain some of the connections it utilizes.

community channel hardware front panel

This is the front the MessageNOW computer that runs your in house community channel. The green box displays the power button, pressing this will either turn the computer on, or start the shutdown process if it is already on. The orange box marks the reset button. This will tell the computer to shut down, and then power back on. The red box marks the two USB ports, which can be used to plug in a keyboard, mouse, or any other input device. The back of the computer has more USB ports you can utilize. There is also a sticker on the front of the computer that contains the serial number –  715-###. It isn’t important for you to know this number, but it may be asked to be confirmed. This is only by a support technician over the phone if there are any hardware issues.

community channel hardware rear panel

This is the back of the MessageNOW computer that runs the in house community channel. The yellow box marks the ethernet connection port. This is where you can plug in an internet connection to the PC. This is useful for remote training, support, and software updates. The blue box marks the audio in jack. This can be used to play music from a radio station or receiver over your in house community channel. The green box marks the audio out jack. This is the jack that sends the audio out to the channel modulator. The purple box marks the “S-Video out” connection. This is the jack that sends out the video containing your community’s messages designed in the MessageNOW software to the channel modulator. The red box marks the VGA out port. This is the port that connects the computer to a display such as a computer monitor so the person creating the message slides can do their work.