Tag Archives: IP

Blending Cellular, Ku-band Satellite Networks Equals Reliability, Says Bogdan Frusina

Bogdan Frusina.

IP newsgathering specialist Dejero and global satellite service provider Intelsat have partnered to offer the TV industry a new service that blends Ku-band satellite and cellular network bandwidth into a one-button-push service for IP news contribution from the field.

Dejero’s CellSat seeks to overcome network congestion problems and spotty cell network coverage to provide news crews in the field with reliable bandwidth.

CellSat combines up to six cellular network connections and an Intelsat Ku-band satellite connection using Dejero’s network blending technology, which dynamically allocates bits across each path to ensure reliable, low-latency IP packet delivery.

Dejero held an embargoed press briefing yesterday. Following the briefing, TVNewsCheck conducted an interview with company founder Bogdan Frusina about CellSat.

In this interview, Frusina explains why the service is necessary, how existing Ka-band users can get on board, what Intelsat brings to the party and how the new service will add another option to relieve network congestion at big events like political conventions.

An edited transcript:

Why are you launching CellSat?

Today, broadcasters have to deal with challenges where you have congested network environments. This solution fixes that. It gives you additional capacity from a satellite network to give you additional bandwidth in a congested environment to ensure you can move video.

You are also dealing with the situation where you have no cell coverage. In that case, you would normally have to book a satellite. With our approach, at the push of a button you have that same technology without the cumbersomeness of booking satellite time.

The other part is you have to look at the operational costs. The operational cost of traditional satellite when compared to this solution is quite expensive. It’s the time and effort to lineup a shot, to make sure you have the proper booking system and you’re in the window you need to be.

As we all know, news happens fluidly, and if it’s a big story it can be very fluid when you are going to go on and off [the satellite]. Therefore you have to book a window that is very large and very inefficient. With the CellSat, solution you only pay for the gigabytes you use.

You can be on the satellite 24/7 and not pay one penny if you don’t use any bytes. So it solves quite a few issues.

Can you elaborate a little bit on the charges as relates to blending bandwidth sources?

When you create video at 5Mb/s, you’re creating it at pretty clear rate. That’s approximately 2.2 GB/hour.

When you are using a non-blended solution, you are effectively transmitting that data across both the links. So you are paying the cell providers and the satellite provider. In a blended environment, it’s one single price per Gigabyte as a blended solution.

What is the latency?

On the satellite-only system it’s about two seconds. If you are dealing with cell and satellite availability at the same time, that can drop to about 1.5 seconds.

CellSat uses a Ku-band satellite connection. What do broadcasters with Ka-band terminals face if they wish to deploy this service?

The very important thing to understand is if we are looking at current Ka solutions what happens is you purchase a certain amount of capacity from a Ka-band provider, and that capacity is available to you at all times during the shot. At the same time, you are also using cellular. So, you are actually paying for both. In our case, you are paying a blended price. You are not paying for one and the other on top of that.

If you have a Ka-band system, depending on the dish size, it is very important to have the option to have a Ku-band [antenna] option from the vendor with the same aperture –be that 1-, 1.2 -or 1.4-meters. If it does, we simply convert it by adding a BUC [block upconverter] and a feed arm to the dish as well as the modem required by the network.

How does a broadcaster control whether the satellite or cellular network is used for any given shot?

It can be done manually or automatically. It’s comes down to a matter of costs. Whenever you implement the satellite part of the combination, it’s more expensive. So, this gives the customer the option to select between a satellite-inclusive or cellular-only solution.

That is the only part the customer is doing. So at the beginning of the shot, the customer decides I am happy, I don’t want to pay anymore, or no, I want the guaranteed shot, so I am willing to pay the blended costs to ensure that the shot gets delivered.

Why did Dejero partner with Intelsat on the CellSat offering?

IntelSat is a global satellite provider. They are one of the most forward-thinking satellite providers in the world today. They tend to look at things in the reality, which is providing ubiquitous connectivity in the field.

They understand moving that connectivity towards one thing, and that’s called IP. The market is converging towards an IP network, and it’s an IP network that will run anywhere between fiber, satellite and cellular connectivity as one single connection or blended as an option.

So the blended solution between the two companies is a natural fit. Ultimately it gives flexibility to our customers in handling their applications over the network.

Will the availability of CellSat diminish the need for the hotspots at big events, such as political conventions or the Super Bowl, that are setup to allow broadcasters to overcome network congestion?

Ultimately what this does is give us the ability to add an additional hotspot and service from Intelsat. It actually will allow us to deploy these hotspots a lot quicker because just like the broadcasters who have trouble with connectivity, so do the carriers.

The carriers don’t have connectivity everywhere, and it is very hard to actually bring it in. It has to be booked months in advance.

