The vendor is offering an end-to-end solution for TV stations looking to offer mobile TV services over their digital channels. It comprises program encoders, a multiplexer, an electronic services guide server and a compatible DTV transmission exciter.
Grass Valley announced today that it has completed testing of its end-to-end, fully integrated ATSC mobile DTV transmission system and that it is now ready to go to work for TV stations that want to go into the mobile video business.
The mobile DTV system, based on the ATSC standard adopted just last week, enables TV stations to broadcast mobile video signals rugged enough to be received by mobile and portable devices, even in moving cars.
The mobile DTV signals are small enough that stations can broadcast one or more within their 19.4 Mbps digital channels along with HD.
“This is an exciting time for broadcasters looking to build out mobile video services,” said Richard Fiore, senior director for transmissions and mobility at Grass Valley. “Grass Valley has been very careful to develop a robust and reliable system that can be cost-effectively implemented in a very short amount of time.”
The system comprises program encoders, a multiplexer, an electronic services guide server and a compatible DTV transmission exciter.
A closer look at the Grass Valley offerings:
ViBE Mobile TV Encoding
The ViBE Mobile TV encoder is a cost effective device that provides the necessary MPEG-4/H.264 video compression and HE-AAC audio compression. A single 1RU ViBE Mobile TV encoder chassis can hold up to four individual program encoders. ViBE is also available with statistical multiplexing allowing for maximum picture quality across all program streams/video contents in a given bandwidth.
Beyond the standard ATSC Mobile DTV encoder, Grass Valley offers Scalable Video Coding (SVC) on the Premium version of the Grass Valley ViBE Mobile TV platform. In addition to SVC, the Premium encoder features a unique Region of Interest (ROI) encoding system.
ROI is a patented feature that automatically detects the visually interesting area of a picture and crops out the uninteresting areas. The ROI feature allows broadcasters to re-purpose “large screen” content for smaller displays associated with mobile and other handheld devices, further enhancing the user’s experience with the mobile content.
There are two ViBE Premium encoder platforms available that support SVC and ROI, depending on the number of program streams. For a basic system with a single program stream, the TNM-3264-P100 platform is supplied. If there is an intention to start with more than one program stream, the ViBE TNM-3264-P200 encoder supports up to 2 CIF or 4 QCIF channels in a single 1 RU chassis.
Critical Mobile DTV multiplexer (MUX) and IP encapsulator (IPE) functions are provided by the Grass Valley NetProcessor 9030 platform. The NetProcessor 9030 is available with a large variety of interfaces (DVB-ASI, GigE/IP, ATM, etc.) and handles IP data injection and bit rate management. In addition to MUX and IPE functions, the NetProcessor 9030 contains the Signaling Server for the generation of TPC, FIC, and SSC tables specified as part of the A/153 standard.
Broadcasters that already have deployed the standard Grass Valley ATSC 9030 NetProcessor can be software upgraded for compatibility with ATSC Mobile DTV services.
XMS Network Manager
The Grass Valley eXtensible Management System (XMS) is a robust client/server architecture that provides broadcasters a complete management solution for the mobile video headend system.
The XMS server is a package of applications running on a PC or server, and XMS Clients are graphical user interfaces (GUIs) allowing remote access to user applications located on the XMS server. Several clients can access the server at the same time with updates from all clients reported in real time. The management of users’ rights ensures a safe, distributed access to the system, with partial scope if needed.
Mobile DTV Transmission
For the most part, any existing DTV transmitter already in use is capable of broadcasting the ATSC Mobile DTV signal (ATSC A/153) with minor upgrades.
The key component that will require attention when implementing ATSC Mobile DTV service is the exciter. Initially, DTV transmitters were shipped initially with MODAP (6 RU) and then later with ADAPT-IV (2 RU) 8-VSB exciter platforms. The ADAPT-IV exciter platform features embedded FPGA/Power PC cores that allow a simple software upgrade to handle the additional requirements of the ATSC Mobile DTV system.
Older MODAP exciters can be upgraded to the newer mobile DTV hardware platform.