WABC-TV launches HD news helicopter

WABC-TV, the ABC O&O in New York City, is using a Nucomm ChannelMaster digital/analog microwave transmitter to transmit HD shots from its newly launched high definition news helicopter.

The helicopter, which is owned and operated by Metro Networks, was outfitted with the Nucomm ChannelMaster CMTX1, dual band (2GHz/7GHz) portable digital/analog transmitter. Use of the high power version of the transmitter ensures adequate coverage in analog and digital mode.

The ChannelMaster is designed to deliver high-definition content in power- and space-confined environments, such as a news helicopter. WABC selected the ChannelMaster because of its multi-modulation format capability, small size, light weight, and ease of operation in a real-time news gathering environment.

Although initial transmissions are being done using COFDM, WABC intends to take advantage of other formats available in the ChannelMaster, such as VSB for higher data rate capability. In the WABC application, the HD signal is supplied to the CMTX1 via the ASI input from the HD encoder. The HD signal is then received at WABC’s receive site with the Nucomm CR6D Central Receiver and the NCRX1 Newscoder COFDM demodulator and MPEG-2 decoder.

It is then relayed back to the studio using a Nucomm Digalog FT/FR6 digital ready fixed link with MM200 multi-rate modems, where the HD signal is prepared for storage, editing, or live broadcast.

For more information, visit www.nucomm.com.

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