Excellence Award AZCAR Modeo

Category New studio technology — network Submitted by AZCAR Design teamAZCAR:Tom McDonough, sr. consultant, lead proj. eng.; Greg Abel, proj. eng.; Dave Coopey, pro. mgr. Modeo (formerly Crown Castle Mobile Media): Matt Sturgill, VP Pittsburgh operations, Modeo Broadcast Center; Johnny Village, Crown UK technical consultant Technology at work ATCi Simulsat antennas
Avocent AMX5010 KVM
MVP multi-image
500/7700 Series modular
VistaLINK system
2990 L-Band fiber
3000 L-Band fiber
Grass Valley
ARGOS WM9 encoders
Concerto SDI switcher
Encore control
Lazulite management
Omneon Spectrum server
Patriot satellite antennas
Penthera Broadcast
Center ESG server
Telestream Flip Factory

Modeo’s mobile television network: The next-generation broadcast center

Crown Castle International lauched a mobile TV network, Modeo, using 5MHz nationwide spectrum acquired from the FCC.

AZCAR provided systems design and technology integration services. The goal of the project was to develop a DVB-H-based broadcast center that met the challenge of delivering high-quality content to mobile devices.

The greatest design challenge was to bring together the latest in traditional broadcast and next-generation mobile TV technology into a cohesive, effi cient broadcast center supporting dozens of mobile content channels and fi le services.

The facility supports the ingest of many different content types and sources to include both linear and nonlinear content sources delivered by satellite and IP-based transport services. Fixed-mount Patriot antennas and a multibeam Simulsat antenna from ATCi provide simultaneous reception of all satellites in the geostationary arc. All L-band signals are transported from the antenna farm to the broadcast center using Force fi ber interfaces.

Content source channels specifi cally repurposed for the project are streamed via IP using MPEG transport interfaces with FEC, and have provided faultless QoS during trials.

In addition to the linear feed ingestion, fi lebased delivery, encoding, storage and playout is being implemented using an Omneon Spectrum server, as well as Telestream and DRM encryption servers, which will allow fl exibility in the customization of content.

Grass Valley provided the core linear channel compression and IP encapsulation systems. ARGOS encoders are tailored specifi - cally for the demanding compression requirements for mobile platforms. The compression system is deployed in an N+M redundant confi guration, with fully automatic service restoration provided by a Lazulite management platform.

Electronic service and program guides are generated and managed using Penthera Broadcast Center. The Penthera servers inject control and services data into the multiplexed digital transmission stream.

All systems are continuously monitored by a comprehensive control system that includes Evertz VistaLINK, which monitors the baseband and network distribution systems, and Lazulite, which manages the encoding and encapsulation systems. In addition, all incoming and outgoing programs are presented on an Evertz MVP, which provides continuous confi dence monitoring of the service and allows rapid resolution of service queries.

The project was successfully completed in early 2006, with ongoing upgrades and changes supporting shifting network requirements and content channel lineup as Modeo moves from user trials to commercial launch.