In some cases, last minute decisions are made, making it very difficult to roll out connectivity for a particular event. We won’t stop doing the hotspots for additional availability. This will simply make it much simpler in a lot more situations.

You mentioned fiber before. Does that play into this Intel partnership on CellSat?

Yes, one cool thing with Intelsat is they have a global satellite and fiber network as well. It’s one of the largest fiber networks around on top of their satellite ability. That gives us the ability to have direct access into their nodes, and carry information, for example, across the ocean very quickly.

For instances, it’s actually pretty easy to get public internet from Verizon; however, if you are a European broadcaster, your challenge will be to backhaul content, like coverage of the U.S. elections, across the ocean via the internet because the traffic during that time will be significantly higher.

In one instance last year, one particular broadcaster in Denmark experienced a lot of dropouts during their election coverage just because they tried to use the public internet for their backhaul.

One of the benefits of Intelsat is you can actually use a private fiber network to carry the payload across the ocean to ensure the bandwidth is always available, which the public internet sometimes can’t deliver.

So, is the CellSat offering international?

It is launched as of Aug. 23 and is available to purchase from Dejero in the United States. As far as global deployment, Intelsat and Dejero are evaluating the deployment schedule and will deploy more regions through 2018 and may run into 2019 in some regions. But we are trying to focus on the 2018 for key deployment areas such as Europe.

(Editor’s note: This is the latest installment in TVNewsCheck’s series of interviews with top executives at IP newsgathering companies. Previous interviews include: “Remote Revolution: IP Transport Is Key To Reducing Production Costs, Says Paul Shen” and “LiveU Readies Support For Trump Inauguration Coverage.”

Maryland Public TV Prepares For IP Migration

Maryland Public Television has deployed a Utah Scientific Utah-400 Series 2 hybrid enterprise router at the core of its recent facility upgrade, the company announced.

The new router will enable the broadcaster to make an “inevitable” migration to IP operations, said Chuck Heffner, VP or broadcast systems. However, like many broadcasters, Maryland Public Television doesn’t have the resources “to make a wholesale, overnight switch to IP,” he said.

The hybrid IP-baseband design of the router was one of the reasons the broadcaster selected the new switcher.

The Utah-400 replaces two legacy routers that were about 17 years old.

Systems integrator Digital Video Group designed, sold and installed the router.

More information is available on the Utah Scientific website.

Utah Scientific Teams Up With Arista Networks On Hybrid Switching

Utah Scientific on Mondat announced it is teaming up with Arista Networks to help broadcasters and other media professionals transition to next-generation IP switching and routing solutions.

The company is at work developing solutions that integrate its hybrid router technology with Arista Networks’ switching platform. The move is intended to pave the way to IP broadcasting.

More information is available on the Utah Scientific website.


Teen Race Driver To Livestream To Facebook Live

How many times have you told your teenager not to text and drive? What would you say about livestreaming to Facebook Live and driving -at 185 mph?

If you were the parents of 19-year-old racecar driver Devin O’Connell, you would probably say something like: “Good thinking, son.”

When O’Connell takes to the track at Claremont Speedway in New Hampshire June 2 for the Granite State Pro Stock Series, he will livestream to Facebook Live from the cockpit of his racecar using an IP streaming newsgathering transmitter from TVU Networks, the company said this week.

O’Connell’s car will be outfitted with a TVU One mobile IP transmitter, and it will stream race action as O’Connell runs the 100-lap race at speeds of 185 mph.

Livestreaming to Facebook Live will help O’Connell raise awareness of autism, a cause that’s close to his heart. As a young child, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

The teen race driver has won several titles, including the U.S. Legend Cars Semi-Pro Road Course World Champion, U.S. Legend Cars Semi Pro Asphalt National Champion, Stafford Motor Speedway U.S. Legend Cars Track Champion and the Allison Legacy Touring Series Champion.

O’Connell will livestream the remainder of his 2017 season races to Facebook Live with the TVU One transmitter. The company is sponsoring Devin throughout the 2017 racing season.

More information is available on the TVU Networks website.

Membership Has Its Privileges

Last week’s Tech Thursday article on SMPTE ST-2110 professional video IP standard and a supplemental blog posting on VidTrans 2017’s upcoming 2110 interoperability event prompted one of Playout’s followers to ask if SMPTE plans to publish the standard before the interop, or “will it be an interop test on an unpublished standard.”

I am sharing the answer in the blog for others who might want the answer.

After a couple of calls to SMPTE and some back-and-forth emailing, I received an answer from SMPTE director of standards Howard Lukk, via Brad Gilmer, president of Gilmer& Associates and the executive director of the Video Services Forum.

The answer: To get a copy of the draft ST-2110 standard, one must be a member of the SMPTE Standards Committee and the 32NF Technical Committee.

So, to the reader who inquired, the 2110 draft may be published, but only those who meet the above requirements will be able to get their hands on it.

