FM Over Satellite Challenges


Werner Drews TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Werner Drews
Issue 93 - September 2014

Seeking new ways to refine operational efficiency, broadcasters using satellite to deliver FM now have a palette of options. The combination of satellite with IP is being investigated by many in a variety of configurations, to achieve some or all of the goals of cost reduction, flexibility, redundancy, and regionalisation.

The impetus for change arises partly from the obsolescence of the previous generation of satellite receivers, partly from the bandwidth savings inherent in DVB-S2, and partly from the availability of a new generation of hardware that concentrates a diverse range of functionality into a single unit. The multi-role capability of this new hardware provides an important element for broadcasters: the fl exibility to change, experiment and adapt without additional infrastructure costs.

All these factors together create the opportunity to rethink and revise infrastructure to provide a better platform for profi tability and the pursuit of new audiences in a rapidlymutating media consumption landscape.

One of the simplest and most urgent imperatives networks face is the need for more effi cient bandwidth use. DVB-S2 offers a clear advantage here, with valuable savings, and further gains can be achieved with the installation of receiving devices supporting advanced codecs such as AAC and eAPTX. eAPTX is especially suited to use in studio-to-studio transmissions because it allows re-encoding of audio as many times as needed, without loss of quality.

Converting to DVB-S2 certainly offers cost benefi ts, and for networks keen to explore other ways of reducing operational expenditure the potential of a hybrid of satellite with IP is very tempting. Content distribution by satellite is still the most reliable method, but many broadcasters are weaving IP into the fabric of their infrastructure, often using DSL lines. IP play an important role in audio distribution, and if the hardware they choose is fl exible and incorporates built-in technologies like FEC to improve the quality of IP transfers, broadcasters can be confi dent about using IP in the overall solution. IP support in today’s generation of satellite receivers gives broadcasters fl exible options for using IP. The IP/Satellite hybrid is being explored in various ways, with quite different confi gurations being implemented by each broadcaster. Some have opted for all-out economy by using DSL lines for contribution, and with the right hardware this can be done while still retaining the ability to incorporate satellite if and when required, without further capital cost.

A mix of IP and satellite can also be an elegant way to create a backup provision, with either IP or satellite as the main feed, and the other as the backup. Some broadcasters are also achieving economies by using satellite for the majority of content transfer, while sending less critical content via IP. An example of this approach would be the broadcaster who contributes regionalised content via IP, while using satellite for the national feed. If the IP contribution of regionalised content fails, the regional audience hears the national feed instead.

Regionalisation is an important area of development and potential revenue for most broadcasters, but inevitably the key is to contain the costs of setting up and running a regionalised operation. Here, hardware that concentrates the functionality required for regionalisation into the same unit that receives the content (from satellite, IP or both) allows broadcasters to bypass the usual option of a separate (usually PC-based) regionalisation installation. The result is a very streamlined, cost-effective and robust solution capable of receiving regionalised content either by a different route from the main feed (such as a DSL line), or in a side channel if satellite is used exclusively. The regionalised content is stored onboard and when a trigger signal from the headend is received by the device, it plays out the content immediately. When a broadcast is implementing a regionalised operation over a network of several hundred receivers, the integrated contribution device is a much more effi cient way to do it.

In a sense, the greater number of options available to networks today results in a more fl uid situation in the market, and an unwise equipment choice could tie a network into an uncompetitive position if conditions change. This is leading to a strong demand from networks for devices that are ambidextrous, based on open standards, and ready for any opportunity the operator wants to pursue.


Tags: iss093 | 2wcom | FM | Satellite | Werner Drews
Contributing Author Werner Drews

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Libec HFMP Monopod at BVE 2017

    Libec HFMP Monopod at BVE 2017

  • Atomos with the Samurai Blade on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos with the Samurai Blade on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Jampro Antennas at NAB 2013

    Jampro Antennas at NAB 2013

  • Tektronix at IBC2011

    Tektronix at IBC2011

  • CellSat - the cell and Ku-band IP satellite solution from Dejero at IBC 2017

    CellSat - the cell and Ku-band IP satellite solution from Dejero at IBC 2017

  • Cobham satellite EXPLORER products at IBC 2014

    Cobham satellite EXPLORER products at IBC 2014

  • HEVC 4k Encoding from Aviwest at NAB 2017

    HEVC 4k Encoding from Aviwest at NAB 2017

  • SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

    SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

  • PacTV Truck at NAB 2014

    PacTV Truck at NAB 2014

  • Inmarsat at NAB 2014

    Inmarsat at NAB 2014

  • SIS LIVEs Martyn Hopkins on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    SIS LIVEs Martyn Hopkins on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • SIS LIVE and their products ManPak and DriveForce at IBC 2013

