Beaverton, Oregon USA, For Immediate Release
Z Technology Introduces new Windows™ based Digital Television Signal Analysis System with 8VSB Decoding and Coverage Mapping
Z Technology announced today availability of the latest version of their popular DSS5800 DTV (8VSB) portable Digital Television Signal Analysis System. This new version incorporates a proven 8VSB demodulator with an upgrade path addressing improvements to the format of the DTV signal currently under consideration in the industry, and proprietary, newly enhanced Z Technology application software directly addressing the needs of the television broadcaster.
The System features RF field strength and Digital Television (DTV) decoded parameter measurements and adds unique plotting and mapping capabilities. Using this Windows™ based system, a Broadcaster can easily generate and plot signal coverage data and a full set of figure-of-merit parameters for DTV signals. Problems may be analyzed quickly to determine appropriate corrective action for improved signal coverage.
The DSS5800 provides all the capability of an RF Signal Level Measurement System with the added advantage of 8VSB Digital Television Signal Decoding. Extensive RF and 8VSB decoded parameter measurement capability is contained within this integrated, easy to use package. It is a compact suitcase sized system to allow use in the laboratory and also in portable or mobile environments.
The system takes advantage of the precision and flexibility of Z Technology’s field strength meter technology to provide accurate, high-speed signal strength measurements under PC control. When used with an optional calibrated antenna, the DSS5800 provides a comprehensive facility for NIST traceable RF power measurement and documentation of digital or analog signal coverage.
In addition to RF measurements, the DSS5800's 8VSB demodulator provides the analysis of RF signal parameters necessary to fully characterize a DTV signal. Several decoder figure-of-merit parameters are captured, measured and recorded during a data collection session.
Signal Coverage Mapping:
This Digital Television Signal Analysis System includes the factory installed Drive-Test Automated Measurement Program, which has been upgraded and enhanced to operate with Windows XP™. The application uniquely integrates three separate yet related features: Data Collection, Dot Plotting, and Swept Display Analysis.
Data Collection automates the process of logging against GPS locations and records several precise RF characteristics including field strength measurements and RF figure-of-merit parameters. These include peak signal power, integrated power, band pass tilt, signal notches and standard deviation of the in-band power. In addition to RF characteristics, the DSS5800 also records 8VSB specific decoded parameters into data collection files. Important and useful parameters recorded include Tap Energy, Segment Error Rate, Signal to Noise Ratio, Sync Lock, Equalizer Lock, and Main Tap Energy Amplitude. These figures-of-merit are invaluable when determining DTV signal coverage.
If desired, data for several DTV and Analog television signals can be measured and stored in data files all during the same Drive Test.
Live plotting of GPS determined positions can be viewed while testing is in process and for many locations can be overlaid on maps. Upon completion of the first segment of a drive test, the software automatically assigns colors to the dot trail of a driven path where colors correspond to signal strength, or any one selected RF or Decoded figures-of-merit.
Z Technology provides Drive-Test System operators with several "real-time" as well as "post-measurement" mapping choices. Real-time maps are visible during an active measurement sequence, with critical information appearing on the map as measurements are being made. These maps remain active on the screen while collecting measured data. Colored dots indicating GPS locations appear on "real-time" maps as an operator moves from place to place and measures signal parameters.
When an appropriate option is purchased, Z Technology will configure Drive Test to enable the user to seamlessly move into a chosen post-measurement mapping application. By taking advantage of real-time and post-measurement mapping options, an operator is provided with a complete set of mapping capabilities all in one integral System.
Swept Display Analysis:
A Swept Display feature provides active signal analysis, RF and Decoded parameter review, and continuous monitoring of data being captured for storage to data files. It is a very useful and active presentation of both the received RF Spectrum and the 8VSB Decoded measurements such as Tap Energy being generated from real-world multipath effects. Under control of the system PC, the DSS5800 can measure and display total 6MHz integrated power, peak in-band power, band pass tilt and signal notches. These RF parameters are the same ones that can be plotted against GPS locations via the mapping capability of the System Software.
The Swept Spectrum Analysis portion of the system can be used to display a live spectrum of signals under test. The user may view this portion of the application at any time. A measurement sequence can also be paused for the operator to use the Spectrum Display capability for a quick look at adjacent channel interfering signals and relative power levels of nearby stations. Upon completing this task, the user simply resumes data collection.
The Swept Mode Display shows demodulated figure-of-merit parameters from the 8VSB decoder. An active graph of Tap Energy versus signal path length (in usec) is invaluable for analyzing multipath events and their effects on signal reception. Each parameter is continuously updated to the latest value.
The Swept Display mode can be utilized as an independent visual tool to characterize the RF spectrum and 8VSB decoded quality of all off-air DTV signals within a service area.
The new DSS5800 combines the functions of off-air field strength metering, accurate RF signal strength measurement, 8VSB Digital decoded signal characterization, GPS position identification, and PC based automatic data collection & storage in one convenient lightweight system. Its small size permits transport as hand-carry airline baggage, easy temporary installation in a vehicle, quick setup at field locations, and portability to characterize RF and Digital signals at remote sites.
The DSS5800 Digital Television Signal Analysis System will be on display at the 2002 National Association of Broadcasters Convention and Exhibit, Las Vegas, NV, April 9th through 11th, 2002. The system is priced at approximately US$36,000, depending on options selected, and shipments are currently running 30 - 60 days ARO.
Z Technology, Inc. is a leading innovator in precision RF measurements. Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon USA, Z Technology designs and manufactures equipment for the global wireless and television markets. Z Technology remains committed to helping customers meet industry challenges of today and tomorrow.