On a related, but different note: The official designation for the standard is SMPTE ST-2110, not SMPTE 2110 as I referred to it as last week. The “ST” designation means “standard” in SMPTE parlance.

Phil Myers Joins Snell Advanced Media

Phil Myers

Phil Myers

Phil Myers has joined Snell Advanced Media (SAM) to manage the company’s IP product range.

Myers comes to SAM with more than 20 years of experience in product management and business development. Co-founder of Oddfish films in 1997, Myers has held technology leadership positions at CVP Group, Pinnacle Systems and Sony.

Most recently he was responsible for architecting digital media workflows and IP solutions within the EMEA region for Grass Valley.

More information is available on the SAM website.

Lon Neumann Joins Wheatstone

Lon Neumann

Lon Neumann

Lon Neumann has joined Wheatstone as a sales engineer with responsibility for the company’s line of audio consoles and IP routing system for TV.

Neumann has extensive industry experience and has authored the digital audio chapter in the American Society of Cinematographers’ AC Video Manual. He has worked as a senior technical consultant for THX, regional manager and field applications engineer for Linear Acoustic and regional manager for NVision.

Currently, Neumann is secretary of the SMPTE committee developing new interoperability standards for object-based audio system in digital cinema.

More information is available on the Wheatstone website.

For Some European Broadcasters, NFL Underscores Potential Of IP

Maurizio Cimelli, managing director of Deluxe MediaCloud.

Maurizio Cimelli, managing director of Deluxe MediaCloud.

Deluxe offers broadcasters an alternative to managing their own master control and playout complete with commercial insertion, branding and all of the other accoutrements of television.

At the core of the service offering is IP transport and virtualization of functions traditionally done with standalone black boxes running proprietary software in equipment racks.

Shortly before IBC 2016, I connected with, managing director of Deluxe MediaCloud, on the telephone with one simple goal. I wanted to get a sense before I went to Amsterdam of how broadcasters are responding to IP and virtualization as an alternative to traditional broadcast functions, like playout, master control, MAM and delivery.

What follows is a portion of that interview. In it, Cimelli says he has seen lightbulbs start to go off in the minds of some broadcasters -particularly in Europe- about how IP can improve their workflows and businesses.

Read On

Vista To Build 4K, IP-based Studios

Vista Studios a start-up broadcast and production studio in Playa Vista, Calif., west of Los Angeles has selected SAM (Snell Advanced Media) for the new state-of-the-art 4K, IP-based studio it is building, SAM announced today.

The new studio will house four production stages and four production control rooms and will offer conversion services, routing, camera recording, editing and playout origination.

The SAM 4K and IP technology at the core of the new facility includes:

  • Sirius 850 multi-format router and IQ modular equipment
  • Kahuna 9600 production switcher
  • Morpheus and Momentum automation
  • ICE channel-in-a-box
  • Alchemist XF format and frame-rate conversion software

More information is available on the SAM website.


Imagine Communications To Hold IP in Media Sessions at IBC 2016

Imagine Communications at IBC 2016 in Amsterdam once again is hosting Image Live!, a free lineup of sessions put on together with its tech partners on various issues related to IP in media.

The sessions will take place at the Imagine Communications stand (4.A01) at the Rai Exhibition & Convention Center. The schedule is:

Friday, Sept. 9

  • 1-1:45 p.m. AIMS Panel – A Look at Today’s IP Implementations – put on in partnership with AIMS.
  • 5-5:30 p.m. Powering Your Business With Next-Generation Ad Management – put on in partnership with Sky.

Saturday, Sept. 10

  • Noon-12:30 p.m. Unified Distribution: Delivering Content to All Screens – put on in partnership by Imagine Communications.
  • 5-5:30 p.m.  The Latest in Cloud Technologies: Driving Online Video Streaming to an All-Time High- put on in partnership with Microsoft.

Sunday, Sept. 11

  • Noon-12:30 p.m. Cisco + Imagine: Cybersecurity for Media Systems.
  • 5-5:30 p.m. Live Production in an IP World, put on in partnership with Cisco and EVS

Monday, Sept. 12

  • Noon-12:30 p.m. Moving Media Processing and Playout to the Cloud – Use Cases and Benefits, put on in partnership with Microsoft.
  • 3-3:30 p.m.  Monetization and Unified Distribution: Generating Revenue Across All Screens.

For those at IBC 2016 who are planning to attend, there are a couple of points to note. First, the topics of some of the sessions have changed from the printed schedule the company is making available at its booth. The session topics listed above are correct.

Second, according to company CMO Glodina Connan-Lostanlen, whom I spoke with today after the Imagine Communications IBC press conference, lunch will be served with the early afternoon sessions, and drinks will follow the later sessions.

To learn more, visit the company’s website.