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Trilithic Introduces the First Dual 10GbE Test Set for Carrier Ethernet and LAN

Trilithic’s MetroNet 5000 series offers a comprehensive test and monitoring tool to expedite problem isolation and resolution in the network core, edge, NOC and data centers.

MetroNet 5000Indianapolis, IN, – Trilithic, a leader in broadband test and measurement solutions, introduced today the MetroNet 5000 Series Ethernet and IP Test Set, the first complete 10GbE Test Set for Carrier Ethernet and LAN. Providing a comprehensive test and monitoring functions to isolate and solve problems in the network core, edge, NOC and data center, MetroNet 5000 Series is designed for field applications as varied as new constructions, customer turn-ups and corrective maintenance. Each lightwight, handheld unit has numerous built-in tests for complete Ethernet, IP , VoIP and LAN testing.

Responding to the Success of Metro Ethernet Networks Worldwide

Metro Ethernet Networks have grown by double-digit percentages worldwide over the past five years, according to most industry research, with little sign of stopping its stream of success. As it provides a flexible, scalable, simplified, faster and data-optimized connectivity solution, Metro Ethernet Networks will perform a fundamental role in linking core fiber transport networks with access infrastructures. In addition, they will advance the integration of new technologies, such as 10GbE.

As a result, cable, telecom and wireless service providers need flexible testing solutions that deliver both sophisticated test capabilities and true field portability and expedite the resolution of problems as varied as service provisioning/monitoring, scalability and interworking with legacy deployments. A tool to improve network troubleshooting and maintenance, such as the MetroNet 5000 Series, is a vital, field-ready test and monitoring tool all field technicians should have.

The MetroNet 5000 Series: Promising Faster Problem Resolution

The MetroNet 5000 Series includes four models with different port configurations yet the same complement of software functions for cable, telecom and wireless service provider testing applications that promise faster problem resolution. Some of its convenient features include:

  • Dual 10 GbE Ports for In-line Testing: in-line and wrap-around testing at 10GbE, opening up a whole new suite of testing scenarios that provide faster problem resolution.
  • Rugged, Lightweight Design: compact handheld test set and has the functionality of much more expensive test systems. At a weight of 3 lbs, it is the preferred working size for field technicians.
  • Powerful Packet and Frame Filtering: based on field content, the user can select which types of packets or frames are transmitted, looped back, received and measured. This allows the user to focus measurement on a particular type of traffic (e.g., IPTV) or filter several types of traffic into a custom stream that emulates a particular carrier service.
  • Port Traffic Flooding: enables stress testing of network equipment, such as routers and switches, and simulating distributed denial of service attacks and other intrusions, while giving the flexibility to design or mark packet content to emulate viruses and other security breaches.
  • Line-Rate Packet Capture and Analysis: optional packet and frame capture based on uniquely settable filters to only capture the traffic desired to be measured, making it easier to troubleshoot network problems.

Sophisticated Reporting and Graphing

The MetroNet 5000 provides report generation and graphing capabilities typically found only in larger and higher-priced systems. The ability to generate reports in histogram, bar, pie and line graph formats and easily convert them to PDF files enables service providers to deliver detailed reporting to customers and management.

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What’s New: EASyCAP Encoder/Decoder

Trilithic’s EASyCAP Encoder/Decoder offers an integrated solution for CAP-based alerts

CAP Compliance Made EASy

A next-generation EAS platform, the new EASyCAP encoder/decoder is an integrated solution that includes everything system operators need to deliver CAP-based audio and video alerts.  The one-box solution offers EAS, CAP, local access messages, audio/video peripherals, control over serial and network-based devices, interfaces to management systems, and network protocols and interfaces.

The new EASyCAP encoder/decoder can receive all of the required alert messages, including local access messages for franchise agreements, and can control all of the devices necessary to deliver the messages to system subscribers.

A Scalable Solution for Evolving Requirements

This next-generation solution not only handles all of today’s EAS requirements, but provides a flexible and expandable platform designed to accommodate requirements and new features that may be introduced over the next several years.  As CAP standards and FEMA requirements continue to evolve, Trilithic’s innovative open architecture simplifies the process of making changes and adding new capabilities and features.  All software and firmware can be upgraded across the network connection.  The EASyCAP platform utilizes common interfaces such as secure web servers and SNMP, so that operators can use familiar tools rather than installing and operating proprietary software.

Please Note that since this video was produced, the deadline has been moved to June 30, 2012.

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Planning for the IPAWS-CAP Compliance Deadline

EAS alert providers recognize the significance of the date that FEMA adopted the new CAP, or Common Alerting Protocol, standard for delivering next-generation EAS alerts.

And for video providers, it’s also the deadline to have CAP-compliant equipment ready to deliver alerts from the new Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, or IPAWS.

