DVB Presents World-First Showcase of DVB-I: Internet-Enabled Linear Television Services

“As we approach the deployment stage for DVB-I, IBC is a great opportunity to showcase its readiness to enable the kind of reliable and user-friendly experience we associate with watching TV, but in situations where a broadcast connection may not be available,” said Peter MacAvock, chair of DVB. “Stop by DVB’s new location in Hall 1 at IBC2019, have a drink, talk with our experts, and learn where the future of digital media and broadcast delivery is headed thanks to DVB specifications.”

World-First DVB-I Demo

At IBC2019, several DVB members will collaborate to present the world’s first working demonstration of DVB-I, built from the related specifications. The demo will include broadband- and broadcast-delivered linear television services using HTTP-based access and streaming mechanisms. It showcases key elements such as a DVB-I Service List, DVB-DASH streaming with the recently released low-latency mode, and Multicast Adaptive Bit Rate support for network optimization.

DVB member demo partners will include: ATEME, Broadpeak, ENENSYS Technologies, Harmonic, ITV, Kineton, Newtec, RAI, Rohde & Schwarz, SES, TPV Technology, and Viaccess-Orca.

One-on-One DVB Expert Consultations

Additionally, DVB specialists will be on hand at the stand to meet one-on-one with visitors regarding a wide range of DVB-related topics. Potential topics include physical layer transmission technologies, DVB-I and streaming solutions, audio and video coding, interactive services, conditional access, and more. To schedule a consultation, visit https://dvb.as.me/.

Thought Leadership Sessions on DVB Specifications

DVB will extend its thought leadership to several IBC2019 conference sessions, providing expert opinions on all things related to DVB. Sessions will include:

  • Peter Siebert, Head of Technology at DVB, will take part in an IET session panel titled “Broadcast to IP Impacts” at the Future Zone Theatre, on Friday 13 Sept., 14:15-15:00.
  • Additionally, Siebert will give a presentation on the DVB specification for high dynamic range at the Ultra HD Forum IBC Masterclass, in the Emerald Room, Saturday 14 Sept., 10:35-10:55.
  • Peter MacAvock, Head of Delivery, Platforms and Services at the EBU Technology & Innovation Department and chair of DVB, will give a presentation titled “Broadcast in Light of 5G: What Will It Look Like?” as part of the Newtec Sessions, Room G106, Saturday 14 Sept., 12:30-13:30.

Cheers: Join DVB for a drink

A DVB drinks reception sponsored by Sisvel will take place at IBC2019 on Friday 13 Sept. from 17:00 to 19:00 on the DVB booth. IBC2019 attendees are encouraged to stop by, catch up with old friends, and make some valuable new connections within the wider DVB family.

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SES to Deliver Premium Broadcast-Grade Cloud Service for Media Delivery on Microsoft Azure

SES announced it is developing a broadcast-grade managed cloud service offering on Microsoft Azure as a result of an expanded collaboration with Microsoft. Benefitting from Azure’s extensive cloud and AI capabilities, and its own expertise in providing managed services for leading broadcasters and media companies worldwide, SES is transforming media service delivery via the cloud.

This service will provide end-to-end, service-level agreement (SLA)-based media delivery services on Azure, giving broadcasters and media companies the flexibility and scalability that are essential in today’s rapidly changing media environment. Bringing the most relevant content to the cloud and providing innovative services covering the entire video value chain — ingest, playout, and delivery — will enable media companies to scale and address the consumer’s growing demand for a premium viewing experience on every screen.

SES leads the industry with its worldwide reach of over 355 million TV households (or 1 billion people) and distributes over 8,200 channels via satellite. With SES’s recent unification of its wholly owned video services subsidiary, MX1, with its SES Video business unit, SES now manages over 525 channels and delivers more than 8,400 hours of online video streaming, including over 620 hours of premium sports and live events, per day. Going to market with a unified solution for video infrastructure and services means that SES will accelerate the rollout of hybrid linear and nonlinear content delivery services and solutions with unprecedented global reach.

