R.L. Drake is laying claim to being the first vendor in the industry to offer a hybrid QAM modulation platform.
The platform, which is called Drake Digital MEQ1000, was designed to address cable operators’ high-density modulation and conversion needs while simplifying their network architectures.
Drake’s MEQ1000 is a multiplexer, processor, QAM modulator and converter all-in-one, housed within a single rack-unit-size modular platform. Drake said the unit’s modular design allows cable operators to cost-effectively convert multiple input video formats – ASI, 8VSB, HD, analog SD and IP – into a single QAM channel and reconfigure as needed via hot swappable modules to meet changing network requirements.
The MEQ1000 has two input module bays specially designed to accommodate a variety of input configurations, with the initial implementation built around the new Drake Digital DTD1000 module. With a lone DTD1000 module configuration, the MEQ1000 can transcode a single 8VSB broadcast channel to QAM, or enable QAM-to-QAM translation. When configured side-by-side with another DTD1000 module, operators can multiplex and transcode up to two 8VSB channels to one QAM.
In the future, Drake said it plans to add more modules in order to support multiple ASI-to-QAM, analog SD-to-QAM, component/HDMI HD-to-QAM and Gig-E IP-to-QAM translation, or individual combinations of each.
“The MEQ1000’s modular design allows operators to flexibly scale services as network demands change, making it the ideal, cost-effective alternative to multi-box configurations,” said Jeff Huppertz, president and CEO of Drake. “The MEQ1000 is the perfect product for cable operators looking to expand their video services in a quick and efficient manner.”
Drake is showing the MEQ1000 at the NCTC Independent Show in Texas.