PBS Picks Sencore’s Data Encapsulator to Comply With WARN Act

The WARN Act provides funding to PBS stations for digital equipment that handles alerts
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The Public Broadcasting Service has selected Sencore, a producer of signal quality and video delivery solutions, to provide it with an advanced message data encapsulator that will meet the requirements of PBS’ Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN) Act compliance project.
The WARN Act (P.L. 109-347) provides funding to public television stations to install digital equipment to handle alerts.The data encapsulator is designed to work in tandem with other Sencore solutions already in place to enable PBS, its member stations, public television, and non-commercial educational stations to provide next-generation emergency alert services, the company says.

“Sencore is uniquely qualified to fulfill PBS’ requirements for a WARN encapsulator,” said Aaron Silverman, the PBS WARN Project’s communications director. “The company thoroughly understands the goals, message formats, and architecture of our system,” he said, adding, “The new message data encapsulator is the latest building block in a seamless and reliable framework that will allow us to serve as a diverse path for wireless enabled alerts without disruption to the broadcast signal.”

The message encapsulator works in coordination with the Sencore-providedModular Receiver Decoder (MRD 3187B), aprofessional multi-format modular receiver decoder, and Sencore’s Transport Data Injector 3000 (TDI 3000), which are bothdesigned to create a redundant data network leveraging the existing PBS broadcast infrastructure.The WARN backup data network connects the Federal Emergency Management Agency to commercial mobile service providers for the delivery of geotargeted emergency warning text messages to cellular telephones across the United States.

The encapsulator will perform message processing and handling, Web server hosting, message formatting and encapsulation and heartbeat/test message generation, Sencore says. The encapsulator will transmit identical copies of the data stream through itsasynchronous serial interface(ASI) and redundant Internet protocol outputs. Full control of unit settings will be available through a hosted Webgraphical user interface, andnetwork management systemintegration is possible via full support of asimple network management protocol-based remote monitoring and control, the firm says.

“With the addition of the new encapsulator, we are building a completely integrated signal transmission system that has been extensively qualified and tested by both the PBS WARN staff and Sencore,” said Garrett Carter, Sencore’s director of sales. “It’s the latest step in our continuing role in helping PBS deliver this vital service as part of the U.S. Emergency Alert System, and we’re confident that all of our solutions will offer the proven reliability and effective broadcast signal delivery that PBS needs to build a future-proof WARN infrastructure.”