Category Archives: Broadcast Nuggets

Adtec RD-60: The Future of Satellite Transmissions

Since we started to explore the possibility of satelite transmissions in 32APSK last year, Adtec have been busy working on a new box that could potentially revolutionise the way we think about satellite receivers.

Imagine we could have 30% better pictures and 4x the amount of discreet audio channels than we currently have, but at the same time use the same amount of satellite space and hence maintain transmission cost? Or perhaps reduce the costs and keep the current picture quality?

Well the Adtec RD-60 makes this possible: by combining H264/MPG4 and 32 APSK instead of the current broadcast standard of MPEG2 and 8PSK you can save money or increase the quality of your transmissions. Too good to be true? We’ve tried it – and it works 😉

The unit is currently in its final testing stage and I was one of the lucky geeks to get my hands on this new puppy. In this article I’ll share my brief experiences and will talk you through what this new IRD has to offer.

This review is based on a courtesy unit that was given to us at IMG for testing. We’re using Software Version 1.02.14 E

Continue reading Adtec RD-60: The Future of Satellite Transmissions

What’s the difference between HDCAM and HDCAM SR?

Let’s take a look under the hood of two broadcast VT formats: both are called HDCAM, both do some form of HD, but apart from the operational differences, the funky coloured flap and two extra letters, what is the real difference between them?

Let’s find out.

 

HDCAM (non-SR)

HDCAM was introduced by Sony ages ago in 1997. No other tape based HD broadcast format was around at the time, and it quickly became clear that one was needed for HDTV to succeed.

The HDW-M2000 machines are based on the DVW-2000 series of VTRs and record with a datarate of 144 Mbps (that’s a 50% increase compared to Digital Betacam’s datarate of 96 Mbps).

HDCAM features 4 audio channels and can handle all common framerates between 24 and 30Fps. Continue reading What’s the difference between HDCAM and HDCAM SR?

Making Television History in 32APSK with NFL Football

This is how nPSK works...

We made some television history the other night: in a test for the NFL International Distribution, Adrian from TV2Go and us folks at IMG Mediahouse have successfully brought a 32APSK encoded signal across the Atlantic, with a datarate of 30Mbps using a 9MHz carrier!

Since the start of the current NFL season in 2009, part of my job is to bring in feeds that originate in the US for an uplink stateside to NSS7. Our clients then downlink these feeds in Europe. In North America, DirectTV offers the NFL (and nearly 200 other channels) to domestic customers via their fleet of ten satellites. Using MPEG2 and H264 encoding, QPSK and 8PSK modulation are commonplace in satellite transmissions.

Ray was looking after this year's NFL season (I was behind the camera of my mobile phone)

However satellite bandwidth is expensive, and we’re dealing with demands of ever increasing datarates. Compression alone will only get us so far, so the only other way to increase throughput would be to increase phase modulation on the TX path. Lucky for us, the DVB-S2 spec has another trick or two up its sleeve. Continue reading Making Television History in 32APSK with NFL Football

Behind the Scenes of Inter vs Milan for ESPN

My own notes, invaluable in times of severe panic

Sometimes a feed comes in, gets an English voiceover and is put straight to air on ESPN UK. But on Sunday, we pulled various aces from our sleeves to bring the Serie A “Milan Derby” to an expecting UK audience.

The feed comes in from Eutelsat W3 in HD, the studio for pre match presentation is SD, the commentators are on site in Milan and come in via ISDN. Question is: How do we synchronise comms with pictures, and how do we create HD graphics during the match?

We use pretty much EVERY piece of kit IMG Mediahouse has to offer, that’s how.

In this article, I’ll explain some of the challenges my dayjob in MCR has to offer. My colleagues and I feel like rockstars when a feat like this can successfully be pulled off, and I’m happy to say we did it once again. Continue reading Behind the Scenes of Inter vs Milan for ESPN

YouTube has invited me to make some cash… but it’s a gamble!

Here’s a funny one…

I made this video on Xbox drive noise over a year ago. It has now had 55.000 views and 129 ratings on YouTube. Out of a sudden YouTube are inviting me to cash in on it.

It means that they’re eager to display adverts in the video and on the page. I can apply for this particular video only, and it won’t affect any of my other 130 videos in my account.

But here’s the snag:

if YouTube REJECT my application, the video and all its 462 comments video responses will be DELETED forever! Continue reading YouTube has invited me to make some cash… but it’s a gamble!