Precursor to an Emerging DVB-S3 standard. . .

Link test compares 8PSK DVB-S2 with 16APSK + Clean Channel Technology*

July 20, 2012 – Jacksonville, Florida – Adtec co-hosted a series of down link tests using low symbol rates (0.5, 1, 3 and 5 mega-symbols).  The purpose was to evaluate 16APSK modulation with Newtec Clean Channel Technology* for use by lower cost SDTV and HDTV sports feeds.  Results prove that 16APSK with enhancements (i.e., an emerging DVB-S3 standard) can be suitable for operators who are using 8PSK DVB-S2 feeds today.  The improvements in spectral efficiency and power utilization from an emerging DVB-S3 standard promise to make higher order modulation (16 to 64APSK) available to a wider range of satellite users.  Space segment was provided courtesy of SM2 Sports.  Uplink facilities provided courtesy of Mobile Satellite Connection

Reported by: Admin

16APSK DVB-S3 Link Tests (rev 12.07.26)

* Clean Channel is a trade mark of Newtec

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Link tests probe 32apsk with Clean Channel*

April 26, 2012 – Jacksonville, Florida – Adtec co-hosted a pan North American down link test at 32APSK on 36 MHz. Space segment was provided courtesy of SM2 Sports. Link results were collected from eight downlink sites located throughout the continental US and Canada. A portion of the tests employed Newtec Clean Channel technology to achieve a 5% rolloff. Receivers were 100% DVB-S2 compliant models (Adtec RD60). Results of tests showed a modest gain in performance without interference on adjacent carriers. Future tests to be conducted May 26 and 27 will test Clean Channel technology on the receivers.

Reported by: Admin

Clean Channel Link Tests (rev 12.05.31)

* Clean Channel is a trade mark of Newtec

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Europe tunes in NFL football event Live over 32APSK

OCT 30,2011 TORONTO, CAToday’s NFL game was seen live in Europe over a 32APSK link. Transmitting from 4.6m antenna in Toronto, the signal was carried by NSS7 (22.0°W) in 9Mhz of bandwidth. Transmission started at 16:28 EST. Weather in Toronto was clear at the start of transmission. According to Adrian Hepes, CTO with TV2GO, “We reached the contracted power level and were cleared by SES at 42 W. After the first hour and a half sky got very clouded (no rain) so we increase the power to 52 W This was the level until the and of transmission at 19:30 EST. ” Reporting on the down link sites, Mr. Hepes said “BSkyB received the feed with a 2.4 m dish. Based on the information received from BSkyB the transmission was flawless, They were receiving the signal with a C/N of 17… dB. Sky will provide the receive information.”

Below are RF transmit settings provided by TV2GO.

Modulator: Newtec
Bandwidth: 9 MHz
Modulation: DVB-S2
Constellation: 32APSK
Symbol Rate 7.5 Mbit/s
FEC: 4/5
CODEC: Adtec Digital
Data rate: 28.995 Mbit/s
Format: H264 @ 4.2.2.
Video: 1080i/50
Audio: AES1 Stereo English
AES2 Stereo IS
AES3 Dolby E 5.1 +2
AES4 Mono/Mono AD line

Reported by: Admin

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BSKYB and IMG undertake 32APSK Link Tests

FEB 9, 2011, LONDONToday, IMG World (which holds the international distribution rights for US Football) and BSKYB conducted contribution link tests at 32APSK on NSS7. Tests included single carrier and multiple carriers, with space segments between 3MHz and 18MHz. Tests are published in a report available below. Please direct questions or comments to the report author, Kevin Ancelin from Adtec.


Report: BSKYB_32APSK_Feb09-2011b

Posted in Art and Science, DVB-S2 Adoption, Video Compression | 3 Comments

3-D will drive 32APSK and H264 adoption.

Large broadcasters in the Americas and in Europe have begun testing 3D technologies. In the words of Adrian Hepes, chief technologist at TV2GO in Canada, “3-D is here, to stay.” “I believe 3-D will prove the role and the need of 16 and 32 APSK.” For HDTV transmissions, “full resolution L-eye and R-eye requires more than a 36 MHz transponder space segment”, according to Mr. Hepes. “The high cost for space segment and limited capacity in 54 MHz will justify changing the modulators and demodulators. The savings in the space segment can offset the cost of hardware.”


