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TV Globo

Winner of new studio or RF technology — station

Submitted by
GLOBO Comunicação e Participações SA

Runners-up:
Oklahoma Educational TV Authority
Submitted by Axcera

WLII-TV and WSUR-TV
Submitted by AZCAR

Digital terrestrial TV is being launched in Brazil with great success, reaching more than 65 million people in less than two years. However, Brazil is a huge country, and there are rural areas that will never be covered by terrestrial TV. Aiming to better serve the rural communities and digitize the analog satellite signal before analog technology becomes obsolete, TV Globo decided to develop a system targeted for rural areas based on GPS.

Project planning for TV Globo's Digital Television for Rural Areas (TVDR) began in 2005. Checking its location through a GPS module, the set-top box will only yield TV GLOBO's satellite signals in rural areas of Brazil.

In November 2009, this system launched in the Rio de Janeiro rural area and will subsequently be expanded throughout Brazil. TVDR will feature only one satellite national feed, but regional feeds will replace the national feed, region by region. A conditional-access system was developed for this project, linking geo-referenced maps to each regional feed. As each regional feed becomes available, the receivers located in the corresponding region will automatically choose it. If the location is outside Brazil, no signal will be decrypted.

To ensure the launch of the first signal in Rio de Janeiro, the technical team designed, integrated and tested the whole system in detail. The operational team was involved and trained throughout the process to facilitate the start of this new operation. The key components of the system are a conditional-access system from Nagravision, encoders and multiplexers from Cisco, a set-top box from Thomson, and a GPS module from Prime.

TVDR's project team developed a system that will benefit the population of rural areas with digital quality and lend to satellite transmissions the regional aspects of terrestrial TV, while helping to eliminate rights issues and preserve TV GLOBO's business model.