ZV Box - HDTV ENCODER and Modulator announced - AVS Forum
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Not seen this referred to anywhere - and I guess it could be considered a form of media streamer, and it isn't really reception, more local transmission... But here seemed as good a place as any.

http://zeevee.com/products/zvbox

http://zeevee.com/products/zvbox-specs

This appears to take a PC's VGA video output and encode it in a form that can be received via HDTVs coax inputs - encoding it to MPEG2 and modulating it in QAM (I think - not VSB) for routing around your house so that all TVs in the house can see the PC output?
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:28 AM
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If that's a QAM modulator, I could see hooking it up to a transcoder and using it to feed HD around the house from one tuner also. Should be interesting when it hits the market.

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Old 05-01-2008, 12:20 PM
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I smell vaporware.
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Old 05-01-2008, 02:11 PM
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Anything on paper til it's released or shown to prove it exists is vaporware...

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Old 05-01-2008, 08:14 PM
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$499.99 !!! Holy Petunia's BatMan
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018L7NUA

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Old 05-02-2008, 01:08 PM
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This is what I've been asking for. Only I need to see them get it down to the $100 range or less.
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Old 05-02-2008, 05:41 PM
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It also backfeeds keyboard so you can navigate the internet, mouse is done by four/eight direction buttons on a remote control though (it seems) .

The rest looks nice though.

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Old 05-02-2008, 06:14 PM
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So can I use this to take the output from a lobby surveillance camera and "channelize" it, such that any TV set on "cable STD" can view it? Is the output channel agile? I presently can eliminate analog channels 13 and 16 in my primary market to insert house channels there, but when the cable company gets rid of analog basic (2-70+) and only carries the lifeline in basic, it will become inconvenient for most customers to view the analog lobby camera.
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:31 PM
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Your needs can be filled for way less
Dayton FAM-1 = $44 on Amazon as example

Search Google for ''Agile Modulator''

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Old 05-03-2008, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeThePeople View Post

Your needs can be filled for way less
Dayton FAM-1 = $44 on Amazon as example

Search Google for ''Agile Modulator''

I don't need to search Google or anywhere else for an agile modulator. I own a master antenna system service company in a large, metropolitan market, have bought a few thousand agile modulators, and have a few dozen in stock.

What I need is an affordable way to develop a "house channel" in QAM, such that a TV tuner set for "Digital cable STD" can tune it, or if I can't do that, I can get at least limited use out of an affordable 8VSB house channel, such that a TV set on "antenna" can tune it.
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Old 05-04-2008, 06:26 PM
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QAM and ATSC modulators are ridiculously out of price range. I googled for two days looking for a comprimise unit. Best I did was a $1200 PCI computer card. I did note that the disk network 5000 unit had a small QAM modulator that you could plug in. Took HDTV right out of a docking port on the back of the main STB, but I couldn't find a used one to buy and reverse engineer jacks onto

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Old 05-04-2008, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeThePeople View Post

QAM and ATSC modulators are ridiculously out of price range. I googled for two days looking for a comprimise unit. Best I did was a $1200 PCI computer card. I did note that the disk network 5000 unit had a small QAM modulator that you could plug in. Took HDTV right out of a docking port on the back of the main STB, but I couldn't find a used one to buy and reverse engineer jacks onto

The DISH 5000 receiver could only process Broadcast HDTV and MPEG2 video, but DISH now only sends out HDTV as MPEG4. Or it might have been that they originally used QPSK but the newer signals are 8PSK. In any event, I don't know if, in the earliert days of DISH Network HDTV, whether they had any HDTV programming that their HDTV ATSC modulator could modulate other than perhaps national broadcast network TV.

R.L. Drake makes something that can take two unencrypted MPEG2 HDTV channel inputs and modulate them to one, 6MHz wide QAM channel that sells for $2,500 wholesale, but again, the obstacle is that there is no available source for unencrypted MPEG2 national cable TV programming.
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Old 05-04-2008, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post

R.L. Drake makes something .

As I'm sure you know mike, most here have no clue as to what a QAM modulator is..or how it works..or what it costs..so they tend to over-simplify it. (have 8 channels of 256QAM @ 38.8 mb/s closed circuit)

Cheapest way? ASI from a $500 Drake OTA demod to a $100 surplus Comstream QAM modulator to a Drake Upconverter..

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Old 05-04-2008, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post

As I'm sure you know mike, most here have no clue as to what a QAM modulator is..or how it works..or what it costs..so they tend to over-simplify it. (have 8 channels of 256QAM @ 38.8 mb/s closed circuit)

Sometimes I wonder if I even know...

