S2 Extensions: A New Standard in Broadcasting

S2 Extensions: A New Standard in Broadcasting

Newtec in the press Monday 20 January 2014

By Steven Soenens, VP Product Management, published in InBroadcast, issue 27 - January 2014

Since the DVB-S2 standard was published in 2005, the satellite industry has changed remarkably. The ever increasing volumes of data, video and voice carried over satellite have been drivers for high power and high throughput satellites, wideband transponders and Ka-band deployment. In addition to new satellite technology, the industry also came to a consensus that a more efficient successor to the DVB-S2 standard was required to accommodate increased profitability, interoperability and growth in the professional satellite communications market.

Back in 2012, Newtec teamed up with other DVB members to initiate the development and stardardization of a more efficient satellite transmission technology, a successor to the very successful DVB-S2 standard. Prior to this Newtec already developed and deployed technologies on top of DVB-S2, including the broadly deployed Clean Channel Technology™ and S2 Extensions. Those technologies have largely contributed to the definition of a new DVB standard that is expected to be released in Feb 2014.

Increased Efficiency

The improved modulation technology benefits from smaller carrier Roll-Offs, advanced filter technologies, MODCOD’s with higher bits-per-hertz efficiency, fine-grained MODCOD selection fine-tuned for linear and non-linear operation, higher modulations (up to 256 APSK) and wideband operation (72 Mbaud). This toolbox of new technologies leads to increased efficiency, much greater than the previous DVB-S2. Satellite link efficiency gains are achievable in the order of 10% to 20% in broadcast distribution networks, and 37% in other professional applications compared to DVB-S2 – even up to 64% when saturating 72Mhz transponders.

To demonstrate these improvements, our engineers worked with various global satellite operators and, thanks to live tests over satellite, confidence has grown that the anticipated improvements are real.

Is the Industry Ready for S2 Extensions?

To find out how the industry would react to the new standard we surveyed more than 700 respondents representing nearly 500 companies. The findings suggest more than half (51%) will switch to a more efficient transmission standard for new networks within one year of release. This was an eye opener, and underlines the need for more efficient transmissions. The vast majority of the correspondents will use the efficiency gains to push more content over our satellite. A minority of respondents will switch to save opex.

We expect to see immediate take-up in applications that require high throughput over satellite for professional use and in applications which suffer for bandwidth or need better margins to remain profitable. IP trunking and backhaul, for example, fiber backup, broadcast newsgathering and content exchange are among these applications.

New broadcast primary distribution networks feeding headends and towers also have the opportunity to take instant benefit from the more efficient modulation schemes. And, while the transition to HD is still on-going, new and higher resolution broadcast like UDHTV are likely to hit the Direct-To-Home market in the foreseeable future, and will go hand in hand with deployments of S2 extensions and HEVC compression.

Industry Benefits Today

Our contribution to the new S2 Extensions, which includes significant investment, has resulted in the technology that will drive the next generation DVB standard. This technology has already been deployed on Newtec’s M6100 Broadcast Modulator, MDM6100 Broadcast Satellite Modem, HUB6000 Satellite Hub and MDM6000 Satellite Modem. On top of the new S2 Extensions, Newtec has developed and added technologies such as Adaptive Coding & Modulation (ACM), advanced pre-distortion, and cross-layer optimization, all of which further increase transmission efficiency.

Read more on S2 Extensions on our dedicated S2 Extensions technology page.