EGT Fine-Tunes Edge Processor

Houston -- EGT sanded some rough edges off the first version of its “edge” analog-to-digital video-processing unit with its 2.0 model, which the company was set to announce Wednesday at the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers’ Conference on Emerging Technologies here.

The Head End Micro (HEMi) 2.0 processor -- designed to be deployed at multidwelling units -- provides the same primary function as its predecessor.

It converts analog video streams -- such as public, education and government channels or MDU-specific channels, like a security-camera feed -- and delivers them in digital format to the property’s subscribers, saving the operator bandwidth.

What’s new: The HEMi 2.0 includes an add/drop multiplexing feature, giving operators the ability to add or swap out individual channels within a single quadrature-amplitude-modulation band.

“Rather than having to take an entire QAM -- 10 channels -- to create a QAM at the MDU, you just pick one or two channels out of that QAM and adjust only those,” EGT senior director of product management Chris Gordon said. “That’s what most of our larger operator customers are excited about.”

But the enhancement won’t come standard. EGT will charge an unspecified premium for the add/drop multiplexing feature, according to Gordon. The HEMi 2.0, available now, is priced starting at $3,000 per encoded channel (not including add/drop multiplexing) with volume discounts available.

Among HEMi 2.0’s other enhancements is a passive loop-through capability, which allows channels to be transmitted from the headend even if the HEMi at the MDU is powered down.

“That’s one of the things we learned from the 1.0 version,” Gordon said. “Operators said, ‘So what happens if the unit goes offline?’” Without such a pass-through feature, the entire channel lineup would go dark.

The new HEMi can also be managed and upgraded remotely, and supports closed-captioning to allow for scrolling text on local analog channels. It also provides Internet-protocol output, so it could be used for remote-channel backhaul or be deployed in an all-IP headend environment.