BT Labs Reimagines Off-air Rebroadcasting


Blonder Tongue Laboratories, a designer and manufacturer of telecommunications, fiber optic, video and data delivery technologies, has unveiled the updated Aircaster AQT8 series of transmodulators – including the Aircaster AQT8-QAM/IP and Aircaster AQT8-IP.

The company calls them “a comprehensive and flexible toolset to create custom IP and QAM channel lineups from any ATSC 1.0 off-air or QAM content source.”

The solution, it says, “is ideal for facilities looking to incorporate off-air video programming without paying additional retransmission fees for local cable or satellite services.”

Ted Grauch, President and CEO of Blonder Tongue Laboratories, notes, “Until now, off-air to digital rebroadcasting equipment have been single use or only offer one-to-one signal conversion. Creating new channel lineups as well as correcting channel metadata to be fully standards compliant has required a labyrinth of converters, splitters, amplifiers and more The Aircaster AQT8 reimagines what off-air rebroadcasting equipment can do in a single compact unit, enabling custom lineups of up to 64 channels, accessible to thousands of residential homes in the case of service operators, or hundreds of rooms and TV sets for hospitality, institutional and SMB use cases. It effortlessly creates and multiplexes a complete digital media service, while eliminating unnecessary fees and equipment.”

The Aircaster AQT8 transmodulators are ideal for any fiber optic or cable service operator as well as video integrators with small- and medium-sized business (SMBs) customers. Requiring 1 RU, the device can accept up to 8 ATSC 1.0 off-air or QAM sources, and simultaneously output a series of either Single Program Transport Streams (SPTS) and/or Multi-Program Transport Stream (MPTS), creating both a custom IP feed and/or QAM transmissions.

Featuring an internal active splitter, the Aircaster AQT8 enables users to create a full lineup of up to 64 channels and distribute them across a facility, eliminating the need for countless digital converters, external splitters, and legacy one-to-one solutions.

Additionally, Aircaster AQT8 includes the following features:

· Pass Through Mode, which directly maps the demodulated RF port content in MPTS format to IP output

· Encrypted QAM input and IP/QAM output allows for MPTS or SPTS formats while preserving the source MPEG tables (PAT, PMT, PSIP, VCT, and MGT)

· Virtual channel mapping via a simple interface, where users can change the packet identifier (PID), program number short name, major/minor channel (PSIP) and overall channel lineup

· Signal testing and GUI-based remote monitoring and control via any web browser can greatly improve quality while drastically reducing truck rolls

· Emergency Alert System (EAS) control to override standard inputs and distribute an alert signal to an entire MDU facility

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