At IBC2019, SES will demonstrate two initial use cases for its new service with Azure. Visitors to the SES stand (1.B51) will be able to witness firsthand:

  • Fully managed playout services on Azure, including master playout and localised playout including ad detection and replacement
  • The advantages of efficient, high-quality multichannel live IP encoding managed 24/7 by SES on Azure

 

“Our collaboration with Microsoft Azure will enable us to take our portfolio of media services and distribution solutions to the next level,” said Ferdinand Kayser, CEO of SES Video. “Our cloud-enabled media service will be unique to the industry and will offer scalability and flexibility, along with increased broadcast quality of service, thanks to the latest AI and machine learning capabilities.”

 

Tad Brockway, corporate vice president, Azure Storage, Media, & Edge, Microsoft Corp., said, “Broadcasters and media companies need solutions to deliver high-quality video services globally with maximum flexibility, scalability, and reliability. We look forward to working with SES to deliver these new solutions on Azure.”

SES also announced today an expanded relationship with Microsoft that enables connectivity between SES’s multi-orbit satellite systems and Azure ExpressRoute. This initiative builds on the companies’ broader strategic collaboration and their shared common vision to reach everyone with intelligent cloud, media and network solutions.

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GatesAir and Pinnacle Communications Accelerate Nigerian Digital Switchover Initiative

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, and channel partner Pinnacle Communications Limited have completed the plan for phase two of a multi-stage digital TV (DTV)  transition in Nigeria. Having covered 100 percent of the Abuja municipality, the second phase will extend coverage to 95 percent of the population in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria.

The DVB-T2 system today delivers 30 national and up to six local channels of high-quality news, information and entertainment to FCT residents – as many as 200 free over-the-air channels are anticipated – with GatesAir high-efficiency ULXTE liquid-cooled transmitters powering all over-the-air DTV content delivery. Comprehensive national coverage will eventually reach more than 50 million viewing homes and approximately 170 million people in 36 Nigerian states and the FCT, with a complete national digital switchover targeted for December 2021.

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GatesAir CEO Bruce Swail demonstrates a GatesAir transmitter to Pinnacle Communications’ Senior Advisor for Military Communications, General Chris Jemitola, at the Quincy manufacturing center during the delegation tour.

As the licensed signal distributor for Nigeria, Pinnacle Communications is working diligently to plan future expansions of the service. This includes the rollout of low-power transmitters and gap fillers to fill out the terrestrial black spots in the FCT region and Kaduna state before moving onto other states. Pinnacle Communications will leverage GatesAir’s expanded range of lower power systems, which GatesAir took ownership of following its recent acquisition of ONEtastic.

“We have invested exclusively in GatesAir TV, AM and FM transmitters since 1998 because of their high quality and unmatched resilience, and will continue to do so because their range of high-efficiency transmission solutions will address low-power requirements,” said Sir Lucky Omoluwa, Chairman and CEO, Pinnacle Communications. “GatesAir also continues to impress with accelerated deliveries for our most important projects. We have deployed GatesAir transmitters for several locations with emergency turnarounds, and those plug-and-play installations remain reliably operational today.”

GatesAir remains the leading supplier for DTV transitions in Africa. In addition to Nigeria, GatesAir has supported challenging DTV transitions in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda. The scale of the Nigerian digital switchover is perhaps the most impressive, as an overwhelming majority of the expansive Nigerian population relies exclusively on free, over-the-air TV. It is estimated that about five percent of households in Nigeria receive television from PayTV services.

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GatesAir CEO Bruce Swail offers a local gift to Pinnacle Communications’ Chairman and CEO Sir Lucky Omoluwa following a partnership signing.

“The Nigerian digital switchover will be the largest initiative of its kind in Africa, not to mention Europe, when it reaches its conclusion,” said Bruce Swail, CEO, GatesAir. “Upon completion, the immense scale of this system will serve as an impressive blueprint for any broadcaster strategizing a complex, national DTV transition. We are proud to be associated with a such a challenging and rewarding project taking shape in the heart of Africa, with the entirety of the system built and developed by Nigerians.”

