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NASA Picks Sencore Receiver, Decoder for HD Channel

NASA Television has selected SENCORE’s MRD3187B multi-format modular receiver decoder, which provides SDI output from any one of a host of source inputs for NASA’s main production facility as part of recently launched NASA HD channel.

In keeping with NASA TV’s mission to provide support to the agency’s Human Space Flight program including pre-launch, launch, on-orbit, and landing activities, NASA HD provides high-definition (HD) imagery from science and human spaceflight missions to cable and satellite service providers as well as national and international news organizations, according to SENCORE.

NASA TV also transmits over three channels in addition to NASA HD: NASA Public, including coverage of agency missions as well as documentaries and other special programming; NASA Education, which provide programming to educational institutions and science museums, and NASA Media, which offers coverage of news conferences and relevant content to news organizations. The main NASA control and management facility in Washington, D.C. receives content for all NASA TV channels from 10 production studios, located at NASA centers across the U.S.

In launching its new HD offering, reliability was a top concern for NASA TV, SENCORE says. Therefore the agency sought to implement a technical infrastructure that would be predictable and dependable with little or no maintenance, and provide engineers with the highest-possible confidence levels, says the company. By that measure, the agency needed a receiver decoder solution that could provide professional-quality SDI output from many different sources including IP, RF, and ASI – not only to supply raw feeds to the main production facility, but also to enable the 10 NASA studios to receive the switched feeds via different means for final broadcast, SENCORE says.

NASA TV selected the SENCORE MRD3187B as a single-box solution to meet the agency’s multi-format input requirements. The MRD3187B supports virtually any application by combining dual-channel processing capability with MPEG2, H.264, 4:2:0, 4:2:2, SD, and HD video decoding. With the wide range of interfaces, the MRD3187B adapts to any contribution, distribution, or backhaul environment while allowing easy upgrade paths to future technologies.

From the distributed production studios, live content is encoded as MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 and routed to NASA TV headquarters via the agency’s wide area network – where it is received and decoded by the MRD3187B, according to SENCORE. At headquarters, the channels are programmed with either live or recorded content, multiplexed, and routed to the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland for uplink to the AMC 3 satellite via C-band transponder. Seamless integration of the MRD3187B with NASA TV’s Adtec encoders and Harmonic multiplexers provides further support for the content distribution workflow, the company says.

-- Government Video