Digital Alert Systems Teams Up With COMARK On EAS/CAP Integration For LPTV Operators

Using Digital Alert Systems’ EAS-Net, COMARK’s LEX-2000 encoder/multiplexer now presents emergency messages as crawls and audio across all channels.

Digital Alert Systems has announced a new technology partnership with Hitachi Kokusai Electric Comark LLC (COMARK), systems integrator and supplier of the LEX-2000 MPEG-2 digital TV encoder/multiplexer for the low-power television (LPTV) market.

The partnership links the Digital Alert Systems’ DASDEC Emergency Alert System (EAS) messaging platform over a standard IP network with the LEX-2000 encoder. Users can now present the alert message as a text crawl with audio over all configured program streams.

With COMARK’s LEX-2000 encoder adopting the widely used EAS-Net communications interface standard to Digital Alert Systems’ EAS/CAP systems, customers now have a direct IP link between Digital Alert Systems’ DASDEC decoding and monitoring platform and the LEX-2000 device. This simple, single network connection replaces the cumbersome direct video, audio, and contact-closure wiring methods of the past, simplifying the number of connections and, most importantly, allowing all communications to work over a standard TCP/IP network connection. In addition to simplifying the wiring interface, the emergency information display is vastly improved by using largely unobtrusive crawls versus the previous full-screen override over all configured channels.

“As a systems integrator, COMARK has access to both the LEX-2000 and the Digital Alert Systems product lines to quickly and efficiently craft a complete LPTV solution for any customer — big or small,” said COMARK Vice President of Sales and Marketing Joseph Turbolski. “This new feature allows existing and new customers to use the DASDEC/LEX-2000 combination and present EAS message alerts simultaneously across multiple video programs using text crawl with live and active video. This new solution simplifies the workflow and saves the station the capex associated with baseband implementations of EAS.”

The LEX encoder is a cost-effective device for aggregating multiple program sources to create a fully integrated digital broadcast output. Many low-power operators and sites in the United States can benefit from the EAS-Net integration, as it provides a much simpler interface that requires only a single network cable between devices. Moreover, it allows unique configurations for remote signal processing that haven’t been easily or affordably available in the past. The integration will also benefit full- and high-power digital TV stations, which can use the DASDEC/LEX-2000 combination for disaster recovery applications.

“In the past, adding EAS/CAP messages across multiple channels with a message crawl and audio playback would have required a completely independent media keyer for each program — a solution that could run thousands of dollars per program stream. Either that, or you’d need to do a crude full-screen replacement of the programs during an EAS event, something that’s very disruptive to viewers,” said Bill Robertson, vice president of business development, Digital Alert Systems. “This new EAS-Net integration applies our technology in an optimum way, presenting crawling text and audio on all channels without breaking away from programming or breaking the bank.” 

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