In an increasingly connected world, Occasional Use (OU) broadcasters need the capability to share breaking news and live sports events at record-breaking speeds across multiple platforms. Evolving technology has created an expectation of instant access to information, no matter what time of day it is or where in the world an event is happening. The highest quality video format is also required to provide a viewing experience that is as close to the real thing as possible.
This presents challenges as the industry moves towards providing a combined media experience, encompassing not only live video, but also radio, social media and online content. As such, existing OU solutions are under increasing pressure to provide the much-needed flexibility to handle multiple video formats and address modern expectations.
Finding a Solution
This is leading to high market demand for flexible IP links on an OU basis. Ideally, such a solution should allow easy implementation of hardware, the option to share the same antenna for data and video, a Committed Information Rate (CIR) above the current market standard, and Wi-Fi-Internet access for remote staff. These requirements are not being met by current mobile LTE and Ka-Band OU solutions due to a number of drawbacks, which include the connectivity becoming contended where there is high demand and lack of coverage in remote areas. The data rates are also limited when it comes to supporting the high throughput required for HD and UHD applications.
This led to SES asking an all-important question: why can’t we develop a flexible solution based on existing Satellite News Gathering (SNG) infrastructure? So, we looked for the best technology available to provide reliable VSAT connectivity via satellite that could support live video as a priority, while enabling broadcasters to output multiple applications such as video, Voice-over IP (VoIP), video clip transfer, email, social media, and web and archive browsing as quickly and reliably as if they were in the studio. We found the answer to our question in the form of the Newtec Dialog® platform.
Introducing OU Flex
As a scalable and flexible multiservice satellite communications platform, the Newtec Dialog all-IP platform offers cutting-edge technology that enabled us to create an adaptable solution for OU broadcasters.
Our solution – OU Flex – provides high-quality IP connectivity to manage customers’ entire video and data content contributions, with guaranteed quality of service in any conditions. It transforms the DVB one-way feed into a bidirectional link, providing maximum flexibility without the need for two antennas, enabling video content distribution, live video sharing on social media, file sharing and Internet connectivity for broadcasters and SNG operators.
Incorporating Newtec Dialog, OU Flex has been developed to meet the requirements of broadcasters, live event producers, event organizers and remote operators to enrich the viewer experience through live broadcast, all while enabling content creators to grow their business as they increase their output capabilities.
This business growth is achieved through a number of advantages OU Flex provides. Looking at businesses’ bottom lines, the solution reduces CapEx, requiring minimal investment in regard to time and equipment. Broadcasters which already have SNG trucks or fly-away equipment only require an additional OU Flex broadband modem, while minimal ongoing OpEx costs and competitively-priced time-based bitrates make high quality, reliable transmission and connectivity possible.
Another key issue for broadcasters is relying on the availability of a network connection once they arrive on location. At a busy event such as a live sports game or an emergency situation, the network easily becomes congested due to a high level of other reporters and users in the area. However, Newtec Dialog not only supports multiple satellites, multiple frequency bands, regular and spot beam satellites, but it also created the possibility of a booking system through OU Flex. Broadcasters can book connectivity easily and in turn, we provide a dedicated, secure service with committed, SLA-guaranteed throughput, no matter how many other broadcasters are operating at the same time.
All of this is enabled by Newtec Dialog’s support of three return technologies, MF-TDMA, SCPC and Mx-DMA®. The latter is Newtec’s unique technology which combines the best qualities of the other two technologies, enabling bandwidth to be allocated dynamically as it is needed, while also ensuring the highest quality. This is particularly beneficial for video transmissions.
Scalability in geography and volume is also enabled by the IP-based transmission, creating endless options for content distribution across the globe. This further enables post-production tasks and other supportive efforts to be completed more quickly and efficiently – regardless of where the final audience is. Additionally, with up to 30 Mbit/s upstream and up to 100 Mbit/s downstream available, the quality which customers have come to expect can easily be supported – no matter how much content broadcasters want to produce, there will be enough capacity.
Vice President Sales Engineering at SES