Converting an analog LPTV station to digital can be complicated.
While the transmitter may look the same, the exciter needs an ATSC data stream. This requires an MPEG-2 encoder for the video and audio and a PSIP generator to provide the service information receivers need to decode the digital signal. The PSIP data and one or more MPEG-2 encoders need to be combined into a fixed 19.39 Mbps output rate before being sent to the transmitter.
Now Larcan and Triveni Digital have joined forces to create a cost-effective and easy-to-use digital transmission solution for LPTV stations.
Their package includes Triveni's Guidebuilder PSIP generator and Larcan's new Octane MPEG Encoder-Multiplexer, the new Pulse Digital LPTV exciter and a Larcan digital transmitter series.
"This is a tough time for low-power television," said Ralph Bachofen, senior director of product management and marketing at Triveni Digital. "These stations play a critical role by providing a wide range of educational, community service, and spiritual programming; yet, many lack the means to invest in the expensive equipment required for digital transmissions. As a result, they're feeling strong pressure from the upcoming U.S. mandate for digital conversion."
Bachofen explained that the while low-power stations are exempt from the 2009 FCC mandate, their analog signals will be blocked by many of the converter boxes purchased by viewers to view DTV programming on older television receivers. This could effectively block LPTV stations from competing with signals from digital broadcasters.
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.
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