Video broadcast systems for transmitting video signals or channels from a central location to a plurality of remote viewing locations may be of several different types, including cable television systems and satellite-based broadcast systems. Digital television programs, digital radio and multimedia services often share the same transmission channels provided by various network types: cable, satellite, radio, Internet, etc. Since the overall bandwidth of a video broadcast system is limited, there is a limit to the number of video channels that can be included in a broadcast transmission. Video multiplexers are used to selectively compress a plurality of video signals prior to being broadcast. A video multiplexer may be used in the area of video on-demand. The video provider supplies a different video program on each channel, encodes each video program in accordance with an accepted compression standard (e.g., an MPEG standard), and then multiplexes all the video channels on a single network cable. In video on-demand, one of the plurality of video programs multiplexed on the communications network is selected by the customer, and this video selection is then demultipelxed and displayed on the customer's television set. A time division multiple access (TDMA) multiplexer for video signals has as its inputs a plurality of video channels and is controlled to output only one channel at a time at an output port. In video time-division multiplexer, a plurality of input video data signals, typically from several video cameras, are combined into a single video data stream. This data stream comprises interleaved time-sliced video data or "map shots" from each of the cameras or other video input sources. The use of video TDM's permits data from a plurality of video sources to be recorded or transmitted on a single medium by time sharing the medium between the different sources, reducing the capital and operating costs of the overall installation.
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