Dual C-, Ku-band vehicle to provide uplink service for HD sports, special event coverage

Satellite Technology Systems will roll out a dual C- and Ku-band uplink truck with HD capability, an industry first according to company president Charles Spoto.
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The STS vehicle offers C- and Ku-band uplink capability. Its 4.6-meter C-band antenna eliminates the possibility of rain fade or exceeding the FCC power limitation and it is built with a double bunk sleeper, allowing STS to man the vehicle with dual driving crews.

Satellite Technology Systems displayed its new 40-foot-long, 36,000-pound dual-band special event satellite uplink truck at the Frontline Communications booth at NAB2004.

The truck, according to STS president Charles Spoto, is the first in the nation to offer separate, simultaneous C- and Ku-band HDTV transmission from the same vehicle.

“Basically, we see the special event market (including sporting events) growing dramatically with the roll-out of high-definition television,” said Spoto. “Since we saw a need for that, we decided to build a rig capable of handling the increased demand.”

The Crystal Lake, IL-based company, which will take delivery of the truck after final system integration and testing in June, is currently in discussions with several networks to provide uplink service from major sporting events later this year.

Besides its physical size, several factors make the new STS truck interesting. First, because the vehicle offers C- and Ku-band uplink capability, it can do double duty at events previously requiring two separate trucks. Second, the 4.6-meter C-band antenna eliminates the possibility of rain fade or exceeding the FCC power limitation. Third, the truck is built with a double bunk sleeper, allowing STS to man the vehicle with dual driving crews. That makes complying with Department of Transportation rules easier and extends the range of the truck to a nationwide service area.

Given the advancement of fiber transmission in the backhaul of television sports, isn’t committing $1.5 million to build the truck a little risky? Absolutely not, according to Spoto.

“Any time there is a special event with fiber, there has to be a truck backing up that fiber,” explained Spoto. “With fiber, there’s a possible problem of backhoe attenuation. You know, when a backhoe cuts the fiber. So, I believe there will always be a role for satellite uplinking from special events.”

For more information, please visit: www.stslivetv.com.

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