Contemporary Research


Contemporary Research designs, engineers and manufactures HDTV modulators, IPTV encoders, HDTV tuners, and control products to deliver an integrated solution for Digital RF and IP Networks. CR is helping AV integrators realize the benefits of using RF Coax and IP in HDTV distribution systems throughout facilities. Headquartered in Dallas for over 20 years, Contemporary Research products are manufactured in Texas and designed to function in 24/7 installations.

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Delivers an integrated solution for Digital RF and IP Networks
Founded by Scott Hetzler in 1994, Contemporary Research Corporation designs and manufactures intelligent, yet simple solutions for system integration that set the standard for the AV industry.

Starting with professional TV tuners and AV routers, the Contemporary Research family of innovations includes cutting-edge HDTV tuners, QMOD HDTV Modulators, Display Express Control Systems, and classroom integration solutions. Created for the systems market, Contemporary Research solutions offer state-of-the-art features, integration-friendly control, and easy-to-use application software, backed with solid technical support and customer service. All Contemporary Research products are built in the USA, and are designed to function in demanding, mission critical 24/7 installations. The company’s focus is to innovate solutions that:
  • Originate - QMOD-HD HDTV Modulators allow sites to create an in-house HDTV cable system over existing RF. QMOD purpose-built modulators convert HD satellite/cable receivers, digital signage players, and live HD-SDI video to an HD open-access digital cable channel.
  • Distribute - Introducing the QCA series of RF combiners, Contemporary Research sets new benchmarks for signal integrity, performance, and system design.
  • Integrate - Contemporary Research Display Express systems can manage hundreds of displays, across a facility or a multi-building campus. No new wiring is needed, and easy-to-use software and rock-solid performance make for a system that is affordable, easy to install, and agile to expand. Contemporary Research analog and HDTV tuners have been trusted partners in custom control systems across the globe for 15 years.
  • Tune - Contemporary Research commercial-grade HDTV tuners and broadband systems keep a site’s HD media on the screen and on the job in meeting rooms, classrooms, hallways, lobbies, sanctuaries, command and control suites, and living rooms.

HDTV Modulator-IPTV Encoders now feature 8VSB air modulation
Contemporary Research is proud to announce all QMOD HDTV Modulator-IPTV Encoders offer 8VSB air modulation output. This new feature is available through CR Toolbox, a new firmware update software available to all customers at no cost.

QMOD HDTV Modulator-IPTV Encoders create MPEG-2 and/or H.264 streams up to 1080i and output fully agile QAM 64/256 digital cable channels or 8VSB off-air channels. Previously, 8VSB channels need to be converted to QAM to mix in the other in-house QAM channels. Now, when Television Stations, Corporations and Government Buildings want to add a live camera feeds or digital signage to the site’s MATV (Master Antenna TV) system, they can do so now with any of Contemporary Research’s two-channel QMOD HDTV Modulator-IPTV Encoders.

The new QMOD capability saves costs, allowing customers to easily integrate off-air channels. At Contemporary Research, we’ve been enhancing QMOD performance in major ways, at no cost to our customers. We’re doing that again by adding 8VSB!

Why do I need an HDTV Tuner and which one is right?
Projectors and professional displays do not have built-in TV tuners, in-order to receive modulated signals, there must be a tuner for those devices. Tuners can also be used to monitor live camera feeds or over the air broadcasts. Presentation room switchers often need a dedicated tuner that can be routed to displays on demand. Tuner/Controllers provide all the features of a tuner with the ability to pass control commands to the display devices for power on/off, input selects, and volume.

ATSC/QAM tuners provide the following functions: selective tuning, demodulation, transport stream demultiplexing, decompression, error correction, digital-to-analog conversion, AV synchronization and media reformatting to fit the specific types of TV screen optimally.

