HDMI encoder – simple change of DVB-T2 HEVC signal

Enkoder HDMI DVB-T2

HDMI encoder – simple change of DVB-T2 HEVC signal

HDMI Encoder

The easiest way to receive the “new TV signal” on “old” TV sets is to convert the data contained in the signal to an uncompressed form. And then recompression and modulation. But already H.264 (AVC) codec and DVB-T standard. More figuratively speaking. With the help of the receiver (decoder), the DVB-T2 H.265 (HEVC) signal is received. Then it is converted to uncompressed form and sent to the HDMI output to which the encoder / modulator is connected. The modulator compresses the data from the HDMI input with the H.264 AVC codec and modulates the signal in the DVB-T standard.

Dekodery DVB-T2 w hotelu
DVB-T2 set-top boxes in the hotel server room

The method described above is one of the most popular, adapting old TV sets to the new TV broadcasting standard. This is a central solution as the signal conversion is done simultaneously for all TV sets in the hotel. However, for each converted TV channel, you need one set – a receiver-modulator. The more channels, the more devices and more space is needed to mount them. More power outlets, more HDMI cables, more antenna cables, more heat …

Zespół dekoderów DVB-T2 w hotelu
Substitute of the headend in the hotel.

It could be exchanged for a long time. The question immediately arises, is there anything that can be done about it? How to overcome cable chaos? Save some space?

A proven solution

Contrary to appearances, the answer is very simple. In addition to the well-known encoder-modulators with one HDMI input, there are professional versions with multiple HDMI inputs. Rarely seen in Poland, but very popular in other markets. In Europe, to receive encrypted channels, all you need is a card with the appropriate module. In Africa or Asia, a different version has been adopted. A special receiver (decoder) with a code stored in the device’s memory to decrypt the TV signal. Polsat applied a similar solution in its terrestrial Multiplex 4.

Before HDMI became a standard, many of these set-top boxes were equipped with analog outputs only – Euro (SCART) or Cinch (CVBS).

AV-IPTV HDE 166 encoder from GSS

As a curiosity, I can give an example of the HDE 166 encoder module for the GSS.basic headend, where 4 analog CVBS (cinch) inputs were used to convert the signal from an analog source to a digital MPEG2. This “digitized” signal was then converted into an IPTV stream and sent to TV sets. It smells absurd, but in Arab countries it is a very popular solution.

Stacje czołowe DVB iPTV

Necessity is the mother of invention. That is why professional solutions have been developed to make the installation and operation of encoders as easy as possible. An example of such an encoder can be a solution based on the Omnihub 6 platform of the American company Sencore-Wellav.

Depending on the needs, the Omnihub 6 headend can be equipped with modules with 4,8, 12, 16, 20 and 24 HDMI connectors. There are commercial and professional modules to choose from. The digital TV signal obtained in this way in H.264 AVC standard can be sent to receivers in guest rooms in IPTV, DVB-T or DVB-C standards. The use of the MPEG2 codec guarantees compatibility with virtually any TV set with a digital DVB-T receiver. Even these several-year-old devices.

Moduł enkodera HDMI Sencore
Sencore-Wellav encoder module

And most importantly, everything is closed in a 19 ”rack with a height of 1U. With dimensions of 480 x 430 mm, the Omnihub 6 headend takes up nearly two times less space than 24 traditional, single modulators.

It is an excellent and simple solution to the upcoming changes in the way of broadcasting terrestrial television. You can connect 24 DVB-T2 H.265 receivers to the encoder and thus gain access to 24 TV channels on old TV sets that do not support the HEVC codec. This method seems to be the best and the cheapest at the same time.

Enkoder HDMI Sencore
Encoder 24 x HDMI by Sencore-Wellav

Compared to receiving TV channels via satellite. The cost of a headend is often higher than that of an encoder. Additionally, decoding cards are required for satellite reception. Since the counterparts of terrestrial channels are broadcast by satellite, almost all of them are scrambled. Which often entails additional costs related to retransmission charges at the hotel.

Many channels will also be closed to hotels. For example, stations related to Polsat, which has no official offer for hotels. And the retransmission of these channels in the hotel is not entirely legal.

It is also a flexible solution that allows you to quickly adjust the programming offer to your current needs. All changes can be made immediately, without the need to program TVs and without waiting for the next decoding cards from the operator. It may also happen that some terrestrial broadcast channels do not have a satellite counterpart. Such channels are even broadcast, for example, on regional “L” multiplexes.

An additional advantage of the Omnihub 6 headend is the possibility of using other modules. Among the very wide range of cards we can find DVB-S / S2, DVB-T / T2, DVB-C receiver modules. The modules can be used in any configuration to make the most optimal use of the Omnihub 6 headend and to prepare a rich program offer.

O autorze

Piotr Dariusz Morawski iBeeQ
Piotr Morawski

IT engineer with over twenty years of experience in the hotel television industry. Currently, he specializes in consulting for hotels in the field of hotel television and Wi-Fi networks for guests. Thanks to close cooperation with leading manufacturers of equipment dedicated to hotels, it implements cutting-edge technological solutions that improve the quality of hotel services and provide unique experiences for guests.