Peer Profile: Tomaž Lovsin, STN, Slovenia

Briefly describe your facility:STN (Satellite Telecommunications Network) is a provider of solutions for broadcast over satellite. In addition to its cutting-edge facilities, STN is celebrated for its quality of services that include multiple solutions, satellites and platforms.

Expected tech trends: One of the top trends that I look forward to is the evolution of H.265 standard or High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), which is a video compression standard that is a successor to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding). I am particularly interested in the development progress of consumer-grade chips that will be put in the first generation of STBs and their price(s) since I believe that this will be the ultimate driver (or inhibitor) of 4K UHD (3840 pixels by 2160 lines ultra-high definition television). It will also be "fun" to see where the compression vendors are with both the encoders and their professional IRDs.

On the other hand, I am also interested to see how the infrastructure will change in preparation of the upcoming UHD standard. Will the industry remain on the good old and proven SDI interface and there will be no major changes in the infrastructure as such, apart from the new standard of course (3G-SDI replaced by 6G UHD-SDI or 12G UHD-SDI)? Or will there be a shift from coax to fibre? Or a mixture between the two which will require hybrid solutions to be implemented?

All in all I am quite confident that IBC2014 will be primarily focused on 4K UHD when it comes to broadcasting. Only the future will tell whether the standard will be picked up by the industry and consumers, and 4K UHD will be the next-gen HDTV; or it will be a doomed attempt to win the consumers’ hearts to invest in yet another TV set, another STB, and another digital optical disc reader that will be capable of playing UHD content. We will see, but one thing is certain: the future is yet again "exciting."

Biggest tech upgrade: The biggest technical upgrades that we have done at STN recently includes complete system NMS unification. By that I mean that every subsystem – be it receiving farm, compression headend, playout, or RF transmission – is now fully unified under one NMS umbrella. This has been quite a challenge since the task involves many different components from many different vendors to somehow be put under one big, but easy to use, system that provides advanced end-to-end video signal path and QoE monitoring.

The system monitors thousands of channels and devices, using rich graphical representations of the signal path and intelligent alarms management. This so-called ‘monitor by exception’ allows us to focus on specific areas that require attention and thus enables STN to be proactive in delivering quality service while reducing mean time to repair.

Favourite bar, pub or restaurant in Amsterdam: That would be The Oyster Club located on Olympisch Stadion 35, Amsterdam. What can I say; I have a soft spot when it comes to oysters and/or sushi (or both as in the case of this particular restaurant)!

Mark Hallinger