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Using BC-H16480A for multicast distribution of cable TV

I am looking to use the BC-H16480A card to distribute cable TV channels throughout our school district over multicast networking. The H.264 hardware encoding and audio capture at first glance looked like exactly what we needed to achieve this. I had previously used a WinPVR-250 to rebroadcast a single channel but wanted multi-channel support as well as hardware compression.

I have been able to successfully multicast the video signal using VLC but not the audio signal. Using the /dev/video1 (port 1) capture device seems to give me a clean h264 stream with no transcoding. I am falling down on audio though. The issue is with the G.723-24 codec. I found a small script that is able to convert is but is highly unstable and exits frequently:

mkfifo /tmp/audio_raw_stream

arecord -Dplughw:1,0,0 -traw | decode-g72x -l -3>/tmp/audio_raw_stream

I would really like to use something native to handle this solution like vlc or possibly gstreamer but need a better way to handle the audio. Any ideas out there? Any corrections to the way I am handling video? Thanks!

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