by Bob Kovacs ~ April 26, 2006
Adtec Digital, a Nashville-based manufacturer of encoders, servers and playout systems, unveiled an HD digital media player at NAB2006.
The Edje 4111HD digital media player is a one-half RU device that can store and play back SD and HD content for digital signage and IP network applications. Ron Johnson, VP of marketing for Adtec, said the Edje 4111HD works with many digital standards and has a universal control capability that's unusual in the industry.
"It's an open hardware and open software architecture that can be controlled by Linux, Windows and Mac computers," Johnson said.
The unit stores video as AVC/H.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and VC-1 files, using an Ethernet port to deliver the file to the Edje 4111HD's built-in 80 GB hard drive. The company is also considering putting a USB connector on the front panel so that simple flash drives can be used to transfer files. The system is then controlled by software running on a Mac or PC.
The Edje 4111HD includes a management application called mediaControl that schedules playout and manages files. Considering the size and price, there are some sophisticated features built into the unit.
"We can upconvert SD in the box in real time to near-HD quality," Johnson said.
Adtec has long been in the digital media player business, so developing an HD product was logical.
"We knew HD was coming and the demand is there now," Johnson said.
Anyone thinking that the letters "HD" stand for "high dollars" is in for a surprise with the Edje 4111HD. Some of the applications for the unit include digital signage for museums, retail, airports, kiosks, trade shows and Webcasting.
In fact, several large Las Vegas hotels use Adtec digital media players for the huge video screens that enliven The Strip.
Also new from Adtec is the Soloist 4111HD digital media player, which is a big brother to the Edje 4111HD. The Soloist 4111HD has a 1 RU chassis that contains a 300 GB hard drive, enough for 40 hours of content at 10 Mbps. The Soloist 4111HD also includes two USB ports.
Another new product from Adtec is the DPI1200 digital program inserter, which is used primarily for automated ad insertion. It can simultaneously handle 12 channels, performing seamless splicing of AVC or MPEG-2 video streams.
Incorporating a 300 GB hard drive, the 1 RU DPI1200 permits the addition of storage using the Network Attached Storage protocol. A built-in traffic and billing interface can be used with Adtec's traffic and billing gateway server.
Inserting the advertisements at the correct time is handled in two ways on the DPI1200. The unit conforms to the new SCTE35 digital advertising insertion standard and it also has built-in tone-decoding capability for systems that have not converted to the new standard.
Advertisement insertion has been the bread-and-butter of Adtec's business.
"Internationally, we are number one in ad insertion," Johnson said.
He described how Adtec helped one cable company recover after Hurricane Katrina. Although the company had totally lost one building and its distribution plant was in tatters, it had a contract to deliver advertisements to the local DMA - despite the small detail that there were no viewers.
"We helped them get back on the air so that they could feed commercials and fulfill their contracts," Johnson said, "even though no one was watching."
Other products on display in Adtec's booth include the company's DTA 3050 digital turn around router and the Edje 2100 real-time distribution encoder.
© 2006 NAB