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Cheapest way? ASI from a $500 Drake OTA demod to a $100 surplus Comstream QAM modulator to a Drake Upconverter..

Isn't the MPEG2 stream that the Drake OTA demod outputs still compressed and therefore a step removed from having been further unprocessed to ASI? Though that is actually beneficial for simple modulation format conversion. I think a Drake ATSC Demod/QAM mod pair runs around $600 or so, and then another maybe $200 per pair for a fully stuffed chassis and power supply.

But here is my problem that the Drake/Blonder-Tongue/Pico mini-mod stuff will not address:

I eventually have to develop digital lobby camera channel, and I don't even know what the building blocks will be. Is there an affordable (under $1,000) color surveillance camera with ASI output or a black box that will economically convert my composite video to ASI? Is there another black box that can take the ASI stream and add PSIP or whatever so that a TV tuner can recognize it as a channel, and if so, if my TV tunes and demodulates ASI that has been modulated to QAM, can it develop a picture from a non-compressed, non MPEG2 data stream or will it be unable to convert the ASI into video?

The R.L. Drake product that squeezes two demodulated digital programs into one, 6MHz wide QAM channel is their DQT1000 Digital Transcoder, but I think the input has to be in MPEG2 compressed format.
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by n4yqt View Post

It sounds like you need an M-PEG 2 encoder.

Until proven otherwise, that is what I conclude and that is what costs the better part of twenty grand.
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:36 AM
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What you want does not quite exist at the price point you desire.

However,You can get some used SD encoders for $1k..take the asi out to the drake modulator and upconverter.. and you'll have what you need. But, that will take up and entire 6 mhz QAM..unless you add an ASI muxtiplexer, which usually can't be found cheaply. That scenario will be no more efficient than using a single analog 6mhz. You don't have to worry about PSIP, you may have to do some creative channel setting and encoder program assignments to prevent conflicts with OTA's that you may have on the system.

Also, there are no tuners that I am aware of that will tune ATSC and QAM mixed on the same cable, it's either or. Seems like Drake makes and ATSC modulator card; IIRC, or used to.

Why do you need a "digital" lobby cam? All new Tv's still have analog tuners,
so why not leave that channel analog? That's what I'm doing for the general stuff like security cameras..and using Harmonic and JVC encoders into the Logic Innovations multiplexers and Tandberg,Harmonic and Drake QAM modulators. This is where I put the Studio, weather, and all the HD/SD sources that feed all the offices around the building.

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Old 05-05-2008, 04:49 PM
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This thread has been moved to the wrong forum and should be moved back to the Hardware Forum, from whence it came.
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Old 05-05-2008, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post

This thread has been moved to the wrong forum and should be moved back to the Hardware Forum, from whence it came.

Fixed. Thanks for the PM.

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Old 05-06-2008, 03:12 AM - Thread Starter
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For those looking for a camera with an MPEG2 output - what about an HDV camcorder? These output an HDV MPEG2 transport stream via firewire.

AIUI the HDV Firewire output of these is used to directly feed MPEG2 data into some US satellite newsgathering vehicles (to avoid having to install HD-SDI infrastructure and an HD MPEG2 encoder in the truck) Effectively you can uplink in HD using a truck with no HD video capability AIUI - taking the MPEG2 video out from the firewire, and converting it into a form that can be fed directly into the uplink modulator, with no requirement for any truck-based MPEG2 encoder?

The 1440x1080 Sony HDV2 MPEG2 would be non-ATSC standard - but with a bit of PID massaging it may well be compatible with cable boxes, and a 38.8Mbs QAM stream should be able to carry a 25Mbs HDV video stream? Or if you used JVC HDV1 at 1280x720 you may have even fewer problems?

Just a thought. Are there HDV Firewire to ASI converters - ISTR there may be?

** EDIT - what about this? http://www.miranda.com/product.php?i=342&l=1 Seems to come in at around $1500 ** ?
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

** EDIT - what about this? http://www.miranda.com/product.php?i=342&l=1 Seems to come in at around $1500 ** ?

I have one of those Miranda boxes, they work well. What you mention would work very well Sneals.

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Old 05-06-2008, 05:26 AM
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That looks like one affordable building block. I guess I could plug its MPEG output into a $400 Drake or BT mini modulator and have an RF modulated, QAM channel.

1. Without enhancing the MPEG stream to conform to the expectations of my consumer HDTV TV's QAM tuner, will my consumer TV be able to map, select and decode it in that form? If I simply modulate it to - say - cable channel 24 (222-228 MHz), will it be indexed by my TV as 24.0 or 24.1, such that I can tune it like any other mapped cable channel?

