I read in various places that the transmitter onboard the ISS is transmitting a blank raster with a vertical line at all times that a video source is absent. This being other than short periods when maintenance is necessary. I've been monitoring ariss.batc.tv on and off for two weeks and never seen other than "stream inactive". Is there some issue that I'm unaware of?
The stream on ariss.batc.tv is only active when ground stations are actively tracking and uploading. With the lack of video content and no scheduled ARISS contacts with HAMTV in the near future due to issues with the Voice hardware in Columbus, people are rarely uploading at the moment.
The HAMTV Merger system is designed to support the ARISS contacts with a 'crowdsourced' reliable feed of the HAMTV video. For personal enjoyment it's no replacement for building a system and receiving the RF yourself