Skip to main content

Louisiana Public Television connects to new high-speed IP network


New studio or RF technology — station

Submitted by
Heartland Video Systems Design Team

Randy Ward, dir. of eng.;
Phillip Blucas, proj. eng.

Mike Schmidt, sr. sys. eng.;
Bill Tessman VP/GM;
Tony DeMarco and John Pfankuch, presales eng.

Technology at work
Ensemble Designs 4455 ASI failover switches
Evertz 7760CCM-HD caption translation
Electra SD encoders
MV-500 HD encoders
ProStream multi- plexers
KTech DVM-150E MPEG decoders
Miranda Densité distribution
SM6620 DVB-S2 satellite modulators
TT1260 IP receivers
RX1290 satellite receivers
TT6120 PSIP rebranding
TT6120 TS converter
Triveni GuideBuilder PSIP generators
TV Logic LVM-171W LCD monitor
Wohler ATSC3 audio monitor

Louisiana Public Television connects to new high-speed IP network

Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB), headquartered in Baton Rouge, provides local and national PBS programming for six separate DMAs as well as to partner stations WLAE and WYES in New Orleans. Before 2008, all LPB programming was delivered via satellite; this recent upgrade provides for IP network delivery with a satellite backup.

LPB is a partner with the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI), a high-speed university-based super computing network. This high-speed network provides LPB with a 10Gb backbone for interconnecting its remote sites. This new MPEG encoding and decoding equipment is the first real-time broadcast use of the network.

The design called for a new ATSC-compatible MPEG encoding system to replace the first-generation encoding system. It needed to provide for IP and satellite delivery as well as mechanisms for remote control, monitoring and emergency failover. LPB selected a redundant Harmonic HD/multi-SD ATSC encoding system consisting of MV-500 HD encoders, Electra SD encoders and ProStream multiplexers. The Harmonic system simultaneously provides IP outputs for the LONI network and ASI outputs for the local cable headends and the TANDBERG DVB-S2 satellite modulators. Because WLAE and WYES also purchased similar Harmonic encoding systems, there is great flexibility for LPB to share equipment as needed and for creating remote statmux pools. The new system also includes redundant Triveni GuideBuilder PSIP generators that interface with the existing ProTrack traffic system.

In fall 2008, LPB (in conjunction with PBS) is moving from AMC-3 to AMC-21. The LPB transmitter sites use TANDBERG IP and satellite receivers, Ensemble Designs ASI failover switches and TANDBERG PSIP rebranding/SMPTE-310 conversion to create an ATSC-ready stream for each DTV transmitter.

To maintain real-time data integrity over LONI and other last-mile networks, all IP equipment provided supports ProMPEG forward error correction.

The duplex nature of the IP network also allows remote monitoring and control of all hardware on the network. A KTech DVM-150E at each transmitter provides a 19.39Mb/s ATSC stream that is converted to IP with a TANDBERG TT6120 transport stream converter and monitored in the Baton Rouge master control facility.

The connection to such a high-speed IP network will create many new opportunities for LPB to serve the people of Louisiana. The MPEG delivery system is just the first step and provides a flexible platform for expansion into local insertion, IPTV, VOD and wherever technology is headed in the future.