RGB Networks enables delivery of digital and analog EAS text message crawls simultaneously

RGB Networks has announced that its Broadcast Network Processor (BNP) enables cable television operators to deliver Emergency Alert System (EAS) messages simultaneously to all analog and digital subscribers in the event of an emergency. From a central headend, operators can deliver EAS alerts to all of their subs, or to select groups. EAS messages can be sent across all types of programming, including linear broadcast, switched broadcast and video-on-demand content. The company demonstrated the new digital EAS capabilities of its BNP at Cable-Tec EXPO 2007 in Orlando, FL.

The BNP’s digital EAS support can be applied selectively to any digital program being processed to generate text crawls. The EAS text messages are digitally rendered and overlaid directly onto any MPEG-encoded program and then delivered to any digital subscriber set-top box, or analog decoders, and presented as an overlay text alert to viewers. The BNP also supports operator-configurable audio override or audio stream insertion to complement the text crawl message for a completely customizable deployment.

These messages can also be quickly created and managed using EAS partner equipment to ensure that the information is properly scheduled and managed. This is possible because of the BNP’s digital overlay capability, of which digital EAS is one application. Digital overlay is one of the core processing functions of RGB’s Video Intelligence Architecture (VIA), operating in real time and completely within the MPEG digital domain.

The challenge of supporting multiple set-top boxes or televisions with built-in decoders (such as for HDTV), as well as a wide range of operator headends and headend equipment, is also solved by BNP’s new digital EAS capability. By delivering a centralized, digital EAS solution, the BNP creates and overlays the EAS messages onto existing video programs within the operator’s network, ensuring that the messages will appear on all digital subscribers’ televisions regardless of the set-top box or built-in decoder being used. Any digital-to-analog decoder on the network, including RGB’s Simulcast Edge Processor (SEP), supports analog subscribers.

For more information, visit www.rgbnetworks.com.