Interest Article on 3-D Video.

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Which Receivers Support 32APSK Today?

In 2011, I expect to learn of many new receiver products for 32APSK. Only two professional receivers appear to have been widely field tested in 2010.

These include:

1. The AZ-9xx Azimuth receiver series from Newtec (Belgium)
2. The AZ-410 Azimuth broadcast modem from Newtec (Belgium)
3. The RD-60 DSNG IRD receiver from Adtec Digital (USA)

Along with 8PSK and 16APSK transmissions, TV2GO conducted nearly a dozen transatlantic links at 32APSK in 2010. By all accounts, the reliability of this high order modulation were outstanding. Adrian Hepes, CTO at TV2GO, hopes to conduct a 32APSK H264 HDTV link test during the US Superbowl weekend. This link will depend on whether SM2Sports can free up a 9MHz slot to coincide. With two weeks to go, details for this link test have not yet been confirmed.

If you have hands-on experience with comparable 16APSK / 32APSK receivers, please email me or post your comments.


Update: April 20, 2011

I recently had a chance to work with the Ericsson RX8200 Advanced Modular Receiver. My first impression: WOW! The interface and full range of configurable features approach perfection. Sadly, the RD8200 is limited to 16APSK constellation with DVB-S2. Hopefully, Ericsson will remedy this omission in the near future.

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Milestone – First 32APSK Transatlantic Live Link

On Sunday, November 29th, TV2Go sent NBC’s  Sunday Night NFL  on 32 APSK on 9 MHz in parallel with the regular 8PSK path. According to Adrian Hepes, CTO with TV2GO in Canada, the transmission was a success. “We sent 30.229 Mbit/s Vs 20.094 Mbit/s on 8PSK”, said Hepes. “The transmission went flawlessly.”

“TV2GO is transmitting  the NFL for IMG customers. While the NFL is on we have started to test the new technologies available out there.  It’s been more than a year since we are playing with 32 APSK and 16 APSK modulation schemes.  We are gathering data and confidence with every day that goes by.  We are confident this technology will prevail and we are working to determine operation schemes that will improve efficiency and quality of satellite communication.”

“We are also working closely with manufacturing industry to create the hardware necessary for these new frontiers. For more than two years we have develop cooperation with ADTEC ltd. They are the manufacturing company that provide us with, I believe, one of world best encoders – MediaHub 4.2.2 , EN80 and EN81. These are the encoders use for the NFL for the the past two seasons. Results speaks for themselves. Adtec released this year their RD60 decoder. This young machine promises and getting very close to deliver an amazing tool for what I believe will become the next satellite and IP interface box.  Capable to handle on the demodulator side all the 32APSK and 16APSK options  while on  decoder side flies on beautiful H264 4.2.2. video supported by an 8 pair audio card. Applications are countless. My friends from Adtec will like to send an RD 60 to you and then we can expand the 32APSK test in video at 4.2.2 option and Dolby E discrete audio solutions.”

Adrian Hepes, Technical Director at TV2GO.

Link to Jay Versluis post Feb 2, 2010

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Jack-and-Jill went up the hill: A tale about multi-carrier back off, saturation, and little brothers and sisters

Jack-and-Jill went up the hill

A tale about multi-carrier back off, saturation, and little brothers and sisters

In order to be heard in a communication, you need power. You need power in order to overcome the carrier-to-noise problem. Now power is expressed in Watts or dBW but another important metric is the cost to make that power (or as some CTOs like to express it, the number of dB$ it takes to make that power). How do we make power? Well, the question should be “how do we increase power?” because we start of with a tiny amount of power out of the modulator for example say -30 dBm (for those that still think linear that’s a 1/1000th of a mW or 1 nW! ). You might have heard the term EIRP of a carrier. That’s just a complicated term to express with how much power a carrier is radiated to the satellite. A classical EIRP is 70 dBW, again, thinking linear this is 10 Million Watt (beware: the reference is not mW but W, expressed in dBm this EIRP would be 100 dBm). So you see, needing to go from 1 nW to 10 MW, you need a serious amount of amplification, a serious “hill to climb”.

