Carol Patton has interviewed Steven Soenens, VP product management at Newtec, for her feature in ViaSatellite's April edition, titled: "Hybrid Networks, Commercial Broadcaster's Play for Regionalized Programming". At NAB 2014 in Las Vegas, Nev., hybrid networks have played a pivotal role in the discussion on how commerical broadcasters' strategies to deliver regionalized content.
You can download Carol's full article as released in ViaSatellite (here).
The following is an exclusive insight into the long article version, which is providing some more background information.
Enjoy the read!
Exclusive Interview with Steven Soenens: History, Trends and Future of Satellite Broadcast Networks
Back in the early days, transmission networks were an aggregate of multiple satellite and terrestrial technologies, says Steven Soenens, VP, product management at Newtec. A key difference between then and now, he adds, is that in the meanwhile everything has become IP, and as a result satellite technology seamlessly integrates with terrestrial networks. Adding to that, satellite technology has become more efficient than ever in terms of bandwidth efficiency and throughput.
Since the company [Newtec] supports broadcast applications, it created new technology candidates for higher efficient satellite transmissions beyond DVB-S and DVB-S2 standards.
Soenens says there’s a big drive by broadcasters to deliver more content and higher quality content - like high and Ultra High definition programs - to customers. Newtec and others have been focusing on modulation efficiency, or the physical layer of how video, audio and data are transmitted over satellite networks.
In 2011, Newtec released Clean Channel Technology® that increases that physical layer of efficiency and has been endorsed by key satellite operators, such as Intelsat amongst others. The benefits are huge. He says it further improves satellite efficiency by up to 15 percent compared to the current DVB-S2 standard for IP trunking, backhauling, government networks, and broadcast contribution.
Going further; Newtec’s S2 Extensions resulted in even higher gains; for example, with point-to-point transmissions over satellite, broadcasters can achieve a 45 percent efficiency gain. Broadcast application and contribution exchange networks can anticipate 15 percent to 25 percent efficiency gains. Ten to 15 percent more content can also be distributed using the same amount of transponder capacity. Newtec also set a new world record by developing more modulations in various FEC combinations, achieving over 500 megabytes per second over 72 megahertz transponder. To a large extend, Newtec’s technology has been endorsed by DVB in the new standard DVB-S2X, anticipated to be released in Feb 2013. [Now released: end of Feb]
Regardless of satellite’s evolution, Soenens says commercial broadcasters will also need terrestrial services. As an example, he points to the Newtec Dialog® platform, which was designed to adapt to different business models, services and technologies. Newtec Dialog is a new scalable, flexible and bandwidth efficient multiservice platform which allows operators to build and adapt their infrastructure easily as their business and the satellite market grows and changes. It gives operators the power to offer a variety of service on a single platform while assuring the most optimal modulation and bandwidth allocation. In addition to supporting SCPC or MF-TDMA, it now includes a third revolutionary patent pending return link technology called Mx-DMA™. Together with the new HighResCoding™, it combines the best of both worlds and enables services to run more efficiently than ever before over satellite. The platform supports end-to-end file and live broadcast workflows over satellite and terrestrial infrastructure.
Not too far in the future, Soenens believes satellite services will run video, data, broadband, high speed data, voice calls and audio transmissions all on the same infrastructure. “That’s going to be a key driver for satellite, making it very affordable for broadcasters in the future,” says Soenens.
But satellite does have one vulnerable spot – RF signal interferences. Although satellite is highly reliable as a communication medium, he says due to operational mistakes or intentional jamming, multiple carriers may come together on the same. Newtec is working with organizations like the Satellite Interference Group and the Global VSAT Forum to create new technology and standards to avoid and mitigate those interferences. “That’s the weak spot of satellite,” he says. “Signals can be interrupted sometimes due to operational mistakes, broadcasters doing something wrong. Now new technology is available to avoid and reduce the impact of interferences."