Trilithic offers you several digital solutions to make IPAWS-CAP compliance easier and more convenient for you.  If you already have EASySeries encoder/decoders, we recommend you upgrade your software/firmware to v 8.03 to ensure you are CAP compliant.

We’ve also laid out three easy, scalable solutions for CAP compliance in the Tech Tips and What’s New posts: New EASyCAP stand-alone software, an EASyCAP software/server package and the new EASyCAP encoder/decoder.  The software/server package supports multiple encoder/decoder units, and the EASyCAP encoder/decoder offers a comprehensive one-box solution.  Either way, you’ll find a simple way to achieve CAP compliance and enhance your EAS capabilities at the same time.

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Tech Tips: Three EASy Solutions for CAP Compliance

Trilithic offers video delivery system operators three simple solutions for CAP compliance.  The best solution for you depends on your current system infrastructure and hardware

EASyCAP Software

EASyCAP IPAWS CAP software allows system operators to add next-generation alert capabilities to their current EASy Series EASY systems and become CAP-compliant at a minimal cost.

A  completely network-based solution, the software does not require any additional audio or serial connections and it delivers the entire CAP alert, including expanded text and audio, to the EASy series systems through their network connection.  It also queues the alerts until all of the encoder/decoders have processed them and it fully supports CAP text, MP3 audio and text-to-speec capabilities.  The stand-alone software version can run on a PC or a server and is compatible with a variety of operating systems.

Learn more about EASyCAP Software

EASyCAP Software/Server Package

EASyCAP software is also available as an integrated server package with the software pre-installed.  Both the stand-alone software and the server package support multiple EASy series encoder/decoder units simultaneously and can receive CAP alerts from multiple sources, such as TCP, DM-OPEN v1 or IPAWS interfaces.  They also directly support governor must carry alerts.

The integrated server package consists of a small 1U Linux-based server with preloaded software, and it supports the same features as the stand-alone software version.  it also has an intuitive web server that helps users manage and configure the system and software.

The software and integrated server give engineers a simple and affordable way to provide full CAP support on all their existing EASy Series encoder/decoders and upgrade their EAS alert capabilities at the same time.

Learn more about EASyCAP Software/Server Package

EASyCAP Encoder/Decoder

The integrated EASyCAP Encoder/Decoder is a one-box solution for delivering CAP-based audio and video alerts.  it can receive all of the required alert messages, including local access messages, and can control all of the devices and interfaces necessary to deliver messages to system subscribers.

Whether your system requirements call for EASyCAP software, a software/server package, or the integrated EASyCAP encoder/decoder, you have several options to make IPAWS-CAP compliance easier with a new digital solution from Trilithic.

Learn more about EASyCAP Encoder/Decoder

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Preparing for the Nationwide EAN Test

The FCC is planning the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) at 2:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 9, 2011.

During the test, FEMA will transmit a “live” Emergency Action Notification (EAN) code to all EAS participants and notice to the general public that the EAS has been activated for a national emergency, along with an audible notice that “this is a test.”  The FCC and FEMA, in conjunction with broadcasters and cable providers, are conducting outreach efforts to help ensure that the public knows the event is just a test.

Test Procedures: What you need to know

EAS participants do need to be aware of a few operating procedures related to the implementation of the test

Termination Code
The test will conclude with transmission of the End of Message (EOM) code, not the Emergency Action Termination (EAT) code.  This should not require you to reconfigure your EASy Series encoder/decoder devices in any way.

Location Code
The location code for the EAS test will be the code for Washington, DC.  All Trilithic EASy Series encoder/decoder devices running v 6.75 or higher firmware/software will automatically forward the EAN with the Washington, DC location code and will not require further configuration.  If you are running an older version, you will need to add Washington, DC, to your configuration.

Test Length
The test is expected to last approximately three minutes.  While state and local EAS messages are limited to two minutes, there is no time limit for national EAS alerts.  To evaluate whether the system properly interprets the national message code in the national EAS test, the message duration must be longer than two minutes.

Equipment pre-tests
The FCC does not plan to conduct national pre-tests, but FEMA is working with selected states, EAS participants and equipment manufacturers to conduct statewide pre-tests of EAS equipment and procedures.  If you have questions about the pre-tests, please contact FEMA’s IPAWS office or your state’s EAS authority.

Upgrade Recommendations

If you are running v 6.75 or higher firmware/software for your EASy Series encoder/decoders, you will be able to handle the DC FIPS code without additional configuration.  However, Trilithic highly recommends that you upgrade to the most recent firmware version to ensure you are CAP compliant as well.

Where to Find More Information

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau will continue to provide additional information about the nationwide test to EAS participants and the general public through the release of public notices.

