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The DATV-Express Project 11/28/2017

As of 9/27/2017 the DATV-Express Project depleted all inventory of DATV exciter boards. On 11/28/2017 the project team declared an END OF SALES policy.  The main reason to NOT build more boards is that new DATV products will become available soon (February 2018?) that are SDR-based, both Tx and Rx, and are lower-cost than DATV-Express.  The Analog Devices ADALM-PLUTO SDR Tx/Rx may become available again in first week of January 2018 at a price of US$100 or US$150. The mini-LimeSDR Tx/Rx from Lime-Micro is rumored to ship in mid-February at a price of US$140. Both of these new SDR boards will be lower priced than the DATV-Express Tx-only board (US$300).

Support for owners of the DATV-Express product will continue. 

Thank you for your interest over these many years. 


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 / H.264 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 picture below (courtesy of G8GTZ & GB3HV) shows how digital-ATV can improve signal quality over analog-ATV using the same antenna and power-level.


This open-source project is known as DATV-EXPRESS. The team members are:

  • Art Towslee - WA8RMC - electronics design
  • Charles Brain - G4GUO - software design
  • Tom Gould - WB6P - PCB Layout design
  • Ken Konechy -W6HHC - Project Management and publications

System Block Diagram for DATV-Express for Linux

The most important concept about the DATV-Express board is that it is software-based SDR radio. While the system block diagram for a typical Digital-ATV DVB-S transmitter using the DATV-Express board is shown below, the modulator chip and software can also produce several other types of modulations and protocols, such as COFDM for DVB-T and 32APSK for DVB-S2.  

System Block Diagram of typical DATV-Express transmitter set-up for DVB-S running Ubuntu OS


And what does the board look like?

commercially-assembled boardThe DATV-Express PCBA is sold fully-assembled and fully-tested

System Block Diagram for using with Windows OS

The DATV-Express project team has released the Express_DVB-S_Transmitter software for the Windows OS. This Windows-based software allows using any Intel / AMD 32-bit or 64-bit desktop PC or notebook computer to drive the DATV-Express hardware board using DVB-S protocol for DATV. The Express_DVB-S_Transmitter software allows eliminating the Hauppauge hardware encoders by using FFmpeg CODEC encoders in software, The latest v1.25 software for Windows also includes the DVB-S2 protocol and RB-DATV (Reduced Bandwidths) with bandwidths down to 0.5 MHz (333 KSymb/sec) and lower for more robust reception.(improved S/N).

System Block Diagram using WINDOWS OS with DATV-Express set-up for DVB-S


System Block Diagram for using with ODROID U3

The DATV-Express project team has also released DATV-Software for the very small "micro-PC" called ODROID model U3. The small ARM-based ODROID can eliminate the need for a full-size PC or even a bulky notebook computer to drive the DATV-Express hardware board. 

System Block Diagram using ODROID with DATV-Express set-up for DVB-S