ATSC Modulator ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 11-14-2006, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Who makes a component analog input -- ATSC HD RF output modulator..

In this case I suppose its a encoder with a ATSC modulator..

Of course HDMI input would be good ( Hahahahahahahaha )
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post #2 of 18 Old 11-14-2006, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xymox
Who makes a component analog input -- ATSC HD RF output modulator..

In this case I suppose its a encoder with a ATSC modulator..

Of course HDMI input would be good ( Hahahahahahahaha )
No one (if you mean for under $10,000). What you would need would be a component to MPEG2 encoder that would then need to package that MPEG2 stream into an ATSC transport stream, generate a PSIP data stream and then produce an 8VSB-modulated output. If you wanted to have audio, you would need either encode the analog signal into AC-3, transcode it from some other digital formate or add an existing AC-3 stream (that you hope remains time synchronized) and then add it to the TS multiplex.

For non-HDCP protected content, doing this for HDMI would be exactly the same excepted that one might need higher bandwidth encoders.

Overall, a product I do not expect to see produced at a consumer price point anytime soon (if ever).

/carmi
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post #3 of 18 Old 11-14-2006, 02:22 PM
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DishNetwork had such a device available for their model 5000 satellite receiver. It was based upon a Zenith ATSC chip. Alas, they killed this unit a long time ago.

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post #4 of 18 Old 11-14-2006, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve
DishNetwork had such a device available for their model 5000 satellite receiver.
Not really. They took their DVB-S bitstream and translated it slightly to an ATSC Transport Stream (without PSIP). This is radically different from taking component video and producing an ATSC 8VSB transmission. Also, not having PSIP would be a problem today where it was not then.

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It was based upon a Zenith ATSC chip. Alas, they killed this unit a long time ago.

Steve
While it was an interesting product, it would have had increasing problems due to its lack of PSIP and Echostar's transition to MPEG4.

/carmi
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post #5 of 18 Old 11-15-2006, 04:00 PM
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Why would it be a problem to not have PSIP today, when it was not a problem a few years ago?
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post #6 of 18 Old 11-15-2006, 07:13 PM
 
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The problem is encoding component into the MPEG2 TS.
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post #7 of 18 Old 11-15-2006, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This does sound do-able. IF your building chip sets. With the VAST use currently of modulators in doing custom install a market does exist.

The MPEG2 encode + AC3 encode -> ATSC TS + PSIP -> 8VSB is not all that hard the trick is getting it down to a cheap price point by getting a chip set made for doing it.


OK, who makes a $10k single box ? All I could find were multi box solutions.


The markets for a device like this are huge. Not just residential but commercial.
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post #8 of 18 Old 11-16-2006, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve
Why would it be a problem to not have PSIP today, when it was not a problem a few years ago?
Steve
Early ATSC sets did not expect PSIP to be present (as it did not exist). Current sets expect it to be there.

/carmi
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post #9 of 18 Old 11-16-2006, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xymox
OK, who makes a $10k single box ? All I could find were multi box solutions.

The markets for a device like this are huge. Not just residential but commercial.
Sencore makes the most popular device. It's now used in Best Buy, some Circuit City stores, and some Sears stores - people who can afford such a system.

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post #10 of 18 Old 11-16-2006, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xymox
This does sound do-able. IF your building chip sets. With the VAST use currently of modulators in doing custom install a market does exist.
Would you explain a bit more about your application?

What is your source? Is it component HD or SD? Do you start with Digital Audio?

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The MPEG2 encode + AC3 encode -> ATSC TS + PSIP -> 8VSB is not all that hard the trick is getting it down to a cheap price point by getting a chip set made for doing it.
Real Time CBR MPEG-2 encode for HD content is actually quite hard, especially if one wants a high quality encode. However, I am not sure why one would want to take that encoded stream and emit it as 8VSB. Why not take this 19Mb/s stream and move it around one's facility on Gigabit Ethernet?

More importantly, given that one is not likely to have an analog HD component source, why would one incur both the cost and quality loss of taking compressed HD material (either done using a multi-pass encoder for Blu-ray/HD DVD or a very expensive - $50,000 - $100,000 - real time broadcast quality encoder) to baseband video and then re-encoding using a much lower quality real time CBR encoder just to prepare it for distribution? DTCP allows for a stream to be distributed around a facility using Ethernet. This could be done without incurring any quality loss from a decode - re-encode cycle.


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OK, who makes a $10k single box ? All I could find were multi box solutions.
You found a multi-box solution for real time analog HD component CBR MPEG-2 encoding with time synchronized audio by itself (not including ATSC Transport Stream creation or 8VSB modulation) for less than $10,000? I am very curious who makes that.

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The markets for a device like this are huge. Not just residential but commercial.
There was a large market for analog video/audio to NTSC modulation because it was cheap and the only solution for distributing video.

In a world of digital HD, I am unclear on why anyone would want to take this approach.

/carmi
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post #11 of 18 Old 11-16-2006, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Authority
Sencore makes the most popular device. It's now used in Best Buy, some Circuit City stores, and some Sears stores - people who can afford such a system.