You can also find out more by accessing the resources listed below.  If you have any general questions about the test or how to prepare for it, please contact your Trilithic representative or call Trilithic at (800) 344-2412.

General Test Information and Updates

FCC general test information and updates for EAS participants and the public

FEMA updates and recommended best practices for test preparation

Trilithic EAS system questions
Please contact your Trilithic rep or call Trilithic at (800) 344-2412.

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Trilithic Introduces the First Configurable Portable Instrument Platform

Trilithic Introduces the First Configurable Portable Instrument Platform That Promises to Transform Plant Maintenance Testing

The DSPi 860 Field analyzer can be configured with options that enhance maintenance productivity and improve troubleshooting speed for plant technicians.

Trilithic 860 DSPi

Indianapolis, IN, – Trilithic, a leader in broadband test and measurement solutions, introduces today its new 860 DSPi Field Analyzer, a portable instrument platform that can be upgraded with features to assist plant technicians in performing critical transmission and signal quality tests for maintaining analog, digital, HSD, and VoIP services. Since new features and services can be downloaded via Trilithic’s free update website, the 860 DSPi Portable Analyzer promises to be the industry standard for data communication tools with long life cycles and an economical lifetime ownership cost.

The Challenge: The Escalating Costs of Plant Maintenance
The maintenance of broadband networks is a leading component of a network’s total cost of ownership (TOC). The fault finding of network problems as varied as RF noise, jitter, packet loss, among others, is one thing, but performing these tasks quickly and efficiently is another. A tool to improve troubleshooting speed, such as the DSPi 860 field analyzer, is crucial in controlling the escalating costs of plant maintenance.

Features to Shorten Trouble Calls
The 860 DSPi Field Analyzer takes advantage of flexible, digital signal processing (DSP) technology so it can be easily upgraded with features, or applications in the field, by simply downloading firmware and without changing meters. This portable instrument platform gives you the lowest lifetime costs in the industry. Some of the features include:

  • Measuring latency, jitter, packet loss, and other VoIP parameters in seconds.
  • Average BER function provides test data up to 10 times faster than other analyzers, so problem sources can be identified faster, shortening trouble calls.
  • CableLabs® certified DOCSIS 3.0 modem, enables a full complement of DOCSIS 3.0 tests, including complete statistical information about each of the bonded signals, including individual downstream receive levels and upstream transmit levels, downstream MER, and pre- and post-FEC BER.
  • Analyzing VoIP performance from end-to-end and from the subscriber to the CMTS.
  • Viewing in-channel spectrum characteristics with the Error Vector Spectrum mode.

Productivity Metrics for Workforce Management
While the 860 DSPi was designed to address the needs of technicians and engineers with extremely versatile measurement capabilities, it integrates with Trilithic’s TDM™ test data management server package to enable managers and others to configure and manage analyzer inventory, store measurement data, generate reports and create custom database queries. This integrated system lets operators track tech performance, control the quality of installations and develop and monitor productivity improvement metrics via a connection to the company billing an essay for me

Filed under: Broadband Instruments,Fiber Optic Equipment
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EAS Collaboration in Canada

Indianapolis, IN (Monday, September 19, 2011)- Trilithic, the experts in digital Emergency Alert Systems and Trispec are pleased to announce their collaboration in the EAS market, across Canada, with the introduction of Trilthic’s next generation EAS platform for Canada, the EASyCAP™ Emergency Management System.

The EASyCAP™ is a new, integrated solution that includes everything needed to deliver CAP-CP based audio and visual alerts for broadband cable, Telco IPTV, and direct-to-home satellite television.

The EASyCAP™ can receive CAP-CP (Common Alert Protocol-Canadian Profile) from the designated URLs or satellite feeds and control all of the devices necessary to deliver the messages to the subscriber.

Trispec will provide clients with a complete services offering from supply of the EASyCAPTM Emergency Management System to technical support, installation services, troubleshooting & SLAs, if required. Trispec is pleased to provide sales and technical support for the Trilithic EASyCAP™ decoder across Canada.

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EASy Series Emergency Alert System Software Update

New firmware and software updates are available for the EASyPLUS, EASyCAST and EASyIP encoder/decoders.

