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post #1 of 3 Old 03-14-2001, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Following is a Motorola News release providing information regarding additions to WHYY's digital broadcasting capabilities....

WHYY-Philadelphia Contracts with Motorola for ATSC Broadcast
System with Multiplexed Datacasting Capabilities

High-profile PBS station to launch multiple digital transmissions in May 2001

SAN DIEGO, CA (March 14, 2001) – Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) Broadband Communications Sector today announced that PBS station WHYY in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has contracted for delivery of an advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) digital broadcast system. The system will be installed at WHYY’s newly opened Technology Center on downtown Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, where it will also serve as a visitor showcase of advanced digital television broadcast technology.

WHYY’s ATSC system, developed by Motorola Broadband’s Satellite & Broadcast Network Systems (SBNS) business unit, consists of Motorola’s DigiCipher II® high-definition (HD) encoder, two standard-definition (SD) channels, and a complete datacasting system from Triveni Digital™. The equipment will allow WHYY to begin digitally transmitting two channels – one HD and one SD – in May 2001, as well as special events and advanced datacasting.

Ultimately, the station plans to transmit four channels, with one broadcasting a compressed, digitized version of its on-air analog channel and the others carrying new programming such as Arts & Culture, News & Public Affairs, Kids & Preschool, Workforce Development and its seniors’ programming, Wider Horizons. The HD transmission will combine locally and nationally produced PBS high-definition programming; initial datacasting services will link daycare centers, libraries, school networks and other public service organizations in the greater Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware, regions served by WHYY.

WHYY-Philadelphia Contracts with Motorola for ATSC Broadcast System with Multiplexed Datacasting

Explaining WHYY’s choice of the Motorola system, William Weber, Vice-President for Content Distribution and Chief Technical Officer, said, “We wanted a fully developed, integrated system based on recognized and well-tested products available to the broadcast, satellite and cable communications industries. Motorola provides all of the solutions for fostering the converging environment that we, as digital broadcasters, are entering.â€

To fully serve WHYY’s advanced broadcasting and datacasting requirements, the system also includes an IP encapsulator and MPEG-2 transport multiplexer. These devices support insertion of opportunistic data into the multiplex when video bandwidth demands are low. Datacasting enables broadcasters to transmit a multiplexed stream of data along with normal video and audio programming. The data stream may be received at a personal computer via an internal ATSC tuner card, while audio/video signals are received by an ATSC digital television receiver. Datacasting, with its very high-speed data transmission rates, is a principal factor in accelerating the rollout and widespread application of digital broadcasting.
WHYY is in the vanguard of public and private broadcast stations launching digital transmission well ahead of the FCC’s May 2003, deadline. With its plans for expanded datacasting, interactive TV applications and multiple SDTV channels, the station and its advanced Motorola system will set standards for other broadcasters in the transition to digital services.


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post #2 of 3 Old 03-15-2001, 11:00 AM
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Can someone please interpret this for me? When WHYY starts multicasting, will their HD channel still be available 24/7? Will it still have its (current) superb picture quality?

I've been very disappointed that the satellite providers have decided to sacrifice quality for quantity on their non-HD frequency space. I'd be very disappointed to learn that the OTA broadcasters are doing the same with their spectrum.
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-15-2001, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Ben,

I believe the article describes the future of public digital television. I believe high definition will be used where it will have greatest impact - for specials and features (Nature, Nova, Masterpiece Theater, Mystery, etc) programs that will be regularly aired during prime time hours and on weekends. The rest of the time they will be utilizing their bandwidth to provide a diversified set of programs serving their community. That's my opinion.
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