Terrestrial digital TV transmitters normally cost over 1,000 dollars because there are usually implemented with expensive FPGA chips, but Taiwan based VATek has designed a low cost chips such as VMB8202D Enmoder (aka B2 Enmoder) capable of encoding 1080p60 video input to MPEG-2 (1080p30 max) or H.264 (SD resolution max), and transmitting the resulting video over DVB-C, DVB-T, ATSC, DTMB, or ISDB-T standards.
VATek B2 Enmoder SoC specifications:
- CPU – 32-bit RISC @ 400MHz
- Memory – Built-in DDR
- Modulation Engine – VATek Multi-standard Modulator 1.0 ATSC / DTMB / DVB-T / DVB-C
- Media Encoder – VATek Ultral Low Latency HD Encoder supporting 1080p30 or SD MPEG-2 and SD H.264 encoding
- Audio Formats – MPEG-1 Layer 2, AAC
- Raw Video Inputs – 1x ITU-R BT.1120 or 2x ITU-R BT.656 up to 74.25MHz pixel clock
- Raw Audio Inputs – I2S up to 48kHz sample rate
- Stream Input Interface – Ethernet, Transport Serial serial interface, or USB 2.0 device
- Stream Engine – Auto Stream Regulator / Advance Header generator
- Encryption – DVB CSA V1 & V2 / Triple DES
- Baseband outputs – IQ / IF up to 50MHz
- MER (modulation error rate) – 45.08 dB as measured with Agilent N9010 signal analyzer.
- Peripheral I/O – UART / I2C / SPI
- Control Interfaces – I2C / USB
- Control Protocol – VATek Gateway for I2C & USB
- Typical Power Consumption – 2.5 W
- Operating Temperature – 0 to 70 deg. C
- Package – 128-LQFP package
The company informed me that the chip supports Linux, and there API allows for control of many of the video encoder and modulation parameters, including bit rate, latency, GOP, quant control, and frequency, bandwidth, FFT, GI, code rate… They also have sample code for STmicro STM32 to control the chip via I2C on their reference/evaluation platform.
VATek also have a modular only chip (A1) without video encoder where the video encoding must be handled by a external processor (e.g. ARM SoC), as well as a lower end B1 Enmoder chip called that supports 720p60 max, and the same modulation standards as B2, except ISDB-T.
The company is also working on DTV modulation boards based on B1 and B2 that will be open source hardware with both API tools, PCB layout, etc.. released, so that developers can integrates the board into drones, use for HAM radio, and surveillance or DTV applications. The solution will be launched on Kickstarter in a few weeks for around $200 (A1 board + RF board) and $400 (B2 board + RF board + video input board as pictured above).
You can contact the company or find some more info on VATek Enmoder product page.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.