Pagina 208 - TELE-satellite-1207

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TELE-satellite International — The World‘s Largest Digital TV Trade Magazine
— 06-07-08/2012
to record such large amounts of data
was through ‘Digital Live Tape DLT’. But
since at that time is was not yet pos-
sible to record the stream directly, we
used MPEG encoders to take the digi-
tally received signals that were output-
ed in analog by the receiver and recon-
vert them back into an MPEG stream.”
In just one year this method filled up
9000 DLT tapes. In 2002 the prices for
hard drives fell so far that it became
more cost effective to start using them
and stop using DLT technology. Since
then, Rod has been busy copying the
9000 DLT tapes onto hard drives. “This
job will keep me busy for quite some
time yet”, sighs Rod.
During the course of recording the
TV channels, it became evident that
there were blackouts in the recordings.
What was causing this? Rod was get-
ting more and more nervous; some-
times he had to search for a long time.
“I never knew if my reception system
was the cause or if there was an issue
with the uplink or downlink or if it was
the channel itself.” He had to find a so-
lution - he had to be able to read the
stream directly to find out what was
causing the blackouts. “There were
professional solutions but they were
just too expensive.”
Rod sat down and began program-
ming the first version of his TSReader.
“I used a commercial satellite receiver
with ASI output and a professional PC
card with ASI input; this let me start
reading and analyzing the stream.”
He soon adapted his software to an-
other PC card that also happened to
be popular with private users and thus
TSReader 1.0 was born. He made the
software available as a free download.
As a result, many DXers could now eas-
ily analyze the PIDs directly. He real-
ized that professional users were also
using his software and one day it was
suggested by one of these professional
users to expand his software to, for ex-
ample, include the playback of video.
“Since then TSReader is available in
three versions: a Lite version for ev-
eryone, a standard version and a pro-
fessional version with all the bells and
In 2004 Rod took it all online. “In
my first year sales were a little slow at
around 300 licenses.” In 2011 TSRead-
er was accepted: “In this year 6000
software licenses were purchased.”
Since some of these licenses were
valid for more than one PC, the to-
tal users added up to over 10,000.” It
was quite a success for Rod consider-
ing that TSReader was originally writ-
ten as a way for Rod to better handle
the TV channel stream recordings he
was undertaking for ‘Internet Archive’.
But there was another side effect to
TSReader: “Since I was always getting
better at working with the streams, the
opportunity arose to also use TSRead-
er to record the TV channels and this
time using the original stream for these
Rod took some time to test and
perfect his software. Finally, in 2008
it was time: ‘Internet Archive’ com-
pletely converted to recording using
TSReader. “Since then we’ve been
using my software to record the TV
channels directly to hard drives.” Rod
continues, “At ‘Internet Archive’s’
headquarters in San Francisco is a
reception and recording station for
currently 70 channels. Some of these
channels come from the local cable
network there and some via satellite.
I record 22 TV channels here in Mary-
land including PBS Annapolis as well as
Rod simply uses his cable TV connec-
tion in his apartment. “Not only that,
we have another reception station in
London from which we record another
15 channels from Europe.