TVs & Home Theaters forum

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Video -> Audio Output to Multiple stations

by slorenzoni / May 6, 2004 12:51 AM PDT

We have a need to monitor 80 TV Cable stations. We will tune to individual stations and feed stereo audio output to an audio fingerprinting system. Instead of 80 VCR?s, we are looking for another type of TV/Cable tuning device ? preferably to save space, we?d like to have one box unit that can tune to and output multiple stations.

Any suggestion for an item that would fit this application would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Sonia Lorenzoni

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Re:Video -> Audio Output to Multiple stations
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 6, 2004 3:38 AM PDT

The problem I see with this is how much a person company would pay for this. It's this simple. The actual tuner is pretty simple and can be on some PC card and be set to the station with a micro-controller. But there is no escape from having a tuner per channel.

What may tank this endeavor is the price of such a custom system. Off the cuff I estimate it to be about 20 to 25 thousand USD for such a box. Walmart VCR's run under 50USD so that's only 4,000 USD.

Is it worth this?

Bob

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Re:Re:Video -> Audio Output to Multiple stations
by slorenzoni / May 6, 2004 5:56 AM PDT

Yes, as it is for a business need. We were figuring around $5K as an initial figure, but that was using a unit that is as big as a credit card. The only problem is that we found out that it requires software to work. We just want it as a throughput. The problem with the VCR's is real estate. Imagine what 40 - 80 VCR's piled up looks like?

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Try this box.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 6, 2004 6:59 AM PDT

With today's systems, it's hard to escape software. I did an embedded system, but to placate the final user, never revealed there was software inside what we relabeled a "controller chip."

You can find smaller VCRs. The units we use in mobile applications are about 1/2 the size we are used to seeing.

That's the "cheap way."

After this you look at TV to VGA converters with RF sections. Examples:

http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/tv-tuner.html

Since you don't need NTSC/PAL video, this is likely to be the smallest ready to go solution. Go look for others like this.

Bob

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Re:Try this box.
by slorenzoni / May 7, 2004 12:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Try this box.

Bob:

Great suggestion. The item is a perfect size and can provide the technical aspects of our requirements. But a few other ideas (issues) came to mind while looking into this (and similar) products.

a) You need a display to tune the unit to desired channel. This is fine for the one time setup, however we're not sure if the unit can remember the channel if its power has been recycled.

b) If the power has been lost to unit, once returned, is the power recycled? Or does it need someone to physically turn it back on? If it does - then that poses a problem.

c) Since this unit does provide signal for both broadcast and CATV - that is perfect. But again, if we loose power, does that source setting need to be reset? If it defaults to CATV, then the CATV channels are good, but if we need broadcast then we need to again physically reset the channel setting. Not sure if that would be practical for us.

Just sort of typing my thoughts down. I'm not sure that a VCR would remember the channel setting or source either - I guess it depends on the VCR. But while keeping 40 - 80 units in mind, I want to also look for a solution that is as independant as possible.

I do appreciate the suggestion. I am going to contact the vendor and speak with them anyway - we're in the same state. They may have another suggestion and at the least, a more detailed description or spec sheet on the XChannel TV Tuner.

Thanks again. You've been a great help!!

-Sonia

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Try one?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 7, 2004 1:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Re:Try this box.

Then you'll know. And you can always ask them to modify the firmware in said box if you buy enough of them. And I see you will call them so that's the best strategy.

As to keeping the power on? TRIVIAL! These unit don't draw much more than a few Watts. A battey backed UPS would do wonders to solve your power out issue.

Bob

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Re:Try one?
by slorenzoni / May 7, 2004 1:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Try one?

In the process of procuring one unit to test programming and integration.

Thanks again.

-Sonia

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Check this one out ...
by slorenzoni / May 7, 2004 5:49 AM PDT
In reply to: Re:Try one?
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Last price for that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 7, 2004 6:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Check this one out ...

VMM806AG Agile Modulator Module 236.00
DMM806 Agile Demodulator Module 124.00
12 Unit Rack Chassis 92.00
PS121 Power Supply 118.00

This is more in the professional line, but I didn't look there since you started off with VCRs. Lets' see...

For 72 channels, I see it to be about...

72 * 124 = 8,928 (RF demod..)
6 * 210 = 1,200 (rack and power supply.)

So about 10,188 and that's without the racks to hold it, cooling systems and more wiring.

Sounds like my guess in the 20K region is about right.

bob

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