DVB-S2X: Everything You Need To Know

DVB-S2X: Everything You Need To Know
DVB Performance History: From DVB-S (black) to DVB-S2X (red). See detailed version in the article.

Newsletter Thursday 11 December 2014

By Dirk Breynaert, CTO and Co-founder of Newtec


Newtec, after many years of research and development, took the lead to put the topic of an enhanced satellite transmission standard on the DVB agenda, teaming up with other DVB Members in order to define and develop an update to the DVB-S2 standard. With the new standard published end of February 2014, we break down everything you need to know.

Why Is It Needed?

Since the DVB-S2 standard was published in 2005, the satellite industry has changed remarkably due to the higher transmission efficiency. In 2012, the industry came to a consensus that a more efficient successor to the DVB-S2 standard was required to accommodate the launch of new services, increased profitability, interoperability and growth in the professional and consumer satellite communications market.

So What Does DVB-S2X Bring?

The new standard has many improvements compared with DVB-S2:

DVB-S2X: Simplified Features

  • Lower Roll-Offs (RO) – Reducing RO to 5%, 10% and 15% results in a direct gain of bandwidth.
  • Extension of the professional profile to very high signal to noise ratios, with gains up to 51% for links with a link margin of 22dB.
  • Links with very high link budget, can be setup using higher order MODCODs up to 256APSK
  • Increased Granularity in MODCOD – The number of MODCODs and frame size combinations has grown significantly compared to DVB-S2, bringing efficiency even closer to the theoretical Shannon limit. While DVB-S2 only had about 50 combinations of MODCOD and frame size, the new DVB-S2X supports more than 100 combinations. This increased granularity not only translates into higher efficiency and availability in CCM links, but also to a very efficient ACM mode of operations.
  • Completely new MODCODs were introduced that are optimized for use in linear operation, while DVB-S2 was optimized only for the saturated transponder use case which typically has non-linear characteristics.
  • A standard mechanism to bond (combine) multiple channels as if they were one (both MPEG TS and Data applications using GSE/GSE Lite) , virtual high throughput links to be built using existing transponders. This technology will benefit roll outs of Ultra HD content since large transport streams, benefitting video statistical multiplexing, can be transmitted over multiple transponders.

DVB History: From DVB-S to DVB-S2X

Where Will We See it First?

Applications that will adapt and quickly implement the new DVB-S2X standard include Broadcast contribution, Multi-service Exchange networks, IP Trunking and backhaul, and Government Communications amongst others. The nature of the technology behind the extensions results in instant ROI for those implementing them straight away, helping service providers becoming more profitable, efficient or simply offer more or higher quality content within the same bandwidth.

Flying High with UHD

The new standard is also targeting DTH applications, with efficiency gains to be in the order of 15% to 22%. The increased efficiency is required to create space for a flourishing HD broadcast landscape and the birth of 4k Ultra High Definition (UHD) transmissions. Combining a more efficient satellite transmission scheme with the latest video compression scheme, HEVC, and the new Ultra HD video format, will be a requirement for the satellite industry as it keeps pace with capacity hungry new consumers.

The bottom line is that having the new common standard for the industry benefits not only individual businesses, but also the entire industry, enabling economies of scale and a healthier ecosystem for every player in the value chain.

Dr. Peter Siebert, Executive Director, DVB Project added: 
I am proud that DVB has now approved the new DVB-S2X specification and I would like to congratulate all the Members that have actively contributed to bringing about this step forward in updating the excellent DVB-S2 standard. The satellite industry has been anxiously awaiting this standardization which will help it to improve profitability, interoperability and achieve further growth.

As well as taking part in conference sessions worldwide to address this topic (with for example the ANGACOM conference in Cologne in May 2014, and the Broadcast/CommunicaAsia Engineering Sessions at the Conference in June), Newtec will showcase products with the new DVB-S2X standard on-board or as a software upgrade to existing products.

► Get more information on DVB-S2X in our dedicated whitepaper "DVB-S2X Demystified".

Read about our Clean Channel Technology® (CCT) and S2 Extensions on our technology pages.

This article was published in Newtec NEWS newsletter (March 2014 issue) and SVS TELEKOM newsletter (April 2014 issue).