SUIRG pushes for broader adoption of carrier ID

Efforts to build broad support for a method of inserting carrier identification into video signals transmitted via satellite have gained momentum since the first successful demonstration of the concept as part of a December 2006 test involving a satellite newsgathering (SNG) transmission from Washington, D.C., according to the head of an industry group that works to reduce satellite interference.

According to Robert Ames, president of the Satellite Users Interference Reduction Group (SUIRG), efforts are under way to work with MPEG encoder companies to include satellite carrier identification. “At the last WBU/ISOG meeting in Croatia, a Link Research representative took on the responsibility of working with the MPEG encoder companies to get this inserted into their standard,” Ames said.

Link Research has played an instrumental role in advancing the concept of carrier identification, he said. In 2007, the company developed the software required for the ID, which took shape as a marketable product as part of the Advent Communications DVE-5000 satellite exciter.

While Link Research is “willing to give” the underlying open architecture software to other vendors, more is needed to ensure broader adoption of the carrier ID, Ames said. “You can build all of these systems and have the capability, but if companies do not put this requirement into their specifications, then no one is going to do it,” he said. The group has begun to push the user community to demand the carrier identification capability when it writes technical specifications for the equipment they are acquiring.

Among the strongest supporters for the carrier ID are those in the SNG community, Ames said. Given the transient nature of satellite newsgathering, it’s easy to understand why. Not tied to a fixed location, an SNG uplink can be just about anywhere, making the task of finding an errant, interfering signal that much tougher.

With the carrier ID, however, a world of data, including type of uplink, owner and —with the addition of GPS technology — longitude and latitude of the uplink, can be included in satellite transmissions, so the source of an interfering signal can be quickly identified and shut down.

According to Ames, 85 percent of all satellite interference is unintentional. Broad adoption of the carrier ID has the potential to produce a dramatic reduction in the harmful effects of those mistakes, he said.

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