Contemporary Research shares eight questions to ask when considering which tuner is right for your AV installation.
  • What kind of content could I tune? - Any kind of HD content can be sent over a site’s RF coax network, including cable/satellite news and information, local off-air programs, live event video, and digital signage. While programs could be distributed over IP, the network may not have the bandwidth or technology to stream video. RF coax is still the most effective medium for sending content facility-wide.
  • What modulation formats does the tuner support? - ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) standards are used by off-air channels, NTSC (National Television Systems Committee) and Clear QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) are used for consumer and commercial cable channels. A commercial tuner should be able to tune both formats.
  • What encoding formats are available? - MPEG2 is used for off-air and cable channels, while satellite channels are encoded in MPEG4/H.264 format. Many (but not all) new HD TVs and tuners can decode both types.
  • What kind of video outputs do you need? - While HDMI is the common output, some applications require Component, RGBHV or Composite video. Broadcast applications often need HD-SDI video.
  • How can the TV tuner be controlled? - IR is fine for consumers, but full two-way RS-232 or IP control is preferred for commercial control applications. Onboard Web pages are essential for remote control over Ethernet.
  • Do you need closed captioning? - TV tuners can display on-screen captioning, while closed caption data is carried via the composite video output or SDI.
  • Where is the TV tuner made? - When a tuner is manufactured overseas, options are limited for knowledgeable support, updates or repair. When you call a company that makes the tuner right here in the U.S., you are talking with support staff and engineers who know the product intimately, can answer questions knowledgably, and resolve issues in short order.
  • Is the TV tuner designed for integration? - An integration-capable tuner has a metal enclosure that can be installed in a 19” equipment rack, and features RS-232 and IP control, as well as onboard Web pages for setup and control. Two-way control and status should be easily enabled by approved integration modules from AMX, Crestron, Extron and RTI. Integration-centric support should be available from the manufacturer. Consumer products are designed for occasional use and low cost, while commercial tuners are made for 24/7 operation over many years.

Broadcast Solutions, Simplified!
Broadcasters, from local-area TV stations to program channels such as Mercury Studios, NBC, Fox News, CBS, Disney, ABC, WWE, TMZ, and The Home Shopping Network, employ HD-SDI as the standard for the studio. However, up to recently, they didn’t have a vehicle to deliver the HD studio feed to the rest of the facility. For most sites, the high-resolution studio feed was reduced to a low-resolution analog TV for distribution over RF.

With the dual channel HDTV Modulators IPTV Encoders the QMOD-SDI 2 HDTV Modulator IPTV Encoder and the QMOD-SDI HDMI HDTV Modulators IPTV Encoder, broadcasters can share their live feed throughout their facility as an HDTV channel over Coax and IPTV. For the first time, guests, studio execs and staffers can view their programming in the same HD quality as their viewers. Applications can be as simple as one HD-SDI feed for the RF system, or a number of channels delivering HD video to multiple studios or green rooms.

Local broadcasters also use 232-ATSC 4 or ATSC+SDI 4 HDTV tuners to monitor the quality of their signal. The ATSC+SDI 4 has a native HD-SDI output that supports embedded captioning and audio. Both feature an IP Web page to easily support remote control and status.

Venue Vizion: an affordable solution for HDTV distribution and control
Nothing engages audiences like video content, so it’s no wonder that bars, convention centers, medical offices, corporations, houses of worship, stadiums, and arenas are investing in high-definition video distribution. Integrating AV assets can be quite expensive — but it doesn’t have to be. By utilizing the RF coax that already exists in most venues, Venue Vizion provides a simple and economical means of delivering HDTV distribution and control.

Venue Vizion is a cost-effective, easily expandable AV distribution solution that gives users control of each TV’s channel, volume, and power. TVs can be added using readily available passive splitters, thereby eliminating the need for individual home runs to each TV. In addition, video outputs are not limited to 100 meters. And because Venue Vizion’s included control system runs on the same coax as the HD channels no additional cabling is necessary.
Venue Vizion’s control webpage Display Express Lite is easily accessible via smartphone, tablet, or PC allowing users to quickly control individual television or groups of TVs with only a few finger taps. This easy-to-use interface doesn’t require additional training or programming, so anyone that can navigate a webpage can operate Venue Vizion.
In engineering Venue Vizion, we’ve configured modern versions of our sports venue and restaurant industry proven QMODs and Display Express products to provide a cost-effective, all-in-one package that works right out-of-the box. The system includes 4 QMODs; a choice of HDMI 2, YPB 2 and HDMI RGB; 20 Display Controllers – ICC1-232 or ICC1-IRX; 1 Active Combiner; 1 DXL Ethernet Head-End Display Control Center; along with additional accessories per configuration.
Integrating AV solutions into your space should enhance experiences while being simple and budget-friendly.