Trent
Unless they have recently expanded their product line, Sencore does not make any MPEG-2 encoding gear. Their (approximately $10,000) modulator expects an MPEG-2 stream as input. This system makes sense for distributing a demo stream around a Best Buy or Circuit City, but would not make sense for any facility that has fewer than around 15 ATSC receivers.

Today, one can buy Apple Mac Minis for $800 each with Front Row and the ability to decode an MPEG-2 Stream. Add a GigE switch (~$300 for 24 ports), and one now can stream HD content, music and photos around a facility of 12 ATSC sets for less than one Sencore modulator costs (not counting an MPEG-2 encoder that one would still need). Apple's upcoming iTV and Media Extenders compatible with Microsoft's Media Center Edition drop one's station cost to around $300, raising to 30 ATSC receivers in a system before one breaks even with that same modulator.

/carmi
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post #12 of 18 Old 11-16-2006, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majortom
Unless they have recently expanded their product line, Sencore does not make any MPEG-2 encoding gear. Their (approximately $10,000) modulator expects an MPEG-2 stream as input. This system makes sense for distributing a demo stream around a Best Buy or Circuit City, but would not make sense for any facility that has fewer than around 15 ATSC receivers.
I think we're talking about the same piece, found here:
http://www.sencore.com/products/atsc987.htm

I hadn't noticed it didn't create its own MPEG-2 stream. Do you happen to know the source of the MPEG-2 stream that's fed to this modulator in such settings?

Quote:
Today, one can buy Apple Mac Minis for $800 each with Front Row and the ability to decode an MPEG-2 Stream. Add a GigE switch (~$300 for 24 ports), and one now can stream HD content, music and photos around a facility of 12 ATSC sets for less than one Sencore modulator costs (not counting an MPEG-2 encoder that one would still need). Apple's upcoming iTV and Media Extenders compatible with Microsoft's Media Center Edition drop one's station cost to around $300, raising to 30 ATSC receivers in a system before one breaks even with that same modulator.

/carmi
Perhaps I'm missing part of the equation, but how are you jumping from an ethernet hub to an ATSC television?

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post #13 of 18 Old 11-16-2006, 11:17 AM
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You can transmit RGB over UTP for extremely long distances, and the majority of flat-panel televisions have an RGB input - decent solution right there.
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post #14 of 18 Old 11-16-2006, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris_006
You can transmit RGB over UTP for extremely long distances, and the majority of flat-panel televisions have an RGB input - decent solution right there.
Yes, companies such as Audio Authority make equipment that does just that ;).

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post #15 of 18 Old 11-19-2006, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Authority
I hadn't noticed it didn't create its own MPEG-2 stream. Do you happen to know the source of the MPEG-2 stream that's fed to this modulator in such settings?
Most of these have a computer playing out an MPEG-2 stream off disk.


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Perhaps I'm missing part of the equation, but how are you jumping from an ethernet hub to an ATSC television?
Starting with that same server, the Apple Mac Mini's will decode and output DVI to the ATSC sets (I know of no ATSC set being sold today that does not have an HDMI/DVI connector). What I was pointing out is that it costs about $10,000 for just the modulator (that only accepts an MPEG-2 stream), and for most installations one could just use a computer to decode that stream for much less money. In particular, Apple's Mac Mini ships with a nice application for AV playback.

/carmi
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post #16 of 18 Old 11-20-2006, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majortom
Starting with that same server, the Apple Mac Mini's will decode and output DVI to the ATSC sets (I know of no ATSC set being sold today that does not have an HDMI/DVI connector). What I was pointing out is that it costs about $10,000 for just the modulator (that only accepts an MPEG-2 stream), and for most installations one could just use a computer to decode that stream for much less money. In particular, Apple's Mac Mini ships with a nice application for AV playback.

/carmi
Thanks for the clarification - I thought you were talking about sending out ethernet to all the TVs.

The problem with using HDMI/DVI for distribution within a store are the rampant handshaking problems, and distribution distance limitations. DVI and HDMI are not practical at all for most situations where RF distribution is used.

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post #17 of 18 Old 11-22-2006, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Authority
Thanks for the clarification - I thought you were talking about sending out ethernet to all the TVs.
No problem. :-)

Quote:
The problem with using HDMI/DVI for distribution within a store are the rampant handshaking problems, and distribution distance limitations. DVI and HDMI are not practical at all for most situations where RF distribution is used.
The approach I was suggesting would solve most of those problems, but would be expensive per set. That is why I said it only makes sense with fewer than 15 sets.

/carmi
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post #18 of 18 Old 12-04-2006, 07:42 PM
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Consider the cost of 20 runs of RGB in a home, or twenty cat-5 pulls with AudioControl Component adapters on either end. Once the cost of labor for these long runs and wire cost along with time and materials for RGB ends are considered in a 10,000 sq ft house, the modulator is looking pretty good. The big problem is the only way it would be worthwhile for the CI industry is IF it included inputs for component, composite, analog audio and spd/if audio. The even bigger if is that it would need to be able to run 16 input channels and output 16 feeds at once, so everyone can watch whatever source they would like. This would eliminate a matrix switcher. It would pretty much solve most of the problems with video integration on large jobs. Considering all the T and M it would eliminate it wouldn't even have to be all that affordable. Maybe 25k? I know it's not possible, but would be interesting.

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