Decontis Sets Mobile DTV Monitoring Software Prices
I've described the $11.99 Decontis Mobile DTV Viewer in previous RF Reports. On Wednesday, Decontis released pricing on its atscSAM Analysis and Monitoring packages.
The "Monitoring Base Pack" is priced at $800, and should be affordable by any station adding mobile DTV capability. The pack includes a USB dongle for atscSAM v1, SAMcorder to record mobile DTV streams and SAMbera, which can analyze ATSC and ATSC MH streams and show errors, including error-triggered snapshot creation. For an extra $400 (total price $1,200), the Advanced Monitoring Pack adds visual playback of all programs, visual audio bars, audio loss and video freeze detection and transcoding/streaming.
More expensive packages add detailed analysis of ATSC and ATSC MH streams down to the bit level with SAMalyzer, and provide a view of channel allocation of all PIDs in a glance. The top software level--the Operation Center Monitoring pack--adds additional channels, which allows easy monitoring of transmitter networks.
I have a detailed description of the Mobile DTV Viewer and SAMalyzer in my Oct. 2010 RF Technology column. The article was written before these packages were released. I'm hoping to be able to purchase one of the packages and test it soon. In the interim, if any readers acquire the atscSAM packages I'd be interested in hearing your comments on usability and performance. For more information, see www.decontis.com. Information on these packages was not on the web site Wednesday but should be available using the contact form on the Website.
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Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.