RGB Networks has upgraded its Broadcast Network Processor (BNP) to support several advanced capabilities, including support for MPEG-4/H.264 and the addition of digital Emergency Alert System (EAS) capabilities.

The company said enhancements have also been made to ensure that all services delivered through the BNP continue to offer superior picture quality under the widest range of network conditions.

The BNP is used to optimize bandwidth utilization to enable operators to deliver more high-definition programming, to groom custom channel lineups and to generate new ad revenues through the insertion of local ads.

Through the addition of new, advanced algorithms, RGB said it has improved on the picture quality of the BNP, ensuring that it delivers the highest-quality video in even the most demanding scenarios.

The addition of MPEG-4/H.264 grooming and multiplexing support to the BNP’s existing MPEG-2 capabilities gives operators maximum flexibility in continuing to deliver MPEG-2 programming while they launch services based on the MPEG-4/H.264 advanced video codec.

The BNP’s new digital EAS capabilities include support for the SCTE 18 standard, which enables operators to fully integrate the BNP with their existing EAS management systems. RGB’s network-based approach enables the delivery of EAS messages simultaneously to all analog and digital subscribers. By performing all processing in the network, the BNP addresses the need for supporting multiple set-top box types or televisions with built-in decoders (such as for HDTV), while helping to mitigate massive upgrades of legacy set-top box models, the company said.

Other important feature additions to the BNP include program substitution, enabling operators to switch between programs on a single output channel, and SCTE 21 to SCTE 20 conversion, allowing operators to continue Closed Captioning through the DTV transition without the cost of upgrading legacy set-top boxes or the loss of service to Closed Caption subscribers due to the inability of several legacy set-top boxes to support the new SCTE 21 Closed Caption standard.

All of these new capabilities are included in the latest release of the BNP’s operating software, version 2.1, which will be available before the end of the current calendar quarter.

“We are committed to ensuring our Broadcast Network Processor remains the most advanced statistical remultiplexing solution in the industry, delivering the industry’s highest video quality, and these new enhancements keep it on the leading edge,” said Ramin Farassat, RGB’s vice president of product marketing. “We consulted closely with our customers worldwide in making these upgrades to ensure we provided them what they need the most today and into the future.”

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