Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
FOX to eliminate parallel SD storage, distribution with new HD satellite system
FOX has selected Motorola to provide satellite transmission equipment, including compression systems, multiplexers and radios, to enable it to transition all satellite program distribution to HD delivery. The migration to Motorola technology will begin in the first quarter of 2009.
The transition to all-HD distribution will let the broadcaster streamline its distribution infrastructure as it moves from the existing mix of SD and HD in a diverse, multivendor stable of technology to a common HD architecture from Motorola. The new approach will eliminate the need for parallel SD storage and distribution because Motorola radios will support the real-time conversion of the HD content to the SD format.
As part of the migration, FOX will provide its affiliates with Motorola's DSR-6000 commercial digital satellite radio. The radios will read the standardized Active Format Descriptor information carried with the HD content that specifies the appropriate image composition for 4:3 aspect ratio SDTV sets.
FOX can manage these radios using Motorola's Broadcast Network Control System, which will permit FOX to conduct “health checks” of both uplink and downlink paths, ensuring that all radios are online and functioning at maximum efficiency. In addition, this will enable FOX to manage complex functions, such as sports retunes and time zone selection.
The network will rely on Motorola SE-3000 HD encoders to statistically multiplex HD streams into payloads as high as 73Mb/s before distributing programming via satellite. At its local affiliates, the DSR-6000 will convert the appropriate HD stream to the properly formatted SD signal as well as pass the HD signal as ASI or IP. Both the DSR-6000 and the SE-3000 will employ DVB-S2 modulation.
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