TV Distribution for Senior Living Facilities


About the LECOM Senior Living Communities


LECOM Health has introduced the next generation of health care for older adults with a new Senior Living Center (SLC) that is bringing together exciting and innovative, patient-centered health care. The SLC is a center of excellence for adult nursing care in Erie, Pa. LECOM has invested more than $42 million in the 151,000-square-foot, skilled-nursing facility. The center will bring together exciting and innovative, patient-centered health care and the education of future physicians, pharmacists, and dentists.

Challenge — Overcoming Negative Perceptions of Satellite Services

When building a new state-of-the-art senior housing facility, LECOM was mindful to design the space for comfort and privacy. Creating private rooms that felt more like home meant not only taking into account the layout and décor of the space but also leveraging the newest AV technologies to ensure residents had the freedom and control to enjoy their favorite TV shows.

LECOM planned to install 60” flat panel TVs in all 138 rooms. Initially, LECOM was ready to sign a contract with a national cable provider for broadband services because of concerns that satellite services are unreliable – a perception held by many members of the LECOM Board of Directors. The selected cable provider was only going to be able to offer analog services with standard definition programming, even though LECOM wanted HD – making this start-of-the-art facility seem less than innovative.

Solution — Reliable, High-Quality Programming with ZeeVee Encoders/Modulators

The lead LECOM AV project manager and Institutional IT Director, Michael Lee, engaged the support of SATCOM Digital, a national satellite broadcast services company that designs, builds, and manages video distribution networks. Lee had a strong vision for the AV needs of the private rooms and understood that the cable provider would not be able to truly meet the requirements of this new facility. Lee needed to convince the BOD that leveraging satellite services with the right video distribution products would deliver the residents of the facility reliable, high-quality programming, with significant cost savings over cable.

SATCOM Digital recommended DirecTV coupled with the ZeeVee HDbridge 2000 series of encoders and modulators as the ideal solution to meet the needs of LECOM’s residence.ZeeVee’s encoders/modulators take the DirecTV’s signals to deliver crystal clear HD pictures, along with a 56-channel selection all without cumbersome, expensive to maintain, set-top-boxes at each TV. To address LECOM’s concerns with satellite services, SATCOM installed an automated satellite antenna de-icing system. The easy-to-install, cost-effective video distribution solution was installed in less than 4 hours onsite.

In addition to delivering HD programming direct to resident’s rooms, the HDbridge has built-in Emergency Alert System interface to enrich the security and safety of LECOM’s residents. When an alert is triggered – whether statewide or facility-specific – all channels automatically display the alert message. And, HDbridge also has a built-in information channel, great for a resident directory or activity channel, all which can be updated and maintained real-time.



  • New state-of-the-art senior living facility in Erie, PA

  • LECOM is investing more than $42 million in the 151,000-square-foot, 5-story facility

  • 138 private rooms each with 60” TV in every room

  • 56 high definition, DirecTV channels

  • Total onsite installation less than 4 hours

  • 30-40% cost savings over leading CATV solution

We couldn’t be more pleased with our AV solution. Partnering with experts like SATCOM Digital ensured we were going to install the best video distribution solution to fit our needs, and we did. They have the right experience, know-how, and understanding of the newest AV technologies. Now, with the ZeeVee HDbridge video distribution products, not only are we one of the only assisted living facilities in the country to offer residents high definition programming and a true ‘at home’ experience, we were able to achieve our AV needs while saving about 30% compared to a cable TV solution.”

Michael Lee, Institutional IT Director, LECOM