Product Spotlight: Edge 2000

Jul 15, 2002  •  Post A Comment

What it is: A digital encoder from Adtec in Nashville. The company has been making decoders for six years, and Edge 2000 is the company’s first effort to produce an encoder. The product has been in development for the past year and a half. Advances in chip technology have made the chips good enough and affordable enough for Adtec to tackle this new product line, said Kevin Ancelin, VP, product and business development.
How it works: As an encoder, the Edge 2000 captures analog video and audio or uncompressed digital video and audio and converts the signal into an MPEG2 stream to transmit over cable or satellite plants. The encoder can be used to deliver TV services to a digital cable tier, for ad insertion and for the digitization of analog channels once PVR functionality has been incorporated into cable headends.
Market opportunity: With the conversion to digital and the proliferation of digital channels, Antec saw an opportunity to design an encoder that would be cheaper, smaller and require less power than those currently available. “There have been MPEG2 for several years, but they have been complicated, large and very expensive,” Mr. Ancelin said. He predicted the company would deliver 3,000 to 5,000 encoders in the next 18 months.
Features and benefits: The Edge 2000 is small and occupies one-fourth rack units. That compares to the one to two rack units needed by most common encoders, he said. Reducing the size makes the device easier to manage and ship. The Edge 2000 uses 7 watts of power, compared with 100 for most encoders. “We are really power misers,” he said. “We’re very efficient with how we go about doing this.” Because the encoder uses so little power, it does not require a fan, which eliminates that possible point of failure from the device, he said.
Cost: The Edge 2000 costs $5,000, which compares with $18,000 to $25,000 for most other encoders, Mr. Ancelin said. The low cost should help TV stations that filed for an extension to transition to digital, he said. “We can get those stations broadcasting digital on a shoestring budget,” he said.
Availability: Adtec is slated to begin shipping the encoders in July.