GatesAir welcomed Pinnacle’s executive team to its Quincy, Illinois manufacturing center in late August. The visit included a facility tour and overview of GatesAir’s next-generation transmitter designs, which will at once improve coverage, enhance signal quality, and reduce operating costs – notably, energy bills and systems maintenance – over the lifetime of the system. Pinnacle Communications Limited Executive Director, Dipo Onifade; Lead Broadcast Technical Consultant, Yomi Bolarinwa; and Senior Advisor for Military Communications, General (RTD) Chris Jemitola were among those joining Sir Lucky Omoluwa for the visit. Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore and top executives from the Quincy Chamber of Commerce were on hand to receive the delegation.

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Pinnacle Communications and GatesAir executives from L to R: Senior Advisor for Military Communications, General Chris Jemitola (Pinnacle); CEO Bruce Swail (GatesAir); Chairman and CEO Sir Lucky Omoluwa (Pinnacle); Lead Broadcast Technical Consultant, Yomi Bolarinwa (Pinnacle); Executive Director, Dipo Onifade (Pinnacle); Managing Director, EMEA and India, Andy McClelland (GatesAir); President and Managing Director, International, Rich Redmond (GatesAir).

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telent upgrades Wi-Fi networks at cricket grounds across the UK

telent Technology Services Ltd (telent) has delivered high-density public Wi-Fi to Old Trafford, the venue for the next Ashes Test Match.

Sky, Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and number one Wi-Fi in Stadia provider in the UK, chose telent as its partner to upgrade the legacy Wi-Fi infrastructure for hundreds of thousands of fans at the cricket grounds in time for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup 2019. The project saw telent complete the design and deployment of cabling, switches and access points for the Sky Wi-Fi solution, following an agreement between Sky UK with the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Fans will enjoy the enhanced Wi-Fi experience at the fourth Ashes Test Match, which will be taking place at Old Trafford from September 4th to 8th. Under the contract, deployments were also completed at Durham, Trent Bridge, in Nottinghamshire, and the Bristol County Ground in addition to Old Trafford. Further upgrades are set to be completed at additional cricket grounds across the UK, with telent responsible for surveying the grounds, designing and installing the networks.

“The Cricket World Cup is one of the biggest events in the sport and saw thousands of fans from across the globe gather at a number of stadiums in the UK,” said Chris Weeden, Sales Director – Groups at Sky UK. “With fans who attended the cricket matches wanting to share every moment, whether it be by live streaming on social media or downloading matchday-related content, a seamless user experience is a top priority for the ECB. We chose to work with telent as the team has a proven track record of delivering the reliable, high-quality, end-to-end service at the scale required, in a timely manner.”

The project is the latest win in the sporting arena for telent, which has also delivered a new Wi-Fi network for a Premier League Football Club in London to enhance supporters’ experience on matchdays. The Wi-Fi upgrade was integrated with the club’s existing core network and legacy Wi-Fi infrastructure which had become unfit-for-purpose. telent has also provided the 4G coverage for a major national sporting venue, which hosted a world title boxing match and provided unrestricted access for attendees.

Shani Latif, Sales Director at telent, said: “As a big cricket fan I am delighted that telent has delivered and enhanced the Wi-Fi experience for fans across the country, complementing England’s thrilling brand of cricket from the World Cup and The Ashes series so far! We have unique expertise in delivering secure and reliable Wi-Fi infrastructures even in the most challenging environments and can deploy robust network architecture cost-effectively and quickly to upgrade sports venues’ Wi-Fi, meeting strict project deadlines and ensuring fans enjoy the ultimate user experience.”

telent’s work on stadium Wi-Fi builds on its strong reputation for delivering Wi-Fi in mission critical environments, with other customers including major rail stations and the NHS.

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GatesAir to Unveil New DAB Radio Innovations

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, has expanded its range of DAB Radio transmitters and solutions to include multi-carrier and liquid-cooled innovations at IBC2019. Many of the new innovations result from the company’s recent acquisition of ONEtastic, known forward as GatesAir S.r.l.

While GatesAir has long offered low-power DAB Radio air-cooled solutions through its Maxiva VAXT and VAXTE product lines, the acquisition introduces several key product innovations that will be new to GatesAir customers. In addition to the multi-carrier and liquid-cooled transmitters, GatesAir will demonstrate new intra-mast and outdoor solutions that can support TV and DAB modulations in the same compact chassis. GatesAir will also unveil an expanded range of air-cooled DAB transmitters to cover all power levels starting at 15W.

