Emergency communications firm Digital Alert Systems/Monroe Electronics has partnered with DigIt Signage Technologies to interface the ChyTV HD-EAS, a version of the ChyTV video graphics system for television, information displays, and digital signage, with the DASDEC series of Emergency Alert System/Common Alerting Protocol (EAS/CAP) flexible emergency communications devices.
The integration is designed to bring the marketplace “a better, lower-cost solution for creating selective, high-quality crawls for EAS alerts on standard- and high-definition (SD and HD) channels.”
DAS VP/Business Development Bill Robertson said, “Digital Alert Systems has always looked for ways to help customers comply with FCC rules on EAS/CAP while making the presentation of this information as clean and palatable as possible. Working with ChyTV achieves this goal. With the ChyTV HD-EAS, our combined customers can achieve full FCC EAS/CAP compliance with an improved presentation across multiple program streams for far less money than they could with separate pieces or competing solutions. The ease of wiring and configuration is a further benefit over a menagerie of separate components.”
The ability to place the visual text of an EAS message over programming and switch the audio is an FCC requirement under Part 11 rules. While there are several ways to accomplish this task, the least disruptive for the viewer is to use a crawl generator and audio switch. In the past, when using HD-SDI with embedded audio signals, the process might have required several pieces of equipment — HD character generator, de-embedder, audio switch, and embedder. The process isn’t necessarily onerous for a single program stream, but it becomes complex and expensive when dealing with multiple program streams.
The ChyTV HD-EAS system combines all the components necessary for handling a single program stream into one chassis, with connections from the DASDEC, which can feed signals to up to eight different ChyTV units. Since the per-stream cost is significantly lower than ever before, stations having used full-screen interrupts for EAS in the past now have a viable option for considerably improving the viewer experience. The system supports both SD and HD formats, giving stations currently in SD a seamless upgrade path to HD without the need to purchase additional equipment to comply with EAS rules.
“One of the strengths of the ChyTV product line is the ability to perform broadcast-quality character generation derived from decades of television-graphics product development and experience,” said Vinny Biondolillo, director of ChyTV sales support for DigIt Signage Technologies. “Tight integration with an EAS system such as DASDEC is a natural fit and opens up new sales channels for both companies.”
ChyTV HD-EAS devices are available in two models: a 3-RU rack-mount chassis with redundant power supplies (part No. 7A0-0349-RK, $6,395) and a desktop PC chassis with a single power supply (part No. 7A0-0349-D, $5,995). Both models come with a GPI I/F module and CG software. Multiple-unit discounts are available. The DASDEC requires the TV-Plus package or either the MultiStation-2 or MultiStation-5 option installed.
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