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Commercial Grade Set Top Box With Multi Channel Output Rs232

multi rs232 wired rackmount

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#1 Magnets

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:53 AM

Hi,
been a while since i've been on here...

Does anyone know of a commercial grade set top box receiver for digital tv.
At work, i have to monitor all the FTA channels at once, on an analogue video wall (don't ask).

At the moment, i'm just using many different set top boxes. Every so often one pops and i have to go and get another one (they are on 24/7).

I'm looking for (ideally) a rackmount solution that has multiple channel outputs, and even better if i can control the channels via tcp/ip or rs232 (the remote doesn't work very well in a server room saturated with IR cameras)

has anyone heard of a product that fits that bill?

so just to clarify:

one aerial in
many SD DTV channels out
remote control not required but would be nice.

#2 alanh

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:57 AM

Magnets,
I suggest you upgrade your installation. Use for example large LCD display(s). You can buy a switcher which allows multiple sources to be displayed on a single screen. This is how the TV stations view multiple sources.

Secondly, there are 5 program streams which are in HD. To make the above or your current system. You need 16 HD set top boxes (preferably with MPEG-4) capability. All STBs are capable of downscaling HD to SD. The above example can use the HDMI outputs of STBs as well as a composite output.

The likely cause of failure is the heat generated by STBs. They are usually inadequately ventilated. I suggest you must use fans to increase cooling.

As far as remote controls go you can get remote control repeaters. I suggest you get one for each STB and put the receivers close to your monitoring post. Each receiver has a shroud around it to prevent the IR being received by the next receiver. All STBs need to be the same model so that a single remote control.

The digital HDMI output has the possibility of controlling the tuner from the TV, however I do not know of a manufacturer who has implemented this.

The only other option is to install 3 tuner cards into a computer running Windows 7 with a very large amount of RAM and use a fast processor. Team- Videoportal can handle as many tuner cards that your computer can handle. Use a graphics card with an HDMI output to a large screen TV.

Remember that a single tuner will simultaneously output all datastreams for example on a single tuner card. Team-videoportal can record all 5 ABC simultaneously provided that the hard disk is fast enough. A second tuner can do the same thing on the 7 network etc.

The mouse can be used to replace the remote control.

Lastly the price of TVs has drastically dropped. So consider using buying digital TVs and a antenna signal amplified splitter.

AlanH

#3 pgdownload

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:53 PM

Do you have to monitor all channels?
Do you need/want to use the existing anaolgue screens (how many do you have?)
Do you have to be able to see them all simultaneously or flip between them?
What level of backup do you need? ie if the systme fails for a day or two is that unacceptable?
Do you need to be able to record the signal at any point?
Do you have to monitor things live?

And out of intetrest what are you monitoring for? News items, technical faults?

Regards

Peter Gillespie

Edited by pgdownload, 20 February 2012 - 12:57 PM.


#4 Magnets

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 01:08 PM

Hi Alan,
Thanks for the reply and i appreciate your suggestions. Unfortunately the setup i use does not allow me to make the suggested modifications.
I wish i could go into a bit more detail but i can't.
I think i may have found a product that will do it, I've been looking at this
http://www.appeartv....oducts/decoding
only issue is the audio is embedded in the output stream, and i need it separate.

ps. The set top boxes are all in thier own cabinet in my server room (air con'd of course) but they aren't designed to be on 24/7 and they all eventually pop. Generally i get about a year out of each of them, i try to use different manufactures to reduce mass fail.

#5 Magnets

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 01:14 PM

Hi Peter,
Thanks for the response, in annotation:

Do you have to monitor all channels?
no, i estimate up to 10 simultaneously

Do you need/want to use the existing anaolgue screens (how many do you have?
The output topography is significant, think of it less like screen and more of a need for composite inputs to other systems

Do you have to be able to see them all simultaneously or flip between them?
All simultaneously, no interlace, no multiplexing and no tours.

What level of backup do you need? ie if the systme fails for a day or two is that unacceptable?
Cold swap is fine

Do you need to be able to record the signal at any point?
Separate hardware does that for me

Do you have to monitor things live?
upto 20ms delay is acceptable.

And out of intetrest what are you monitoring for? News items, technical faults?
Unfortunately i can't go into detail, it's not really that interesting, but we run inside a secure environment. News items is close enough.