Probably you are wondering about the little brothers and sisters in the title. Well let me explain you how brothers and sisters are created. It’s all about linearity: if you want to amplify something then it needs to pass an amplifier. Now that amplifier has a certain transfer characteristic, a definition of how signals will exit the amplifier. You could make a graph with the input power at the x-axis and the resulting output power on the y-axis. Now you’d expect this to be a nice straight line. Let’s assume an amplifier with a gain of 10 times then a power of 1 W at the input will result in a power of 10 W and a power of 2 W at the input would result in a power of 20 W. As simple as that, a nice straight line. Now one of the specification of an amplifier is its maximum output power. This depends on the type of amplifier and the size of it’s power supply (of course, the added power has to come from somewhere!). Assume that our amplifier has a maximum output power of 100 W. So if you input 10 W, a power of 100 W will come out of the amplifier. But what happens if we input 11 W? Well, the maximum power is 100 W so even in this case the output will be 100W. We call this point saturation, we have driven the amplifier to its maximum. So here’s the hill: you can climb and climb but at certain point you reach the top and you can’t go any further up. The top is flat and stays at the same height. But wait. You can also go over the hill and go down-hill on the other side (you know there where the grass is always greener). That’s exactly what happens within an amplifier too: if you push it over saturation, the output power will gradually decrease.

The transfer curve of an amplifier is not a straight line. At low input powers it is nice and straight, we call this the linear region. But the closer you get to the top (the saturation point) the curve becomes rounded until it peaks and then falls of again down-hill. The region where the curve is not linear is called…. the non-linear region (and who said that engineering was difficult!). Assume that we input a power of 9 W in our amplifier, out comes 90 W. But we are close to the maximum (in the non-linear region) and if we in-crease the power to 9.5 W the output power will not be the expected 95 W but only 94 W. You see, the linear relationship between in and output is gone. We get less power out of the amplifier than we expected, we also call this compression.

So what, you might think. If you need a higher output power you just push a little harder and you’ll eventually reach the desired maximum output power (remember if you push it over the hill, the power will decrease again. But let me explain you a bit more about this non-linear region. A funny thing happens when you pass 2 signals through a non-linear device. Mixing will occur. I guess I could show you this with a lot of mathematical wizardry but you’ll have to believe me on this one (or else you know where to find it on the wikipedia). What will happens is that when you present 2 signals of different frequency at the input, you will get those 2 frequencies at the output but also some mixing products on other frequencies. You will find them at the sum and the difference of these frequencies (so at f1 + f2 and f1 - f2 ). In fact that is something that is used in mixer and up converters. You come in with one frequency, you mix it with another frequency (called a local oscillator) and the output contains both the sum and difference frequencies. You only need to filter out the sum and you have up converted the input frequency (say L-band) to another frequency (for example C or Ku band). We want this to happen in an up converter for sure but do we want this in an amplifier? I guess not, the amplifier basically needs to amplify what is at the input and present it at the output without the presence of any unwanted by-products. When this does happen, some refer to this as creating brothers and sisters at the output. You get it?

Hmm, so Jack and Jill (let’s name our 2 carriers like that for a while) must go up the hill but don’t want to create any brothers and sisters on their way to the top. So what do they have to do? Well they have to stay away from the top; they need to back-off. Et voila, there you have it, the infamous need for “multi-carrier input back-off” from the “saturation point”.

And why is there speak of a saturated transponder then? Well that is just a big fat boy (a carrier so wide that it fills up the entire bandwidth of a transponder) that goes up alone. He has no other carriers around so no chance that there will be brothers and sisters created. This carrier simply cannot mix with any other carrier because he is the only one around. Guess what, this big boy can go much higher up the hil. He can get much closer to the top (get closer to saturation) than in the case of multi-carrier operation. The big carrier can saturate the transponder, meaning that he can use the maximum available power of that amplifier in the satellite. If we were to transmit the same data into 2 separate carriers we would need to back off resulting in a lower output power in the output so you’d need bigger ears (antennas) to be able to receive and decently decode the transmission.

There’s plenty more things to tell about that “receiver and amplifier in the sky” that we call a satellite but that’s all for now folks.

See you later,

Your humble servant, Dave

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Attending IBC 2010….

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DVB-S2 calculator for iPhne

Check it out at and give us your feedback

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