Our solutions for traditional and converged broadcast infrastructures (ASI) and IP-based workflows cover a whole range of satellite broadcast transmission applications from contribution to exchange and distribution. Our products meet the high operational requirements for professional reliability and service availability.
The Media and Broadcast market is growing and so are its applications. ST Engineering iDirect offers a wide variety of products for distribution and contribution as well as turnkey broadcasting solutions.
Content drives pay-TV and advertising revenues. Hence the consumer demands more content, consumed at a higher quality. Both the amount of TV channels and higher quality of those (HD and imminent Ultra HD), create the need to distribute more data over satellite. In many regions of the world, the affordable satellite capacity is not available Service Providers need platforms that are very efficient and use the most advanced transmission technologies.
As a market share leader of 80% in DTH, ST Engineering iDirect’s large installed base proves that end-users and professional users benefit from its efficienct technologies and mature product range. Our DVB-S2X transmission capabilities results in 15-30% efficiency gain in a typical distribution network. Combined with other advanced transmission technologies, such as Equalink® pre-distortion and DVB multistream operation, network optimizations can result in doubling the capacity at the same OPEX.
Just like other businesses, broadcasters are also faced with increasing pressure on operating margins, while also having to retain the high expectations in service availability and reliability (Service Level Agreement compliance). To evolve with the changing technologies, broadcasters must have solutions that are flexible and scalable, and at the same time guarantee bandwidth efficient, OPEX friendly transmissions.
Modern newsgathering is not only about live video. Today’s news crews require access to many applications, including Voice-over-IP (VoIP), video clip transfer, web and archive browsing, email and social media. All these applications require a reliable bi-directional IP “multiservice” communication link of a sizeable bandwidth, which allows news crews to operate as if they were in the studio. As the event may not be planned ahead of time, it is often unclear which type of IP connectivity will be available and reliable during the entire duration of the coverage.
Broadcast turnkey solutions
By offering broadcast turnkey solutions we are able to design, develop and deliver state-of-the-art hybrid satellite /terrestrial network infrastructures which support the contribution and distribution of news material in multiple live and file formats. These media networks connects broadcasters and media service providers all together. This way services are run much smarter leading to benefits like reduced OPEX and CAPEX but most important it provides a timely response to the changing and growing needs of customers.
With over 3 billion viewers today, the DTH market is not dead. In fact in some regions it is still growing. Optimizing revenue from DTH services consists of offering the DTH end customers additional services over the satellite channel. An obvious target is interactivity combined with broadband access. Content distribution to professional users can be easily combined with DTH. As video content is abundant in the video headend, it’s the right place for distributing content rights to, for example, cinema venues via file transfer.
In a lot of cases, the DTH operator owns the rights on the distribution of the video content to professional users. As content is abundant in the video headend, it’s the right place for distributing this content to, for example, cinema venues via file multicasting.
Broadcast Turnkey Solutions
ST Engineering contributes to the European Broadcast union (EBU) by powering a pan European news exchange network. The Educational Media Foundation (EMF) has retrofit all its radio stations with more than 500 sites throughout the United States with equipment from ST Engineering iDirect.
Primary Distribution to Headends
The consumer has the choice to receive a full set of TV channels from many service providers, be it telco, cable, terrestrial or DTH operators. Those service providers aggregate all information required to offer a full media experience to the consumer. This not only includes linear TV channels, but also increasingly important non-linear content, applications and meta-data creating a better user experience. One important step in the content distribution network, is the primary distribution of TV channels from the content provider’s video headend and uplink (programmer video headend), to the headends of each of the service providers.
Distribution to DTT Transmission Towers
Satellite links have the advantage not to depend on any telecom infrastructure on the ground and certainly are the fast-track option to deploy a digital terrestrial TV network over entire countries. With the right technology and equipment, satellite ensures a very economical way to perform the primary distribution of TV content. The operational costs do not increase with the number of towers and repeaters in the network, and last but not least, satellite also provides very efficient methods to synchronize and manage towers remotely.
Multiservice Broadcast Networks
These networks are specifically designed for evolving broadcast transmission services to meet high operational requirements for reliability and service availability. These address the needs and challenges of the broadcast transmission market.
