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Blonder Tongue Labs Introduces Updated Aircaster Transmodulators

Blonder Tongue Laboratories
(Image credit: Blonder Tongue Laboratories)

OLD BRIDGE, N.J.—Blonder Tongue Laboratories has unveiled the updated Aircaster AQT8 series of transmodulators, including the Aircaster AQT8-QAM/IP and Aircaster AQT8-IP, that offer comprehensive and flexible toolsets to create custom IP and QAM channel lineups from any ATSC 1.0 off-air or QAM content source.

The Aircaster AQT8 is well-suited for facilities looking to incorporate off-air video programming without paying additional retransmission fees for local cable or satellite services.

Prior to the Aircaster AQT8, equipment used for rebroadcasting has been single use or limited to one-to-one signal conversion, said Ted Grauch, president and CEO of Blonder Tongue Laboratories.

“Creating new channel lineups as well as correcting channel metadata to be fully standards compliant has required a labyrinth of converters, splitters, amplifiers and more,” he said.

“The Aircaster AQT8 reimagines what off-air rebroadcasting equipment can do in a single compact unit, enabling custom lineups of up to 64 channels, accessible to thousands of residential homes in the case of service operators, or hundreds of rooms and TV sets for hospitality, institutional and SMB use cases. It effortlessly creates and multiplexes a complete digital media service, while eliminating unnecessary fees and equipment,” he said.

The Aircaster AQT8 transmodulators offer a solution for any fiber optic or cable service operator or commercial property, including campuses, hospitals, hotels and multi-dwelling units (MDUs), as well as video integrators with small- and medium-sized business (SMB) customers. 

Requiring only 1 RU, the device can accept up to 8 ATSC 1.0 signals off-air or QAM sources, and simultaneously output a series of Single Program Transport Streams (SPTS) and/or Multi-Program Transport Stream (MPTS), creating both a custom IP feed and/or QAM transmissions.

Featuring an internal active splitter, the Aircaster AQT8 enables users to create a full lineup of up to 64 channels and distribute them to thousands of different locations across a facility, eliminating the need for countless digital converters, external splitters and legacy one-to-one solutions.

Aircaster AQT8 features include:

  • Pass-through mode, which directly maps the demodulated RF port content in MPTS format to IP output;
  • Encrypted QAM input and IP/QAM output, which allows for MPTS or SPTS formats while preserving the source MPEG tables (PAT, PMT, PSIP, VCT, and MGT);
  • Virtual channel mapping via a simple interface, where users can change the packet identifier (PID), program number short name, major/minor channel (PSIP) and overall channel lineup;
  • Signal testing and GUI-based remote monitoring and control via any web browser;
  • Emergency Alert System (EAS) control to override standard inputs and distribute an alert signal to an entire MDU facility.

More information is available on the company’s website.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.