Purdue University recently transitioned its campus television network, Boiler TV, from analog to digital to enhance the entertainment and educational experience for students, faculty and visitors. The driving factors behind migrating to digital were simple: we wanted to provide more HD channels and better video quality to residence halls, athletic buildings, auditoriums and the on-campus Union Club Hotel, while improving our ability to send out timely and reliable emergency alert information.
Making the leap to a digital infrastructure is not an easy task. For us, it required a complete overhaul of our network headend and the deployment of new amplifiers around campus. In order to optimize the student experience and the performance of our emergency alert system, we needed CATV solutions that would provide maximum reliability and superior video quality. Finding solutions that were cost-effective was also important. Blonder Tongue’s solution provided the only equipment that met all of our criteria. The Blonder Tongue technical support team was always supportive with guidance when called on during our transition.
We’re currently using Blonder Tongue’s MUX-2D-QAM multiplexers, HDE-2H/2S-QAM MPEG-2 HD encoders, SDE-4AV-QAM MPEG-2 SD encoders, and HDE-8C-QAM MPEG-2 HD encoders for video processing tasks. After the video signals have been processed, they are distributed via fiber and RF to Blonder Tongue amplifiers located around campus.
One of the reasons we chose Blonder Tongue’s digital TV solutions is that they are based on a high-density, low-cost, flexible design that reduces the equipment, space and power needed for QAM distribution. This innovative design has been effective at lowering the university’s capital and operating expenses.
Improving Video Quality
Prior to the digital conversion, it was challenging for Boiler TV Network to deliver high-quality HD programming. Blonder Tongue equipment completely eliminated the issue, providing us with crystal-clear video. Additionally, using Blonder Tongue encoders, which feature optimized motion estimation capabilities, we are now able to deliver exceptional quality of experience for all television programming, even those with fast motion, such as sporting events.
Easy to Use
Distributing the television programming is also simplified. Through an intuitive web-based interface, our TV network engineers can easily make on-the-fly channel changes from any remote location. This means we don’t need to have an engineer on campus 24/7. Our staff can make an adjustment to the programming anytime, anywhere, and from any connected device.
In Case of an Emergency
Last but definitely not the least, Blonder Tongue’s CATV equipment has vastly improved the university’s ability to deliver timely emergency alert information. In a university setting such as ours, being able to disseminate emergency alert information through the CATV channels is critical. At Purdue University, we have 12,000 students, plus faculty and visitors, and we need to be able to reach them quickly in the event of an emergency or a natural disaster. We chose Blonder Tongue’s encoders because they are one of the few solutions on the market that come equipped with an Emergency Alert System (EAS) interface, enabling us to distribute information to students and faculty in a matter of seconds.
Thanks to a combination of Blonder Tongue’s multiplexers, MPEG-2 SD and HD encoders, and amplifiers, Purdue University can affordably deliver more than 100 SD and HD channels across campus and instantaneously send out emergency alert information. Blonder Tongue’s solutions have proven to be extremely robust, guaranteeing the integrity of our on-air transmission.
Michael Beach is the manager at Boiler Television Network at Purdue University.