Ericsson Voyager II platform packs more features in smaller package

Following the current demand for smaller, lighter and more fully featured devices for remote news trucks and other contribution-from-the-field applications, Ericsson has developed its fifth-generation DSNG encoding platform, Voyager II, which offers a wealth of features in a 1RU box. It allows users to scale their event coverage from SD to HD, and even multichannel and 3-D, and deliver it across a multitude of satellite and terrestrial networks.

Leveraging a new power-efficient chassis that accommodates a series of six (optional) hot-swappable modules, the Voyager II includes input confidence monitoring (via a 4in color display) and a full-function front panel interface to access a variety of controls. This modular design enables customers to buy the box with certain features and then add new ones, via software download, as the need arises.

The new Voyager packs power and functionality into its compact chassis, offering a built-in DVB-S/DVB-S2 modulator, low latency, the ability to compress multiples channels of content in both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC compression, and 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 (at 10-bit signal processing) at resolutions up to and including 1080p50/60 (for high-quality archiving and post production). With its two channels of high-quality encoding and multiple types of outputs, Voyager II can be configured with a mix of different formats and is ideal for many high-quality applications, including 3-D productions.

“The real innovation here is that we've packed so much functionality into a multistream, multichannel chassis that's smaller than our fourth-generation box, yet offers nearly twice the operational benefits,” said Matthew Goldman, vice president of technology of Solution Area TV at Ericsson.

The Voyager II can be used for two separate HD feeds or full-resolution left- and right-eye 3-D content distribution, using an optional feature that keeps the left- and right-eye feeds in sync from the acquisition point to the content distribution facility. The images can then be backhauled via satellite or fiber (using the ASI or IP protocols) out to the headend or main distribution facility for transmission to consumers' homes. In fact, users can send the output streams over satellite, ASI and IP simultaneously for delivering content to multiple platforms.

“We've taken all of the things we do with our existing contribution encoder and packed it up with a satellite modulator and an enhanced front-panel control with confidence monitoring,” Goldman said. “It's all about providing as much value and flexibility for the customer as possible. In fact, this new Voyager II is the result of a lot of customer feedback regarding what broadcasters need and don't need in their DSNG trucks.”

Ericsson also makes the RX8200 satellite receiver as a companion device for the new Voyager II, giving users all of the mirroring functions for the encoder and receiver to work in tandem and support the new features.

See Ericsson at the 2011 NAB Show in Booth SU3308.