2. Is this MPEG encoder's input similarly compatible with "dumber", lower resolution digital outputs from a standard resolution (480p) camera that I might be able to provide at an acceptable price. Nnot all my customers are peasants, but I don't think I could sell someone on a QAM lobby camera channel for more than a total, installed price of maybe $5,000.
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post

1. Without enhancing the MPEG stream to conform to the expectations of my consumer HDTV TV's QAM tuner, will my consumer TV be able to map, select and decode it in that form? If I simply modulate it to - say - cable channel 24 (222-228 MHz), will it be indexed by my TV as 24.0 or 24.1, such that I can tune it like any other mapped cable channel?

2. Is this MPEG encoder's input similarly compatible with "dumber", lower resolution digital outputs from a standard resolution (480p) camera that I might be able to provide at an acceptable price. Nnot all my customers are peasants, but I don't think I could sell someone on a QAM lobby camera channel for more than a total, installed price of maybe $5,000.

1) The Tv will display the channel as native rf-MPEG program number. For your example, it would be 24-?? Whatever the MPEG program number of the camera generates. If you used the expensive Sony Z1, it would come out as 24-100. With the JVC 250, it would be 24-1

2) This Miranda box is not an encoder, the encoding would be done in the camera. This is only a format translator.

Mike, take a look at www.coolstf.com .. see the TSReader section. That would be good for you to get it and a receiver to play with, and will learn a
lot. Gotta run now, more for you later.

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Old 05-06-2008, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post

... but I think the input has to be in MPEG2 compressed format.

Least anyone get the impression that MPEG-2 comes in an uncompressed format, it doesn't. I'm sure Mike wasn't implying that is available uncompressed. The wording just makes it seem that way

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Old 05-06-2008, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mrvideo View Post

...Mike wasn't implying that is available uncompressed. The wording just makes it seem that way

My sentence would have benefitted from the use of a hyphen (MPEG-compressed), a comma (MPEG, compressed), or even parenthesis [MPEG (compressed)].
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post

My sentence would have benefitted from the use of a hyphen (MPEG-compressed), a comma (MPEG, compressed), or even parenthesis [MPEG (compressed)].

Easier yet: "but I think the input has to be in MPEG2 format."

Simple and everyone will understand what you want.

I'm surprised that no one has asked at what bit-rate you are looking for, at a minimum.

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Old 05-06-2008, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrvideo View Post

I'm surprised that no one has asked at what bit-rate you are looking for, at a minimum.

I'm sure Vidiot knows this but..

A 256QAM carrier can support up to 38.8 mb/s of "mpeg" data. If you only feed "one" program from an encoder, into a QAM modulator to a 6 mhz channel,the bit rate will be determined by the ASI output rate of the encoder.
As long as the sum of the elementary streams (Video+Audio) does not exceed the ASI output at a maximum of 38.8 mb/s.
If the encoder's ASI output is set for 30 mb/s, with the video at 5 mb/s and the audio at 192k..then the encoder will fill the rest (24.8 mb/s) with null pids, aka "stuffing". It's not quite that simple in reality, but close.

This is an over-simplification, suffice to say one SD channel to a 256QAM carrier is not a very efficient usage of spectrum. Nor 1 HD at 18mb/s. However, in Mike's case that is probably ok. It may make it easier on the users to have only 1 program per channel,especially if there is ample spectrum as with a house cable system primarily based on OTA's.

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Old 05-06-2008, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post

I'm sure Vidiot knows this but..

I didn't until the recent discussion about Comcast shoving three HD streams down a single QAM channel (another AVS forum thread).

The question is still sound, in that I'm wondering what he is expecting for the MPEG-2 bitrate. Hopefully better than 15 Mbps

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Old 05-06-2008, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrvideo View Post

The question is still sound, in that I'm wondering what he is expecting for the MPEG-2 bitrate. Hopefully better than 15 Mbps

Yes, but hopefully not 38 mb/s for a lobby cam... tho I must admit it would look really good with the right camera.

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Old 05-06-2008, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post

Yes, but hopefully not 38 mb/s for a lobby cam... tho I must admit it would look really good with the right camera.

Ya, let's see... 38 Mbps 1080p... just might work for those scenes in TV shows where they select a portion of video and blow it up to get an image of a face that they can see

Those enhancement scenes always make me wince. I just love how they can get a sweet smelling rose out of a pile of crap. Garbage in, garbage out doesn't seem to phase the people who write these shows

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Old 06-13-2008, 05:05 PM
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The FAQ suggest buying a government coupon converter box if you have an analog tv, but also says the output is QAM and can't work with those converters.
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