U.S. Digital Television (USDTV) packages multiple cable channels and broadcast partners, delivering service through the unused digital capacity of DTV channel assignments to homes through standard VHF/UHF antennas. It offers its services in Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Albuquerque, N.M. With ambitious national plans, they recently established a network operation center (NOC) in Salt Lake City.
At the NOC, all signals are pre-processed before being distributed and combined in an ATSC compliant signal that includes PSIP, program information, encryption and auxiliary data. The signal is then distributed to each city via a dedicated satellite feed. From the NOC, USDTV monitors both the outgoing combined satellite feed, and the distant signal quality in each city.
USDTV chose to partner with Pixelmetrix to handle the remote monitoring of its three cities.
By integrating Pixelmetrix's DVStation-Remote platform, monitoring across the nation to all markets can be standardized, enabling problems to be quickly observed and corrected.
The remote analyzers are able to handle RF and transmitter performance monitoring as well as transport stream content provisioning and monitoring. With the DVStation- Remote, both passive and active signal information are relayed back to the NOC.
Using the virtual network computing (VNC) remote GUI application over DSL broadband connections, and a special round-robin channel changer designed for the USDTV application, the DVStation switches channels for each of the DTV stations assigned in each city/market. This provides the NOC with a complete RF and transport stream evaluation of all channels in that city/market.
This feature reduced USDTV’s hardware needs to just one analyzer per city, instead of one for every station, saving tens of thousands of dollars per market.