Skip to main content

PSSI Enhances HD Capability With Ericsson

Brian Nelles adjusts one of the Tandberg (now Ericsson) encoders in the new PSSI satellite distribution van.
PSSI is a full-service transmission and production management company that specializes in HD event coverage. We have 30 years of operational, project management and engineering expertise and our team of project managers designs, manages and implements multifaceted live-events domestically and across the globe, including network, pay-per-view and sports and entertainment broadcasts. We also have a large fleet of satellite uplink trucks, transportable HD fiber-encoding packages and and other equipment at the ready to handle just about any remote production communications requirement.

This year, we entered into a new five-year contract with NASCAR Media Group (NMG) to provide satellite transmission facilities during the NASCAR season. Initial discussions focused on NMG's need to transport various HD satellite feeds to their new studio facilities in Charlotte, N.C. Those sources were to be switched live for distribution to NMG's international clients. In previous years such feeds would be switched in a normal production environment from various tracks during the racing season.

PSSI moved forward with the construction of a new satellite distribution trailer and the testing of AVC encoding systems to make such remote production possible.

Our search for a reliable business to help us make this task successful ended with Tandberg Television, now Ericsson. We required very aggressive AVC encoding in order to send out six HD feeds, along with 48 channels of team communications audio, via a single 36 MHz satellite transponder. Testing with the Ericsson EN8090 AVC encoder proved this was viable. Encoding rates for the sources range from 15.5 Mbps to as low as 7 Mbps for key signals.


Our new 47-foot trailer has two C-band antennas, one of which supports transmissions to three discrete transponders simultaneously. One of these transponders handles the NMG traffic, which includes a nine-channel MCPC feed encompassing six channels of AVC HD video and the 48 audio channels. The AVC encoding is done with the Ericsson EN8090 encoders and decoding is done by Ericsson RX1290 decoders on the receiving end. A second transmission pathway is also available for various clients, and the third pathway will be used to transmit a five-channel MCPC feed of HD video for DirecTV Hot Pass. These other services are encoded with Ericsson E5788 encoders.

All of these operations are monitored in a large control room that features six large LCD displays driven by multi-image processors. There are also three Harris multiformat test monitors, along with five Wohler audio monitors. In addition to the Ericsson EN8090 and E5788 encoders, we have 14 Ericsson RX1290 decoders, along with a Sencore multiplexer and decoders. Signals are routed via an Evertz Xenon router. We're also using five Ericsson SM6220 satellite modulators as part of our satellite transmission chain.

All of us at PSSI Global Services/Strategic Television are excited about the roll-out of our newest C-band satellite transmission platform and look forward to servicing NASCAR Media Group and our valued clients for many years to come.

Brian Nelles is a senior vice president with PSSI Global Services, LLC. He may be contacted

For additional information, contact Ericsson at 678-812-6209 or