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3. Are most broadcasters using 3G/4G cellular
wireless networks to deliver
live news or satellite?
Most broadcasters have embraced 3G/4G cellular
wireless networks for live news because of the flexibility
and affordability they provide. In fact, I would say that
for 99 percent of applications, using 3G/4G networks is
advantageous. Overall, satellite is just too expensive and
complex to deploy.
However, in some instances, satellite is still needed.
For example, major sporting events require that
broadcasters send a crystal-clear HD signal. There
cannot be variations in video quality due to the capacity
changes of cellular networks, or this would lead to
viewer dissatisfaction. If there are multiple broadcasters
reporting on the sporting event and they are all relying
on the same 3G/4G networks, the networks can
become over saturated and there wouldn’t be enough
bandwidth to deliver good video quality. In this case,
broadcasters can rely on satellite technology, which
offers a greater — and guaranteed — bandwidth, in
order to provide the video quality that viewers demand.
4. Can 3G/4G cellular wireless
networks support Ultra HD and 4K?
Consumer demand for Ultra HD and 4K is increasing.
We’re entering into unchartered territory because 3G/4G
cellular wireless networks weren’t initially developed to
support the bandwidth that is needed to deliver that
level of video quality.
Thanks to new video compression technologies and the
cellular network developments, the broadcast industry
is getting closer to being able to offer Ultra HD and
4K content over 3G/4G networks. However, before
this becomes a reality, I think we’ll need to develop
applications that enable bandwidth sharing.
5. What types of features should one be
looking for in a video hybrid contribution
system and why?
While in the field, it’s hard for broadcasters to predict
what kind of environmental, climatic, and network
conditions they will be facing. Given these challenges,
broadcasters need robust newsgathering solutions that
are cost-effective, reliable, and flexible from anywhere in
One of the unique features a broadcaster should look for
is the ability to deliver live video and recorded files. Our
DMNG system features multiple 3G or 4G modems with
high gain custom antennas, an internal Wi-Fi modem,
plus two USB ports into which two additional 3G/4G
USB modems can be plugged to stream a live video or
forward files over bonded wireless networks.
In addition to finding a system that features a wide
range of functionality, broadcasters need to consider
the design, too. When journalists are in remote
locations, they need equipment that is lightweight,
compact, easy to use and deploy. For example, our
DMNG PRO video uplink system can be mounted on
camera, in a newsgathering vehicle, or stashed in a
backpack for extra flexibility.
6. In what types of applications should
broadcasters utilize BGAN satellites for live
Using Inmarsat’s BGAN satellite network is ideal in
instances where there is no Internet connection, the
3G/4G cellular wireless network connection is too
poor to support video streaming, or in environments
where deploying a Ka-band satellite van simply isn’t
For example, in a war zone like Syria, it is difficult
to deploy satellite vans for safety reasons, and the
Internet isn’t reliable. This is a good example of where
using a BGAN terminal comes in handy.
Another example that comes to mind was this
past January when BGAN terminals were used by
broadcasters during the rallies and demonstrations
in Paris after the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo
magazine. There were too many people crowded in
the streets to use Ka satellite dishes, which are bigger
and less easy to transport by journalists in the field,
and the 3G/4G networks were flooded. If you wanted
to send live video from these types of environments,
you would need a video uplink system like our DMNG
PRO with the BGAN terminal.
At the 2015 NAB Show, AVIWEST will showcase
our DMNG PRO, now standard integrated with
Cobham’s EXPLORER 710 BGAN terminal, an ultra-
portable satellite antenna. When used during satellite
transmission, the Cobham antenna provides real-time
information about the satellite’s available bit rate,
enabling the DMNG PRO to compress video content
accordingly to ensure superior video quality.
7. Why is having a network
management system important?
Typically, broadcasters have deployed a large number
of transmitters. They need a dedicated tool that
simplifies management of these devices. Our DMNG
Manager server application enables broadcasters
to monitor and manage an entire fleet of DMNG
equipment including transmitters, smartphones with
the DMNG APP, and studio receivers. By dramatically
streamlining digital mobile newsgathering operations,
a network management system provides
significant time and cost savings.
KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 99 MARCH 2015 | 65