Transmission & Wireless Technology At IBC 2023

Not long ago, nearly everything but software on display in exhibits at TV trade shows worldwide was also known as “Big Iron,” because most new TV broadcasting products were big and heavy. Today, the only big iron on display at TV trade shows is RF hardware such as transmitters, antennas, feedline, filters, and towers. Nearly everything else on display is small, digital and portable and/or runs on a PC or smartphone.

Thomson Broadcast subsidiary GatesAir (Stand 8.C82) will debut its Maxiva GNSS-PTP global navigation satellite system (GNSS) solution at IBC. The new GNSS-PTP is a standalone 1RU solution with a sophisticated switching algorithm that assures high-precision 10MHz and 1 PPS reference signals to mission-critical components in the signal chain, including transmitters, networking, and studio equipment.

Each GNSS-PTP device feeds up to twelve 10 MHz and 1 PPS references in the technology infrastructure, removing the need to integrate a standalone timing source in each component. This substantially reduces equipment costs and installation timelines while providing a single and highly redundant point of failure for engineers.

The European debut of GatesAir’s Maxiva GNSS-PTP for precision timing.

The European debut of GatesAir’s Maxiva GNSS-PTP for precision timing.

Support for the Precision Time Protocol v2 (PTP) further enhances reliability and flexibility for users. Available as a modular option, users can prioritize PTP as a facility’s primary source, or configure PTP as a backup to one of the GNSS receivers. The PTP module can function as a master or slave and, same as the unit’s GNSS receivers, provide reliable timing and frequency reference to 12 external devices.

GatesAir will also debut an outdoor transmitter series for VHF TV and DAB radio broadcasting at IBC. Last year the company introduced the Maxiva PMTX-1 outdoor transmitter for UHF TV. The DTV version outputs 50 watts for ATSC, DVB-T, DVB-T2 and ISDB-Tb. It has no moving parts or air filters, eliminating most routine maintenance beyond visual inspections.

GatesAir also plans to introduce the second-generation MultiD series, developed by the GatesAir Europe team to reduce the costs and infrastructure of per-site multichannel DAB broadcasting. The original MultiD system integrates three separate transmitters within a single 1RU chassis, instead of requiring a separate transmitter for each channel with an external combiner.

The new MultiD adds capacity for a fourth channel and removes the limitations of broadcasting all services within a single DAB channel band. New MultiD users can broadcast four independent DAB radio services across separate channels.

The DekTec DTA-2116 PCI Express card.

The DekTec DTA-2116 PCI Express card.

DekTec DTU 331

DekTec DTU 331

DekTec (Stand 2.B48), makes PC add-on cards, USB devices, IP converters, and software. Numerous DekTec solutions are RF products, but not “Big Iron.” For example, DekTec will be showing its DTA-2116, a flexible broadcast and test modulator supporting a broad range of cable, terrestrial, and satellite modulation standards, including ATSC 3.0 and DVB-S2X. While designed primarily for digital TV applications, the card's I/Q sample playback and accurate synchronization capabilities also extend to non-broadcast uses, such as GPS-, GNSS-, and 4G/5G simulators.

DekTec will also be showing its DTA-2127 high-density low-profile satellite receiver on a PCIe gen1 x4 card designed to receive and demodulate satellite signals. The card offers two independent L-band inputs, each of which can receive and demodulate two independent satellite channels, allowing for a total of four independent satellite channels to be received.

In addition, DekTec will also be demonstrating its newly introduced DTU-331 Portable RF Probe running DekTec’s ATSC 3.0 tool set, and the DTU-315 0-2 GHz USB-3 modulator. ATSC 1.0 modulation on the DTU-315 is standard. ATSC 3.0 modulation is an option.

5G Developments

There will be a number of 5G related technologies evident at the show. For acquisition & production look out for vendors demonstrating new 5G and Private 5G based products including Dejero, LiveU, Vislink and Swisscom. For transmission 5G Broadcast remains a technology to watch and Rohde & Schwarz, who have been involved in a series of field trials over the last few years will be showing their new TH1 liquid-cooled transmitter series which unlocks 5G Broadcast applications for direct delivery of high bandwidth content and IoT data to mobile devices and vehicles. 5G Broadcast is a one-to-many technology where all devices receive a live streamed event through the 5G network. The receiving devices are essentially passive, and adding more devices doesn’t affect the network at all. Thus, all users receive the same high-level QoS and QoE feed. 5G Broadcast live video distribution has obvious huge potential for sporting events, but 5G Broadcast is a multicast format aimed not only at mobile TV viewers, it offers new broadcast and multicast capabilities to the entire wireless TV ecosystem.

Other articles in this IBC 2023 'Show Focus' series:

The Broadcast Bridge will be at the IBC Show - Stand 8.F01. Please come and see us, get a copy of our free book on 'Scalable Dynamic Software For Broadcasters' and share your thoughts on what we do and what you would like to see from us in the coming year.

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