    SIS LIVE and their products ManPak and DriveForce at IBC 2013

  • SIS LIVE: ManPak and uPack60 at NAB 2013

    SIS LIVE: ManPak and uPack60 at NAB 2013

  • Inmarsat: Global Xpress and Explorer at NAB 2013

    Inmarsat: Global Xpress and Explorer at NAB 2013

  • Cobham: Mini RF Transmitters at NAB 2013

    Cobham: Mini RF Transmitters at NAB 2013

  • Cobham: RF Transmitter at NAB 2013

    Cobham: RF Transmitter at NAB 2013

  • Tariam Tooway stand at BVE 2013

    Tariam Tooway stand at BVE 2013

  • SIS Live at IBC 2012 Part Two

    SIS Live at IBC 2012 Part Two

  • SIS Live at IBC 2012 Part One

    SIS Live at IBC 2012 Part One

  • SIS LIVE at NAB 2012

    SIS LIVE at NAB 2012

  • Haivision at IBC2011

    Haivision at IBC2011

  • SIS LIVE at IBC2011

    SIS LIVE at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • The science of light

    The science of light


Articles
An Epiphany Moment
Peter Savage 2 I had been negotiating the sale of my company and had reached the really hard end of the bargain. We were close to agreeing the final sum after a lot of too-much-give-and-not-enough-take negotiation. The solicitors were calling me, keen for a deal. It had come down to one sticking point and, in my hard ball “I am the Wolf of Wall Street” guise, I wasn’t going to let it go. It would make a value difference of 1.5% on the total outcome. Not much, you might think, but I had already nearly fallen out with the solicitors over their fees and I was giving my advisors an extremely hard time because the corporate adviser couldn’t see how I had already given more than an inch and the buyers were taking more than a mile. I was not going to let them win.
Tags: iss134 | azule | finance | Peter Savage 2
Contributing Author Peter Savage 2 Click to read or download PDF
Using Wireless Transmission
Jeremy Benning Wireless acquisition is a staple of live sports, entertainment and reality shows where cable free capture permits shots not previously possible, for health and safety reasons, and gives the camera-operator greater artistic licence to roam. The same is increasingly true of narrative drama where cinematographers are keen to work handheld or Steadicam where that helps tell the story. Any equipment which frees their movement and time by being lighter, easier to use and reliable in performance is going to tick a lot of boxes.
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | Jeremy Benning
Contributing Author Jeremy Benning Click to read or download PDF
Shedding Light on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k BMCPP4K
Garth de Bruno Austin “What is it about light that has us craving it?” Is the question asked in the opening seconds of Garth de Bruno Austin’s latest short, The Colour of Light. Exploring this natural, human need as well as our innate desire to control it, Garth’s film showcases everyday people going about their lives in differing degrees of luminance, whether that be an artificial streetlight or a natural morning sunrise.
Tags: iss134 | blackmagic | cinema camera | 4k | cpp4k | Garth de Bruno Austin
Contributing Author Garth de Bruno Austin Click to read or download PDF
The brave new world of software based production
Boromy Ung In today’s rapidly evolving broadcast industry, the only constant media organizations can truly count on is change — and the need to adapt as rapidly and cost-effectively as possible. One of the biggest agents of change is the IP revolution, driving broadcasters to migrate their operations to all-software solutions running on commodity, IT-based technologies.
Tags: iss134 | chyronhego | graphics | sports | ott | Boromy Ung
Contributing Author Boromy Ung Click to read or download PDF
Sony HDC-4800 Review
Andy McKenzie First announced at NAB 2016, the Sony HDC-4800 is a studio camera system capable of shooting 4K/UHD at up to 8x or full HD at up to 16x. With a price point upwards of £250,000 it is a very high-end product with a wide feature set. In Sony's own words, "This is the future of live production, designed to satisfy the storytelling aspect of modern sports production.” Deliveries began in mid 2017 and, after careful preliminary evaluation, we invested in several systems for our hire fleet ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Tags: iss134 | review | hdc-4800 | sony | finepoint | Andy McKenzie
Contributing Author Andy McKenzie Click to read or download PDF