NYU's TV Center Goes Digital with Blonder Tongue

With an analog-to-digital upgrade of the NYU headend, the staff needed to find DTV solutions that would bring efficiency and reliability to the center's operations.
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NYU's TV Center Goes Digital with Blonder Tongue

Oct 8, 2014 7:33 PM

NYU’s Campus Cable and TV Center delivers TV programming to a variety of campus locations, including dormitories, auditoriums, and classrooms.

When New York University’s Campus Cable and TV Center transitioned from analog to digital, the team recognized an opportunity to improve the quality of the television services the university offers to its resident population of approximately 12,000. Faced with the challenge of building a completely new headend, the NYU team had to find digital television (DTV) solutions that would bring efficiency and reliability to the center’s operations while also providing superior video quality.

“It was critical that we deploy the latest video compression techniques in the industry while maintaining ease of access and programming that would make changing operational parameters simplistic,” says Frank Kukulya, chief engineer, Campus Cable and TV Center. “Through an intuitive Web-based interface, we have the flexibility to make on the fly channel changes from any remote location.”

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With video quality, price performance, and technical support all important factors in selecting the new equipment, the TV team chose Blonder Tongue as its DTV solutions provider having worked with the firm for many years.

“NYU knew that the company’s equipment would offer the perfect balance of high performance, ease of use, flexibility, and affordability,” says Kukulya, “while providing crystal clear video content at the lowest possible bitrates.”

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The Campus Cable team has deployed a comprehensive range of Blonder Tongue’s equipment, including demodulators, transcoders, and multiplexers as part of the digital upgrade.

The Campus Cable team has deployed a comprehensive range of Blonder Tongue’s AQD demodulators, AQT transcoders, MUX 2D QAM multiplexers, HDE-2H and HDE-QAM encoders, and BIDA amplifiers as part of the digital upgrade. Kukulya notes that combined, the solutions enable the university to cost-effectively broadcast 91 SD and HD channels to the student community to enhance their entertainment and educational experience. Currently, the center delivers TV programming to a variety of campus locations, including dormitories, auditoriums, and classrooms.

The new equipment also allows NYU to deliver emergency alert information. Through an Emergency Alert System (EAS) interface on the encoders, the Campus Cable team can easily distribute timely information to the student body, teaching, and administration teams in the event of an emergency or natural disaster— something the team could not effectively do prior to the upgrade.

“The flexible design of Blonder Tongue’s solutions reduces the equipment, space, and power needed for QAM distribution,” Kukulya says. “In addition, the new DTV solutions provide reliable performance, guaranteeing the integrity of NYU’s on-air transmission. Using Blonder Tongue encoders, which include optimized motion estimation capabilities, we can ensure superb video quality for all television programming, even those with fast motion, such as sports events.”

Product at Work:

Blonder Tongue 8VSB/QAM Multiplexer

Designed to allow CATV operators to multiplex two digital channels received in either 8VSB or QAM format to a single QAM output channel for delivery over a standard coaxial distribution network, Blonder Tongue’s MUX-2D-QAM accepts up to two 8VSB or clear QAM channels and aggregates them onto one QAM RF output in the 54-864MHz range. The MUX-2D-QAM provides the capability to filter program streams and to assign major/minor or a single 4-digit channel number to each. The unit also provides Emergency Alert System (EAS) program switching through ASI input and terminal block contacts. The EAS input source, which must be in ASI format, can be shared among multiple MUX-2D-QAM units by looping it from one to another unit without the need for external splitting and amplification.

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