The acquisition also brings new design and engineering innovations to GatesAir, including no-cable, plug-in architectures that accelerate assembly and maintenance, reduce clutter and maintenance, and increase system reliability. GatesAir’s latest DAB Radio transmitters also leverage a single-band PA module to cover all Band III frequencies – a unique competitive advantage that eliminates jumpers, tuning and other frequency-related adjustments.

“GatesAir’s experience in equipping today’s largest DAB Radio networks is now further strengthened with a product portfolio that covers a broader range of power levels, and introduces several new design innovations and feature sets to our customers,” said Bruce Swail, CEO, GatesAir. “In addition to fortifying our long-standing message of supplying high-efficiency, cost-reducing and turnkey transmission solutions, our latest design innovations strengthen our overall value proposition for broadcasters and network operators managing DAB networks of any scale.”

New Transmitter Innovations

GatesAir’s MultiD multi-carrier platform brings three DAB transmitters together into a compact 1RU chassis — a unique design attribute that reduces space and equipment costs, and simplifies installation. The multi-carrier architecture removes the need for external RF combining, and instead generates and re-transmits all three channels through a single amplifier. The multi-carrier modulation built into the transmitter supports both adjacent and non-adjacent frequencies, providing a flexible solution for DAB networks of any size. GatesAir will exhibit an operating transmitter, together with a spectrum analyzer display, to demonstrate the optimized performance and flexibility of the MultiD innovation.

GatesAir will also unveil a liquid-cooled VHF Band III power amplifier from its new Maxiva VLXTE range of high-efficiency, liquid-cooled transmitters. Starting at 3 kW, all VLXTE liquid-cooled transmitters cover DAB/DAB+ frequencies from 170-240MHz, with a modular design that support inputs for ETI (coaxial) and EDI (IP) distribution across DAB networks. Maxiva VLXTE transmitters are completely frequency-agile across the Band III spectrum, providing a cost-effective, high-efficiency solution for all N+1 applications. GatesAir’s liquid-cooled architecture also gives customers a cost-efficient solution for all power levels up to 15 kW, with increased cost-savings and ROI as power levels rise.

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GatesAir Liquid Cooled VHF DAB

GatesAir will also demonstrate two flexible transmission platforms with uncommon architectures that can support TV and DAB Radio modulations simultaneously in the same platform:

  • A new outdoor pole-mounted solution sealed by a telecom-grade, weatherproof enclosure that can house multiple low-power DAB Radio transmitters and gap fillers. The DC-powered, pole-mount design eliminates all moving parts and air filters, dissipating heat to the pole’s surface for optimized efficiency and performance.
  • A new “intra-mast” transmitter, designed for installation inside a cylindrical tower that can house up to six 70 W DAB transmitter or gap filler modules.

GatesAir exhibits at Stand 8.D60 from September 13-17 at the RAI Conference and Exhibition Center in Amsterdam.

GatesAir Transitions MediaWorks New Zealand to Uncompressed Audio over IP Networking

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for TV and radio broadcasters, has transitioned longtime customer MediaWorks, a New Zealand-based television, radio and interactive media company, to an uncompressed Audio over IP networking architecture. The new transport solution keeps all signals in the digital domain and streamlines signal delivery, at once improving audio quality, reducing system complexity, and lowering the costs of live distribution linking across a single-frequency FM radio network (SFN).

Specifically upgrading the transport infrastructure of MediaWorks Radio’s iconic commercial brand, The Sound, the project refines and enhances the delivery of program audio from its studio in Ponsonby, Auckland, to synchronous transmitters on 93.8MHz FM at Auckland’s Sky Tower and Mount Ruru in the Waikato region. GatesAir’s regional channel partner Gencom Technology provided all presales design support, working with GatesAir product specialists and MediaWorks engineers to develop the now-live IP-based configuration.

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Mark Simpson, Account Manager, Transmission and Distribution Systems at Gencom Technology, confirms that migration from a more complex legacy TDM networking infrastructure was the “prime catalyst” for the upgrade. The complete solution leverages Intraplex IP Link MPXp codecs with built-in SynchroCast technology to transport FM baseband and manage local ad insertions across its single-frequency transmission network (SFN), with Flexiva FAX50 exciters to support FM radio signal generation at each transmission site. The modernized design eliminates the need to transport program audio to a separate studio for local ad insertions.

