SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Dec. 6, 2011 -- Sencore, a leading provider of signal quality and video delivery solutions, today announced that it has partnered with PBS to deliver a configuration of the MRD 3187B Modular Receiver in support of PBS's Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act compliance project. Together with the Sencore Transport Data Injector (TDI 3000), a customized groomer solution developed for PBS, the MRD allows PBS, its member stations, Public Television (PTV), and Non-Commercial Educational (NCE) stations to enable the next generation of Emergency Alert Services. PBS will create a redundant pathway from FEMA to commercial mobile service (CMS) providers for the delivery of geotargeted emergency warning text messages to cellular telephones across the United States.
"Our partnership with Sencore is key to PBS's fulfilling its role in this new emergency alert service, and the 3187B is a critical piece of the project," said Aaron Silverman, communications director for the PBS WARN Project. "Sencore's state-of-the-art technology will allow us to build and support a seamless and reliable framework for incorporating WARN telecommunications transmissions into participating stations' broadcast streams with absolutely no disruption to the television signal."
Passed by Congress in 2006 and set to go live in 2012, the WARN Act, along with the FCC's 2008 Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), establishes a system by which CMS providers transmit geotargeted local or national emergency messages to their subscribers' cell phones. In order to provide a redundant transmission path, the CMAS requires all Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)-qualified NCE television station licensees with a valid full-power digital television license that receive their programming from the AMC 21 PBS Satellite KU transponder 22 to carry these messages in their broadcast transport streams. CMS providers may extract these messages from the stations and transmit them on to their subscribers should the primary connection to FEMA be lost.
Redundant MRD units are deployed at each master control remote transmitter site for all public television stations, where they bring in the WARN emergency alert messages via satellite transmission from PBS. From there, the receiver passes that data to the TDI 3000 via ASI or IP transport stream. The TDI 3000 then injects the WARN message into the broadcast stream in five minutes or less, without affecting broadcast service.
The MRD configuration includes four RF inputs that can be independently configured with one active at a time. The unit's ASI output port can be used as an output for any of the transport stream inputs and supports transport stream rates from 1.5 Mbps to 160 Mbps. The MRD supports a full graphical Web-based user interface, a complete set of SNMP commands for NMS integration, and a front-panel interface that provides local status and configuration access. In addition, the MRDs have been outfitted with a second Ethernet control port that allows continuous connection both to the local member station's local area network, as well as to the PBS network operations center's national interconnect.
"With the deployment of the MRD systems at PBS member stations around the country, we are pleased to be continuing our role in helping PBS deliver this vital service as part of the U.S. emergency alert system," said Thomas Stingley, executive vice president, sales and marketing at Sencore. "Working together, the MRD and TDI 3000 units offer the proven reliability and effective broadcast signal delivery that PBS needs to build a future-proof infrastructure for WARN transmissions."
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About PBS PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans -- from every walk of life -- the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches 124 million people through television and 20 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS' broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS' premier children's TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents' and teachers' most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook, or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
About Sencore Sencore is an engineering leader in the development of high-quality signal transmission solutions for the broadcast, cable, satellite, IPTV, and telecommunications markets. The company's world-class portfolio includes video delivery products, system monitoring and analysis solutions, and test and measurement equipment, all designed to support system interoperability and backed by best-in-class customer support. Sencore products meet the rapidly changing needs of modern media by ensuring the efficient delivery of high-quality video from the source to the home. More information about Sencore is available at the company's website, www.sencore.com.
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