Doug’s Q-Tips – Integrating Next-Gen QMODs

As we begin shipping the first of the next-gen QMODs, there will be a number of new features, plus a few more to be added with firmware updates later on. This article covers the basics, with links to more explanation on specific features and setup options.

What’s New

  • All next-gen QMODs now support 2-channel operation. There’s plenty of bandwidth in a QAM channel to support 2 full HD programs; and our new technology with two encoders makes it possible. Note the difference between channels and programs. The new QMODs, like the previous models, output one Channel, from 2-135. Each channel supports two Programs, typically labeled as 2.1 and 2.2 – the first number is the channel, the second identifies the program. When TVs scan the channels, they pick up the data and show both programs as you change channels.
  • All new QMODs now include full scaling. That means that the units can automatically fix the “not exactlys” for some sources, such as cameras that output video at 60Hz instead of the broadcast standard of 59.94 Hz. Full scaling also means that the units will accept PC VGA resolutions and get them on the screen – and you can zoom, shrink and position the image for edge-to-edge presentation on TVs. For SDI QMODs, it means the video resolution can follows the source, or scale all SDI video to a fixed 1080i or 720p.
  • All support IPTV streaming. Right now, this will be MPEG2, same as the stream used for digital RF channels. For more info on that, call our Sales or Support teams, or check out the Support Blog on that subject.
  • Easy setup. The Quick Setup menus cover the basics – RF channel, inputs, and RF level. At that point, you can begin testing the operation with TVs. The Program A and Program B menus access the finer points you can tweak later. The Common menus access general features, such as network address and IPTV operation.
  • Really easy setup and updates. You can access the onboard Web pages from the front-panel USB port that speeds up setup of all features, even if there is no network. The same USB also supports updates from your laptop – one Update Windows app covers all QMOD models. Once the units are linked to a network, you can access Web pages and do updates remotely.
  • Quicker success. The onboard scaling means that you’ll broadcast media immediately, without the gotchas common to broadcast-quality encoding.
  • Full 1080p scaling. Right now, you can zoom and shrink a 1080p video feed – the capture works very well, and it’s often the only tweaking you’ll need. We’ll have an update coming that adds the up, down, right, left positioning you can use with 1080p and lower video.
  • Dolby and SAP Audio. All the channels support Dolby audio now, converting PCM and analog audio to Dolby AC-3. There will be an update coming that will accept a Dolby AC-3 audio input and pass the data through to the QAM channel. You can define a second audio track to support SAP language selection.

What’s nearly ready

  • Dolby Pass-Through. All the channels support Dolby audio now, converting PCM and analog audio to Dolby AC-3. There will be an update coming that will accept a Dolby AC-3 audio input and pass the data through to the QAM channel.

Q-TIPS TOPICS