#6 dig2all

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:02 PM

magnets,

when you say all stb's pop, assume you mean the power supplies. please consider - before meps, most stb supplies were on 24/7 anyway. some (not all) of the healing stb's http://www.healingdi...s_more.php?id=8 have particularly robust power supplies, you can see it by comparing supply pcb's, even doing a component count.

looking at 'appear', you must have a really nice budget! what type of outputs do you want? rs232 control is possible, are you going to write your own code to operate it? 'fracarro' 'headline' http://www.fracarro....=282&Itemid=367 has redundant hot swappable power supplies and could provide another solution.

#7 alanh

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:20 PM

The appear system seems to do what you want however check with them that it complies with http://infostore.sai...oductID=1409603. Particularly that all our channels from channel 28 - 69 have a bandwidth of 7 MHz with corresponding new channel frequencies.
So generally European channels 5 - 12 (Au channels 6 - 12) will be received but the standard UHF transmission will not.

Also check if you wish to use RF distribution of PAL signals that the channels match the Australian channels including the sound 5.5 MHz above the vision carrier. Otherwise no sound. This applies to VHF and UHF. This does not apply to composite video and analog sound.

The ACMA is currently investigating the use of MPEG-4 compression which Appear TV can but also DVB-T2 modulation. No DVB-T2 prior to 2014.

HD signals will need to be downscaled to SD for composite outputs.

AlanH

#8 Magnets

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:28 AM

Hi Alan,
thanks for the response, The appear system i think is well above what i need, and the rf distribution is of interest to the rest of the building but not really required. I am worried about the audio, and the technical standards difference between here and Norway.
They were very nice and have sent me an email saying they will be in town for a trade show, so i might get them to come and demo it.
One of the other DTV members, has offered a solution but it's a bit pricey (>10K) so i'm still shopping..
For those interested, they are looking to supply rack full of these Terra CMH3000
hmm no good web links, but the pdf is here
http://www.terraelec...g equipment.pdf

#9 Magnets

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:34 AM

Hi Dig2All
thanks for the link, if i end up going the stb route, i probably will go for the lowest feature set i can get, footprint is also a concern, they look very nice.
Though the tiny one doesn't have composite out (i'm seeing that more and more these days).

The fracarro SG7100 looks spot on, i will get a quote!
thanks for that.

#10 alanh

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:03 PM

Magnets,
My comments about technical standards also have to be asked of Fracarro. This is because Australia is unique in its use of 7 MHz wide channels at UHF. Where band 3 VHF is used in Europe it is compatible with our system. Fracarro is Italian.
The changes for UHF reception is a small modification to the firmware. If you don't want RF then the sound frequency is irrelevant.
AppearTV has various options so you don't have to buy the RF output option if you don't need it.

AlanH

#11 cwt

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 02:58 PM

I'm looking for (ideally) a rackmount solution that has multiple channel outputs, and even better if i can control the channels via tcp/ip or rs232 (the remote doesn't work very well in a server room saturated with IR cameras)

has anyone heard of a product that fits that bill?

so just to clarify:

one aerial in
many SD DTV channels out
remote control not required but would be nice.


Cant help with the multiple tuners magnet ; but the ir flooding the room is something that can be alleviated with a xantech system [ 3d ir glasses signal is a problem atm :hmm: ]

http://www.xantech.c...sories/IR KITS/

#12 Magnets

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 07:00 AM

Hi All,
Both fraccaro and appeartv have resellers in Australia so their equipment is ok to use here.
For anyone else reading this thread, i ended up with two pretty good options
Low end:
http://www.fracarro....alogo/72-73.pdf
it's basically 6 set top boxes inside a box with av out on each channel
it's fairly cheap (about 2k) but it doesn't recieve HD, and one of the channels i want is ABC news 24
High end:
The appearTV stuff is great, but really pricey, (more than 25K)
so the next best thing is the fraccaro Headline series,
http://www.fracarro....=282&Itemid=367
with a setup of the rack, the programmer and 6 of the cofdm tuners
this comes out at around 5k and has ample room for expansion.
I'm also looking a the fracarro k series...

thanks for all your input.

ps. good find on the xantech stuff