“The migration from older E1 linking technology to IP, while partially prompted by the recent availability of the latter, also enabled simplification of the routing for the Auckland transmitter as it now comes directly from the Auckland studio,” said Simpson. “This eliminates signal drops and vulnerability issues of the legacy architecture, which required Mediaworks to route the Auckland program to Hamilton for local ad insertion. The synchronous performance across the SFN has been outstanding, and Mediaworks reports excellent audio quality and stability from the next-generation Flexiva exciters.”

Ray Smith, Transmission Manager for MediaWorks New Zealand, correlates the audio quality improvements with the flexibility of MPX over IP transport. The IP Link MPXp codecs support AES192 digital signal transport, which minimizes analog-to-digital conversions and positions all audio processing and limiting functions at the studio. The latter removes audio adjustment requirements at the transmitter sites.

“By leveraging AES192, we can maintain high-end digital audio quality throughout the entire chain all the way to the exciter,” said Smith. “Uncompressed MPX over IP transport ensures that the transmitters can be fully modulated without any decibel overshoot generated by compression algorithms. The average audio levels are higher, which means the transmitted signal offers the best possible audio quality that FM radio can offer.”

The SFN covers Auckland City and hilltop site Mount Ruru, which transmits the station’s signal throughout the city of Hamilton and a large portion of the rural Waikato province. Simpson adds that the IP Link MPXp codecs have introduced a “significant cost benefit” across the expansive SFN by transitioning from expensive E1 circuits to IP, with an expected ROI of three to four years.

“Audio over IP adoption continues to accelerate as more broadcasters report on its operational benefits and reliability as a transport platform,” said Rich Redmond, President and Managing Director, International for GatesAir. “We are grateful to report the success of MediaWorks New Zealand’s migration to IP and their anticipated return on investment, as well as the professionalism and technical expertise of our partners at Gencom Technology.”

Riedel Artist and Bolero Wireless Enable Integrated Comms across University of Georgia Sport Venues

The system now fully integrates multiple sports venues across the campus to streamline linear broadcasts and live streaming of sports events, video board presentations, and in-venue fan promotions.

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The University of Georgia is the flagship research university for the state of Georgia and one of the oldest public universities in the United States. As a Division 1 member of the Southeastern Conference of collegiate sports, the University of Georgia competes in 19 sports, and its teams have won over 40 national championships.

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A new Artist 128 mainframe was installed in the central core that services Sanford Stadium and the Stegeman Coliseum and is linked via fiber to frames at the Foley Field baseball facility, the Jack Turner Stadium, the Turner Soccer Complex, the Gabrielsen Natatorium, and the William Porter Payne and Porter Otis Payne Indoor Athletic Facility. In addition, a Bolero wireless intercom system comprised of 15 beltpacks and seven antennas (some antennas are routinely moved to handle various other requirements) replaced a wired solution that was in place at several venues. The new Bolero system integrates directly with Artist and enables all user groups, such as the band, cheer squad, DJ, operations team, and video control team, to communicate using a single system, without conversion or being on a party line.

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The solution has proven particularly valuable at the men’s and women’s basketball and gymnastics events where multiple wireless channels have replaced an existing party line setup.

“When it came time to upgrade our comms capabilities across campus, we knew we wanted to stay with Riedel and Artist. And then the introduction of Bolero made it a no-brainer,” said Mike Bilbow, Assistant Athletic Director, Digital and Production, University of Georgia Athletic Association. “Bolero gives us so much more flexibility, and its reliability and sound quality are bar-none – both critical factors for events with 90,000 cheering fans. With many of our users connecting wirelessly now, we’re able to save money on cabling infrastructure. And it’s great to be able to salvo presets for each event, which frees up our engineering staff for other duties.”

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“We were proud to partner with Alpha Video for all of the wireless and wired intercom for UGAA’s broadcast infrastructure expansion,” said Dave Caulwell, Regional Sales Manager, Northeastern U.S. at Riedel North America. “We value and celebrate the trust that the UGAA has put in Riedel Communications, making us the heart of their broadcast communications network.”

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