Netherlands-based digital TV specialist, DekTec, has released the DTA-2162, a low-profile PCI Express network card with two gigabit Ethernet ports that it will be demonstrating at IBC2012.
The card contains special hardware for jitter-free streaming and for receiving numerous time-stamped transport streams over IP. Error correction and fail-over functions are supported to achieve high availability. Drivers are available for Linux and Windows.
Professional infrastructure for creating digital television is increasingly based on PC servers and IP networks. For reliable real time transmission of DTV streams over IP, packet bursts and monitoring of jitter are crucial. The DTA-2162 is equipped with a hardware engine targeted for these tasks. The software application just needs to write the stream data and the hardware takes care of optimal scheduling.
On the receiving side, the hardware monitors IP jitter on each of the incoming streams. Another piece of hardware support is the address matcher, which works for IP v4 and IP v6. This offloads the driver of running a search algorithm for each IP packet that enters the system. Forward error correction is supported, too, so that missing IP packets can be reconstructed, increasing the reliability and QoS of the entire system.
The driver integrates seamlessly with the standard network drivers available on Windows and Linux. The special hardware support for DTV streaming is accessed through DekTec’s DTAPI. This API is supported for all DekTec streamer cards, which means that if an application works with an ASI output card, the same application can stream the data over IP. Some minor changes will be required like selecting the IP destination address, but the streaming source code can remain exactly the same for ASI and IP. – Heather McLean