There are two primary pathways for distributing digital media facility-wide – IPTV and RF coax. While interest in IPTV is high, actual adoption has been slow. At the same time, digital RF installations have been exploding. Why? RF is digital media distribution – simplified.
While IPTV runs over existing Cat5/6 wiring, full-scale adoption has been slowed by bandwidth, cost of updates to electronic components, and decision makers are holding back, waiting for evolving standards to become reality.
RF is essentially a passive network for media distribution – the same coax wiring and splitters that carried analog channels now can carry up to 270 digital programs with no upgrades. There is no RF Department needed to keep the system working. TVs already have digital tuners to select and play the programs, and everyone understands how to choose channels. Contemporary Research’s Display Express software and components creates a cost effective through-the-coax TV control system to manage TVs via IP Web pages.
What many don’t realize is that digital RF and IPTV are closely related – they both use encoders to create digital MPEG programs. The key difference is that the MPEG programs are carried as a channel in RF and as an IP stream over Ethernet.
In our new-generation QMOD HDTV Modulator-IPTV Encoders, we take advantage of the IP/RF convergence. You can use RF now as the simple solution for facility-wide media distribution without impacting your IP network. In addition, you can output the same MPEG2 program over RF and IP. In the coming months, we will offer a free QMOD upgrade that enables MPEG4 encoding for a more network-friendly IP stream. Our goal is to offer freedom of choice for streaming distribution for now and the future.