Following our #AliveSince85 campaign to find the oldest piece of still-working Newtec equipment, we visited the Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE), part of the RTL Group, at its teleport in Junglinster, Luxembourg, to see its Modulator NTC/2059 in action.
While there, Kerstin Roost , Public Relations Director at Newtec (KR), spoke to BCE engineer Serge Krbec (SK; see photo below) to find out more about the modulator and its place in BCE’s history and success (BCE’s reference cloud on their website).
Do not miss the high resolution photo collection at the end of this article.
KR: Serge, thank you for showing us around your teleport and the equipment. Can you tell us more about the Modulator NTC/2059 which won you its weight in Belgian chocolate? (more about the chocolate in this article)
SK: This equipment was installed in 1996. It was part of the first equipment we used after switching from MPEG-1 and the ETSI standard to the new standard MPEG-2 .The modulator was used in combination with the TE3 encoder to do our first MPEG-2 DVB-S uplinks.
This is also the first DVB-S modulator we used for the European News Exchange (ENEX). Although it is so old, I still remember it after all these years.
KR: Why is this equipment particularly memorable?
SK: For me, it is special for two reasons. Firstly, this is how my career in satellite transmission began. Although I’d been working for some time already, in 1996 I switched to the SNG / Microwave department and that’s how I discovered satellite and uplinking. The NTC/2059 Modulator was one of the first DVB-S devices I ever used.
Secondly, I used the same equipment in my SNG truck. I did SNG uplinking for almost seven years, and this modulator was part of my personal transmission record. Along with a friend and client from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), we achieved almost 100 live transmissions in one day in a two path SNG truck at the NATO Summit.
KR: Congratulations on the record! What is the equipment being used for today?
SK: Today, BCE is still providing technical services for ENEX. We have three different uplinks for ENEX. Although we now use newer Newtec modulators, the NTC/2059 is still used as back up. If the main Newtec modulator breaks down, which I doubt it will, we can still switch onto the old modulator. This would mean we would only transmit a DVB-S carrier instead of a DVB-S2 but better this than no transmission.
KR: Of course – Serge, thank you very much for your time and we hope your other Newtec equipment serves you as well as the Modulator NTC/2059 has.
SK: Thank you Kerstin, it was a pleasure to join your campaign and we are looking forward to create more stories around your satcom solutions. ;-)