DATV-Express.... What is it?
(taken from DATV-Express website)
The DATV-Express is a Digital Amateur Television exciter/transmitter (assembled board with software) that can operate on ham radio bands from 70 MHz to 2.45 GHz.
We are a small group of Amateur Radio Operators involved with Amateur TV (ATV) who have come together to provide an economical answer to the question that hams interested in digital-ATV have been asking for a long time: Where can I economically purchase MPEG2 encoder boards and Digital-ATV exciter boards?
A ham-grade set of MPEG-2-and-DVB-S boards from SR-Sys in Germany cost about US $875.00. The cost of commercial-grade digital-TV boards is even higher. This high cost is known to prevent many hams from trying Digital-ATV. Because of this, a group of hams in the US and England got together at the end 0f 2010 to start a project that will lower the cost of DATV considerably.
We hope that this web site will provide information that can be used by the Amateur radio's digital-ATV community for getting into this exciting mode of Amateur Radio.
The scope of this page is to document my progress with the DATV Express Transmitter.
Why did I choose this board?
First off, this board is made here in the USA!, The guys behind the project are dedicated and reliable. There is easy access to the designers and programmers.
Buying anything from the other vendors over seas is a big hassle. I have purchased the DIGILITE transmitter and was not happy with the amount of work required to
construct and test it.
I also own a complete commercial exciter and mpeg2 encoder. This combination is the ultimate solution but.. the size and power requirement is not condusive to
This comes back to what we can do with DATV Express.
In our earlier uses of DATV Express each system consisted of a laptop running Ubuntu, video capture card, video camera and DATV Express Transmitter
This is acceptable as you cannot have a TV Transmitter without a camera. You cannot get camera video into a computer without a way to capture the video signal.
The process is easy to follow, plug the camera into the video capture board, plug the video capture card into a USB Port on the computer. Run the DATV Express software
on the computer, configure the software to the specified requirements. One this is done you can then press the PTT button on the control panel and if all goes well,
You will be on the air.
This is a very stable platform. However... there are some Hams who are locked into a Windows based platform and do not want to use a Linux based package.
Seeing this, the software designers have written a very good piece of software for the Windows platform. It is stable on Windows 7 and Windows 10 as I have personally
tested both of these platforms.
Link to download the DATV Express DVB Software can be found here.
The Windows based platform does have some changes. In the Linux platform a video capture card is required to get video into the system. That is no longer needed.
The Windows based platform makes use of the USB driven web cameras that are in many laptops built today. We can also use external USB Webcams from various vendors
if your computer does not have a built in camera.
My goal by using the new software platform was to give me additional features that I had to go to extremes to get before. If I wanted OSD (On Screen Display) showing my call sign
and additional piece of hardware was required, HAMOSD a project I build last year that was place between the video camera and the capture card. This did work and
rudimentry success was achieved.
The new Windows platform allows for the use of, a video editor software package that integrates nicely with the DATV Express DVBs Tansmitter Software.
In the page links below I have provided pictures and text instructions on how I was able to get my systems operational.
Setup your DATV Express software using my setting can be found here.
Setup your vMix installation using my settings can be found here here.