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Ensemble Smooths HD Transition

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIF.: KTAS is a full-power television station that serves viewers in the cities of Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and San Luis Obispo. The station carries programming from the Telemundo network and broadcasts in Spanish.

Our next phase in the transition to high-definition operations involves our 1080i network feed. Ensemble Designs is providing signal processing equipment for this project, including DVB-ASI signal processing and analog-to-digital converters.


We needed to convert ASI signals to 310M, and in the process of trying to identify equipment for this task, I discovered the Avenue 4500 ASI/SMPTE 310 converter and MPEG transport processor in the Ensemble catalog. It seemed ideal for the job, as in addition to handling the ASI/SMPTE 310 conversions, it also had a built-in signal analyzer and could also provide stream monitor alarms in several different ways. It did CRC and checksum data integrity testing, and could even provide clock management for single frequency networks if needed.

My next step was to have a detailed conversation with Ensemble’s Mondae Hott about the technical requirements of our conversion project and also about ASI protection switches. Mondae went over the details of their ASI clean switch technology and how their gear cleaned up the transport stream clock. After our conversation, I felt very satisfied and confident with what Ensemble had to offer and I knew they had the ASI processing equipment we needed for our project. I should also add that we were shopping for a router, and after looking at Ensemble’s new Avenue routing system at the NAB Show, I decided to make Ensemble our source for everything.

Now that the equipment is installed and on-line, it’s functioning just the way we wanted and has helped us move forward in our high-definition transition.


We’re using an Ensemble Designs Avenue 5360 A-to-D converter at the output of our analog router for conversion to SDI, and are employing an Avenue 7910 to upconvert standard-definition SDI sources. The new equipment allows us to use a mix of SD, HD and ASI signals, and makes the 1080i network feed available throughout the plant. The Avenue 4500 module converts our ASI program stream to SMPTE 310 to feed the transmitter.

The 4500 can report back on the health of the ASI stream down to PIDs and PCRs. Also, it sends me an alarm if there should be a problem with the feed. We’re now using Avenue PC control software for monitoring all of our signals, as it provides a lot of functionality in terms of setup, control, monitoring and alarm generation, if things are not quite right.

I’m very satisfied with my equipment from Ensemble Designs and I’d recommend it to anyone. Ensemble is right in our neighborhood and they are easy to work with. I had the pleasure of visiting the Ensemble plant last November and felt right at home. The operation was like one big family.

We’re very happy with our Avenue equipment. It seems like Ensemble wants to listen to everybody and make their equipment work.

Roy Keefer has been chief engineer at KTAS since 1996. He may be contacted at ktastv@fix.net.

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Ensemble Designs PO Box 993, Grass Valley CA 95945 USA
Tel: +1 530.478.1830
IBC Stand 8.B91

Press Contact: Cindy Zuelsdorf
Tel: +1 530.478.8328
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Press Contact:

Lisa Cowden
Ensemble Designs
+1 530.478.1830