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Advice for PEG station moving from composite to SDI playout equipment

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Jon DeLeon
Advice for PEG station moving from composite to SDI playout equipment
on Oct 25, 2019 at 1:25:15 am

Hi everyone,

I'm seeking advice on the configuration of our new Castus playout system within our current ecosystem. Below is some background and questions:

We are finally replacing an old Telvue system with a new Castus system. The Castus has 3 SDI outputs that I need to reach both our AT&T Uverse and Comcast encoders. We are broadcasting in SD.

Currently we still have all the analog gear that is being used between Telvue and the encoders, i.e. a Knox switcher, a matrix, and of course, three Blackmagic analog-to-SDI converters to get back to digital for the Comcast encoders.

What I am asking is this:

1. Would you recommend keeping the Knox and other analog equipment so we can manually switch feeds (and is there another benefit?), or
2. Would you get rid of all that extra equipment and go straight SDI the whole way? If we stay in digital, I still need some sort of SDI distribution, and not sure the best option (I’m thinking Blackmagic mini distributors if they support closed captioning). I’ve heard Decimators are good, but they are more expensive. Maybe an SDI matrix is better?

If we keep the Knox, I figure I’ll need some SDI to analog converters at the front end to split out the audio and get composite for the video signal. But then we need to convert back to digital at the end. I like the idea of less conversion- it feels cleaner. But maybe it doesn’t matter.

On a shoestring budget, what’s the best call here?

Important Points:
- We are standard definition
- I want to make sure we can support closed captioning through any converters being used

Thanks for any help you can provide!

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