MENOSPLUS+ represents the second generation of the innovative Multimedia Exchange Network over Satellite (MENOS) system, which was the first platform to use satellite for a broadcast exchange and contribution network, allowing content to be moved between broadcasters using central hub mechanism. Introduced in early 2017 and powered by Dialog®, MENOSPLUS+ is the evolution of the MENOS concept and is designed to cope with the ever-growing amount of content and terminals by enhancing the network through increased automation and improved ground segment technologies.
Satellite & Over-The-Top (OTT) broadcasting
Broadcasters need to meet the demands of their viewers and share important real-time events with the best image quality, low delay and buffering to a global audience over the internet, no matter where the event is taking place. The Dialog multiservice platform, for example, which features ST Engineering iDirect’s unique, award-winning, dynamic MxDMA® bandwidth allocation technology is an IP solution that enables on-demand bandwidth and reliable connectivity for seamless live streaming and general broadband applications. Satellite allows to scale fast, cost-effective and easy:
- Deliver multicast content over a vast geographical area
- Address a growing population of receivers
- Address growing amount of content ever increasing resolutions and bitrates
- Available when no other communication path exists
- Return path for DRM & CDN Analytics
- Blend satellite/terrestrial distribution backbones
- Offload congested terrestrial backbones
Satellite Newsgathering and Fixed Broadcast Contribution and Exchange
The emergence of single all-IP connectivity for both broadcast and data services can address more flexible, scalable and efficient operations, opening the possibility to use a single multiservice infrastructure for live content, file exchanges, remote monitoring and control, broadband access, access to content archives and media asset management systems. ST Engineering iDirect has solutions enabling traditional broadcasting workflows, as well as solutions to handle the more complex and customized workflows.
IP satellite links boost connectivity for crews, providing high availability and throughput while remaining flexible, cost-effective and addressing QoS challenges. Newsgathering crews rely on an IP satellite connections when:
- Terrestrial links are unavailable or don’t provide enough uncontended bandwidth
- Cellular connections suffer from too much jitter
- Terrestrial links are not cost-effective
- Higher quality content required from remote locations
ST Engineering iDirect has a track record of reliable satcom IP networks deployed around the globe. Its technologies provide a wide range of benefits:
- Breadth of choice of satellite RF interfaces as well as audio/video interfaces in the uplink
- Agnostic to video compression technology (MPEG-2, H.264, HEVC)
- Agnostic to video format (SD, HD, Ultra HD)
- Supports video, audio and data distribution
- Interoperates with all DVB Receivers and set-top boxes
- Integrated with all leading manufacturers of video head ends and distribution systems
- Choice between standard M6100 and dense MCX7000 broadcast satellite modulators
- Expands the DTH business to consumer broadband
- Expands the DTH content rights for distribution to professional customers such as digital cinema
- Quad iLNB is a cost-effective manner to add broadband services on orbital position that is the same as the DTH bouquets
- Highest number of channels in any given transponder
- Efficient transponder utilization using linear and non-linear Equalink 3
- Use highest modulation efficiency including SW upgrade to DVB-S2X
- Integrated MPE opportunistic data insertion for set-top box software upgrades
- Fastest redundancy switching and highest uptime in the uplink
- Fast troubleshooting of video headend using real-time transport stream analyser in all modulators
- With DVB-S2X channel bonding, the accumulated gain provided by statistical multiplexing will allow broadcasters to host up to 11 channels on three transponders.
ST Engineering iDirect’s technologies contributes to the efficiency and ease of use of fixed contribution, all-IP newsgathering and the coverage and remote production of sports and events.
- The Dialog product line combines both SCPC and VSAT connectivity, supporting multi, low bitrate data services over an MF-TDMA or Mx-DMA link, combined with high throughput linear and non-linear broadcast services over DVB-S2 and DVB-S2X SCPC links.
- The all IP infrastructure of the Newtec Dialog platform ensures multiplexing of multiple services on the same capacity.
- Support for multiple access technologies, modulation schemes and satellite ground equipment, providing the connectivity and associated QoS tailored to the service.
- SATLink Manager: this software module provides session and resource management and automated link setups for occasional use exchanges. Broadcast sessions can be booked form a central newsroom or booked decentralized by the terminal operator.
- File Exchange Manager software: a versatile solution for the non-linear contribution, distribution and exchange of file-based digital assets.
- A satellite-provided IP-pipe needs to provide a similar level of flexibility as terrestrial networks, creating the need for a multi-level deterministic QoS model such as that delivered by the Dialog product line.