Press Release

NASA TV Migrating To Digital Format: Additional Receiver Required

By SpaceRef Editor
May 26, 2005
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NASA TV Migrating To Digital Format: Additional Receiver Required

NASA TV is moving forward with its July 1 plans to convert from a single analog NTSC channel to four channels of Standard Definition MPEG-2 digital video, including a dedicated Media Services channel.

The conversion will require broadcast media to upgrade with an “addressable” Integrated Receiver Decoder (IRD) to participate in live news events, interviews, and press briefings; and to receive NASA’s Video File feeds.

Agency mission coverage will air on a digital NASA TV Public Services channel, for which a basic IRD will be needed. Educators, learning institutions and museums also will need a basic IRD to access a new, dedicated Education Services channel.

The digital signal for the Public Services channel is already available. Testing of the new digital infrastructure may cause periodic interruptions in analog NASA TV programming.

“This is a major milestone for NASA Television,” said Dean Acosta, Acting Assistant Administrator for NASA’s Office of Public Affairs in Washington. “The move to contemporary digital technology will allow us to better serve the public and broadcast media with improved imagery and better products specifically targeted for their use.”

Addressable, store-and-forward capable IRDs will allow media users to store “pushed” content for retrieval and playback at their convenience. This will eliminate the need for monitoring of and rolling record tapes for agency feeds.

NASA TV’s analog NTSC service will remain available through late June to provide viewers adequate time to upgrade equipment for the switch. The new digital NASA TV channels will be on the satellite AMC 6, transponder (17).

In addition to the media, education and public services channels, a fourth channel will be dedicated to internal use by Space Operations for mission operations.

For the latest information about the NASA TV digital conversion on the Web, visit:

For technical specifications and pricing from NASA TV’s equipment contractor, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.