Facilities, capacity in place to handle growing HD satellite demand

The demand for HD satellite capacity has arrived, something which space segment and service providers have awaited for 10 years, said Intelsat regional VP of North America broadcast solutions Ron Rosenthal.

Speaking with ENG Update during IBC2007 in Amsterdam, Rosenthal pointed out that while demand for HD traffic to date had been slow to develop, the lag gave companies like Intelsat ample opportunity to develop teleport and satellite capability to handle the projected load.

The company’s involvement with this summer’s Live Earth concert underscores that capability. “In one single day, Intelsat provided content from seven different continents all in HD for the purpose of global retransmission,” he said. The company handled distribution of the event in HD, as well as contribution from all seven continents.

Those same sorts of capabilities are available for news backhaul, he explained, although HD news feeds, while not new, are still barely out of the cradle. “As the various news organizations have upgraded their studios to HD, they are still currently providing at least 90 percent of their package and their live shots in SD. However, there is an increase in demand right now for HD news feeds,” he said.

According to Rosenthal, even though HD only accounts for 10 percent of news package and live transmissions, it’s a noticeable tick upward from the past. With transmission facilities, fixed uplink satellite space and fiber capacity, Rosenthal said that the pieces were in place to handle the growing demand for HD news transmission.