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Pico Digital offering "headend in a box"

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 12:49pm
Brian Santo

Pico Digital has introduced system that has all the functionality of a headend, all fitting into a 5-RU space. The company said it designed the system for multiple dwelling units (MDU), headend in the sky (HITS) operations, and the hospitality industry.

Pico Digital describes its PD1600 as an ultra-compact headend in a box. The company said it decodes, decrypts, re-encrypts, and rebroadcasts content in IP, QAM, or analog output while providing end-to-end content protection from uplink to the TV.

The system can provide up to 96 channels or 96 full transponders. It is equipped with 12 slots for multiple satellite, QAM, or ATSC input blades. Each blade features eight tuners, which can either descramble one TV service or pass through off a complete transponder, and is available with an optional transcoder module for format conversions of eight streams per blade, Pico Digital said.

The unit features four slots for QAM and NTSC output blades. The QAM blade is available with 16 or 96 channels (72 or 288 services), while the NTSC blade provides 24 analog channels. Output can be free-to-air or scrambled using either DRM-based or CAS-based encryption.

The PD1600 supports multiple encryption formats, including LG PRO:IDIOM, Samsung LYNK, and Verimatrix VCAS. The unit's internal security architecture deploys "chain of trust" protocols. 

The PD1600's features include front-facing connectors and top-accessible fans; a built-in 96-channel stacking switch (CSS) to simplify connections to satellite dishes; and remote management via a built-in Web interface. Redundant power supplies increase reliability, while the unit's hot-swappable modular blades use wandering-master architecture to allow quick fall over in the event of a failure. An internal multi-Gb Ethernet switching fabric enables non-blocking, seamless packet transfers between blades. To reduce cost of ownership, the energy-efficient unit consumes less than 25 percent of the power of comparably equipped systems, the company said.

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