New Broadcasting Standards (2 of 3): Improved Satellite Efficiency

Monday 8 July 2013
New Broadcasting Standards (2 of 3): Improved Satellite Efficiency


by Simon Pryor,
Market Development Director for Broadcast @ Newtec;

There are a number of new broadcasting standards entering the market for quality (UHDTV 4K/8K), compression (HEVC) and satellite transmission (S2 Extensions). In my first blog post I was "Putting UHDTV into Practical Perspective" [blog post 1 of 3]. Let's discuss this time how to improve satellite efficiency. 

Improved Satellite Efficiency: ‘S2 Extensions’

The efficiency of satellite transmission continues to improve beyond the existing DVB-S2 standards. Currently extensions and new standards are being specified and tested. For satellite businesses, the creation and adoption of new S2 Extensions will translate into better efficiency, higher speed and improved service robustness. These extensions have the potential for up to 37% improvements on top of the current standards. This jumps up to 64% or more with 72MHz wideband transponders They are being resolved now in DVB, with the standard due to be released before the end of 2013. Pre-standard efficiency gains are available today, with a firmware upgrade to the final standard.

It is not only for contribution applications and high-speed links, where ‘S2 Extensions’ modulators and demodulators will be installed, gaining maximum improvements. Even for a ‘brown-field’ base of installed Set-Top Boxes (STBs) or IRDs, tests have shown that some of these extensions (10 or 15% roll-offs, advanced pre-distortion) can be deployed today, increasing throughput by up to 20% or increasing the availability to reduce downtime, or expand the service area, without any degradation.

Timescales for Combining ‘S2 Extensions’, HEVC & UHDTV

When evaluating strategies for deployment of tomorrow’s ‘S2 Extensions’, HEVC and UHDTV, it is useful to compare with todays (DVB-S2/AVC/HD) and yesterdays (DVB-S/MPEG-2/SD) technologies. They typically entered the market at the same time, being driven by similar factors like quality moving from SD to HD, efficiency (DVB-S2, AVC) and cost.

Figure 1: TV quality, compression & satellite transmission standards: Past, present & future

Unfortunately, these different next-gen standards (S2 Extensions, UHDTV, HEVC) will likely enter the market at different times and integrated receiving devices, either professional IRDs (Integrated Receiver Decoder) or consumer STBs (Set-Top Boxes) will lag behind, until all the standards are available and stable.

Figure 2: Likely market timing of S2 Extensions, HEVC & 4K UHDTV

In the intermediate period, there is a strong case to split demodulation and the decoding of the video into separate units. This would give the benefits, especially S2 Extensions and HEVC, in a timely and flexible way, introducing UHDTV only when it is really ready for prime time.

Figure 3: Flexible Strategies for Receivers of S2 Extensions, HEVC, UHDTV 6
Outlook 3rd Blog Bost: Stay Tuned

In the 3rd one, I'll provide your with "Findings & Recommendations" plus "Practical Strategies for the Future".

So, thanks for reading my 2nd blog post and stay tuned for number 3!




Go back to [blog post 1 of 3]: "Putting UHDTV into Practical Perspective".

Go to [blog post 3 of 3]: "Recommendations for Adoption of UHDTV, HEVC & S2 Extensions"

Read the [White Paper]: "Migration Strategies S2 Extensions, UHDTV and HEVC"