EASyPLUS Firmware and Software Update v. 8.03

  • EASyPLUS Firmware Version 8.03, EASyNIC Firmware Version 3.03
  • Added Morehouse, LA (022067) and Natchitoches, LA (022069) FIPS codes

EASyCAST Firmware and Software Update v. 8.03

  • EASyCAST Firmware Version 8.03, EASyNIC Firmware Version 3.03
  • Added Morehouse, LA (022067) and Natchitoches, LA (022069) FIPS codes

EASyIP Firmware and Software Update v. 8.03

  • EASyIPTV Firmware Version 8.03, EASyNIC Firmware Version 3.04
  • Added Morehouse, LA (022067) and Natchitoches, LA (022069) FIPS codes
  • Resolved a problem that could cause the last ¼ second of CAP audio to be clipped off
  • Fixed a problem that caused Spanish audio from the previous alert to be delivered with an EAN to the Mediaroom Adapter software.
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Trilithic’s EASyCAST Integrates with Omnibus’s iTX

Indianapolis, IN (Monday November 29, 2010) – Trilithic, the experts in digital Emergency Alert Systems and OmniBus Systems, have partnered to fully integrate Trilithic’s EASyCAST™ Emergency Alert System (EAS) with the industry-leading iTX automation and transmission platform. iTX software can now automate the airing of all national, state and county-level alerts received by Trilithic’s EASyCAST Solution.

When an EAS alert arrives, the iTX operator is notified by a flashing signal on the iTX Desktop. After reviewing the alert details, the operator can immediately invoke an on-air event sequence generated automatically by iTX, including the specific text message and audio tones delivered by EASyCAST. A unique capability of iTX allows the current on-air schedule to be placed on “hold” or to continue in a “roll-under” mode while the alert sequence airs. This provides the broadcaster with a choice of continuing the on-air schedule from the point of interruption, or joining-in-progress to maintain schedule timing.

iTX integration with EASyCAST can be used in both single site and distributed operations, such as multi-station hub-spoke deployments. In the distributed model, EASyCAST devices can be located at each spoke to receive local EAS broadcasts and relay them via wide-area network to an iTX transmission system at the hub for airing.

“With the planned transition to digital EAS, including IPAWS and CAP, iTX support for EAS alerts via EASyCAST provides a combined software/hardware solution that will continue to meet broadcasters’ requirements into the future, including the increasing deployment of distributed operations by multi-station groups,” said John Wadle, VP for Technology at OmniBus.

These products enable service providers to improve efficiency and gain greater control over Emergency Alert System messaging with seamless, IP-based EAS solutions.

OmniBus Systems’ iTX is a software-based transmission solution, built on standard IT hardware and advanced software technology. Broadcasters and media operators can use a single, integrated system to unify and streamline ingest, media management, workflow organization, schedule management, asset management, automation, master control and playout to television, radio and the internet. Handling all stages of the production and delivery process under a consistent user environment, the iTX system delivers unprecedented increases in efficiency, scalability and speed of response for media businesses.

Trilithic is the leading supplier of EAS equipment and EAS systems and solutions for cable television, satellite, broadcast, and IPTV. With network based EAS receivers, flexible hardware platform, network connectivity for ease of use and flexibility, remote programming and automated compliance software, Trilithic’s IP-based EAS systems provide enhanced efficiency, improved control, and worry-free alert distribution and reporting.

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Emergency Action Notification Testing in Alaska

On January 6, 2010, the state of Alaska used its state relay system to initiate a test of the Emergency Alert System using an EAS code never before tested on a wide-scale basis – a legitimate EAN, or emergency action notification.  An EAN event would typically be authorized by the president and initiated by FEMA, and is the only event which substantially differs in use from other EAS event codes.  The EAN message propagates throughout the entire nation and its territories via the PEP (primary entry point) stations.  Each state would receive the EAN and propagate the message through their respective state warning systems.

This live EAN test was initiated primarily due to the confusion resulting from an IEMA test, which accidentally activated the EAS system in Illinois in 2007.  Data retrieved from this accidental activation shows  that the EAN activation, reserved for a nationwide alert, did not occur as expected by EAS engineers.  Some EAS encoder/decoders took their respective television stations off the air, while other encoder/decoders simply logged the event and did not respond to, or forward the EAN.  After much debate, FEMA decided to initiate a real-time live test of the system.  Alaska was chosen for the test because of its remote location and its proven ability to initiate legitimate and test-scenario Amber alerts and tsunami warnings.

The EAN test was initated at approximately 10:00 AM on January 6th, and lasted approximately 3 minutes and 20 seconds.  The duration of the message was deliberately designed to be longer than a standard EAS message because the length of an EAN is unlimited.  Therefore, the audio from an EAN is patched directly to the output of the EAS decoder and it plays live for the entire message duration.  Using forensic tracking methods, FEMA noted several incidents of EAS encoder/decoder misfires.  Some encoder/decoders attempted to replay the first two minutes of recorded audio to systems which had initially ignored the EAN because the EAS header message was improperly formatted, or was not formatted as expected.

A substantial amount of information was retrieved regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the national alerting system.  As a result of the Alaska EAN test, the FCC initiated a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on January 12, 2010.  This SFNPR is primarily derived from the Alaskan EAN test, and focuses on methodology necessary to improve the EAS system.

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