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info@balsamwoods.com

112 Pond Road
Abbot, Maine 04406
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Cable TV & Wi-Fi at Every Site !

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We had always wanted to add Cable TV to the campground, but thought we couldn't, since we have no access to cable tv in our area. After doing years of research, we found a solution - it's called SMATV, which stands for Satellite Master Antenna Television. Its used across the country at places that don't have access to cable tv, but need cable tv, such as hotels, college campuses, and apartment complexes. The way it basically works is that we have a satellite dish to receive programming from our satellite provider and local broadcast networks. These signals then feed into several racks of equipment, or receivers which tune in the channels we choose for our cable lineup. All these channels are then combined into a single cable signal, which is then amplified and run underground to each of our campsites, cabins, and rental campers, with the exception of our tent sites - F-6, F-8 and 0-3.

Here's what our 36 channel Cable TV system looks like:

SMATV - Cable TV Setup at Balsam Woods Campground

 

We now have 36 channels of crystal clear cable tv, including our local channels! Check out our channel guide below!

 

Installing Wi-Fi through our park was also something we really wanted to do. The problem we have, along with many other rural locations, is the lack of high speed internet. We spent almost $1500 in equipment 2 years ago to be able to get our current DSL internet to the campground. This involved multiple antennas to send the signal almost a mile through trees. The connection is good, but the speed is limited, and if we get a ton of people on the internet, it will slow down.

We had been promised from our local internet provider - Cornerstone Communications a true high speed internet connection for this season. They had received a large grant from the State to bring internet access to rural customers. We had originally been told the high speed internet would be done in the fall of 2011. Well, fall came and went, and no high speed internet was installed. The next date we were told was spring 2012, then summer 2012, and as of now, Fall 2012. Time will tell - we've learned to never trust other peoples estimated times!

When we were told that we would have super fast high speed internet, we decided to advertise "Free Wi-Fi at your campsite" on several printed ads. We figured it would be done in Fall 2011, or worst case Spring 2012. We were wrong, but we had advertised the free wi-fi at each site, so we decided to go ahead, and order all the wireless equipment, and install it all this spring. We would use our existing 1.5MB DSL connection, and get a satellite internet connection for our office/house. The installation went great- we bought the equipment from gnswireless.com and did it ourselves. To our surprise, the DSL connection handles the traffic pretty well. We did block certain sites, such as Youtube & Netflix that take a lot of bandwidth, and would bog down everyone else. In the future, when we get a faster connection, we may be able to unblock some of these sites, but for now, you can do almost everything else - right from your campsite!

All the wifi equipment to install !

All the wifi equipment to install !

 

One of five wifi access points at Balsam Woods

One of five wifi access points at Balsam Woods

 

Balsam Woods Cable TV Channel Guide

2. ABC
3. NBC
4. CBS
5. FOX
6. PBS
7. WEATHER CHANNEL
8. ABC FAMILY
9. ANIMAL PLANET
10. BRAVO
11. CARTOON NETWORK
12. CMT
13. CNN
14. COMEDY CENTRAL
15. DISCOVERY
16. E!
17. FOOD NETWORK
18. FOX NEWS
19. FX
20. HISTORY
21. LIFETIME
22. LIFETIME MOVIE NETWORK
23. MTV
24. VH1
25. NICK
26. SPEED
27. TBS
28. TLC
29. TNT
30. TRAVEL
31. TRU TV
32. USA
33. A & E
34. ESPN
35. ESPN2
36. NESN
37. FUEL