DVB News 110 -1B
From: Satellite Journal <71165.2032@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 12 Oct 96 02:43:55 EDT
From firstname.lastname@example.org Sat Oct 12 02: 48:02 1996
INTELSAT Announces Results
INTELSAT announced results from an extensive round of
digital compression interoperability testing. The testing
was held last month at INTELSAT's Technical Laboratories in
Washington, DC, in conjunction with the Inter-Union
Satellite Operations Group, and involved nine manufacturers
of MPEG-2 digital compression equipment.
The testing was voluntary and open to all manufacturers
in the industry. It was undertaken to promote growth of
digital television equipment transmission. Initially in the
occasional use and SNG environments, and to better the
industry's understanding of the interoperability between the
equipment of different manufacturers.
INTELSAT had undertaken a preliminary round of similar
testing in May 1996, and found that the open-ended nature of
the MPEG-2 (Main Profile at Main Level) specifications
required the establishment of common operating parameter
sets (e.g., data rate, FEC ratio, modulation scheme) to
allow for the true testing of the interoperation between
equipment types. While six operational parameter sets were
subsequently selected, it was determined that it would be
most practical to focus on just one of these for the August
The new test results showed successful interoperation
of encoders and decoders from all participating
manufacturers under INTELSAT's laboratory conditions.
However, continued development will be necessary for
universal interoperation of all codecs under fixed baseband
Vince Walisko, INTELSAT's Group Director for Global
Broadcast and Special Services, noted: "These results show
us that the various manufacturers' equipment can operate
with each other, given laboratory conditions. These tests
are quite important for all aspects of the global occasional
use, contribution and SNG broadcast community_by opening up
new types of programming and making collection possible from
previously inaccessible locations. We also see broadcasters
and earth station operators using these results as a key
element in making their equipment purchasing decisions."
Jeff Kimble, INTELSAT Director of Special Services and co-
ordinator of the testing, added, "Results of this nature
move us closer to the ideal `plug and play' environment that
everyone is looking for."
Tony Uyttendaele, Senior Advisor of Science &
Technology at Cap Cities/ABC, and chairman of an ITU SNG
Working Group confirmed the importance of these results to
the broadcasting community. "This testing truly brings the
MPEG-2 standards off the drawing board and into the
field_demonstrating that these standards are serving their
purpose in making digital video transmission globally
accessible," Uyttendaele said.
Also participating was Tony Naets, Head of TV News
Division of the European Broadcasting Union_the entity that
provides program contribution services to many of Europe's
leading television networks. Naets stated that these tests,
"will have a major impact on how news, sports and special
events are reported, by allowing greater versatility in how
and where stories are collected. These results give us and
our network customers the security in knowing that we will
get more of the stories and programs we need. INTELSAT is
doing a great service in leading the whole digital
television industry forward by taking this type of
INTELSAT views this testing as an on-going process and
plans another round in early 1997, with the focus on
different operating parameter sets. They anticipate that
the manufacturers will share their views on the value of
this voluntary testing procedure, and more manufacturers
will participate in future rounds. In fact, additional
manufacturers have announced that they will be joining the
next set of tests.
Ken McCann, Video Product Development Manager of
Symbionics, a specialist instrumentation and design services
company which supplied MPEG-2 test equipment for the tests,
noted that, "the INTELSAT interoperability tests are
providing a real service to the manufacturers by opening up
a dialogue between different compression equipment
manufacturers and expanding the knowledge base about how
their own equipment interoperates in the real world. This
level of information has never been available on such a wide
basis before the INTELSAT tests, and I would imagine that
most manufacturers will want to join in."
Manufacturer Products Software
California PROGENY Digital Television Exciter Exciter Version 1.310A
Microwave/ PROGENY Commercial Grade IRD IRD
Operating System: n/a
DiviCom Single Program Encoder System
ComStream CM3000 MCPC Wide Band Encoder: 3.90
Modulator Decoder: 2.079
Operating System: DOS 3.11
DMV System 3000 Professional Encoder:
Satellite Receiver - (Decoder) 3.0
System 3000 6U (Encoder) Modulator:
System 3000 DVB Digital Firmware 4.4
System 3000 Multiplexer MCC: 2.3
Control Computer Multiplexer:
Operating System: IRD: l.9.B.N.,
DMV System 3000 Low Bit Rate
DMV SNG Build Standard: 1.4 Ram
Operating System: n/a 2.152TT
PHILIPS DVS 3110 Video (Encoder) Video
MPEG-2 Multiplexer TokenMux RO.5
MPEG-2 IRD (Receiver/Decoder) IRD 3810
IRD 3824 Rl.5
Operating System: Windows NT
Scientific- PowerVu System Encoder:
Operating System: Decoder:
PCC1000V on DOS Version
TANDBERG TT 1100 MPEG-2 DVB Professional 2.152TT
Operating System: n/a
TIERNAN TE3 MPEG-2 (Encoder) Encoder:
COMM TVRM-15R (Modulator)
TDR7 MPEG-2 IRD (Decoder) Decoder:
Operating System: Windows `95
TV/COM Compression NetWORKs(TM)
Universal VC: Version 2.2/3.1;
Services Processor (USP)
(Encoder) Version 4.4;
QPSK (Receiver) CM: Version
QPSK Modulator QRTI/TIRP: Version
Operating System: NMS
WEGENER MPEG-2 VIDEO Transmitter Model Encoder
COMM DVT2000 (Encoder) IRD REV 2.1
MPEG-2 IRD Model DVR2000
Operating System: n/a
MPEG - 2 DVB TEST EQUIPMENT
SYMBIONICS Symbionics SV953 Stream Station
Stream Analyser 2.0
PES Analyser 1.0
Stream Monitor 1.001
Stream Player 4.017
Operating System: Windows NT 4.0
Tektronix Tektronix MTS 100 MPEG Transport Version
Stream Analyser MPEG-2 System
DVB 25 Pin Parallel, ECL, TTL,
RS-422, MPEG-2 Transport
L-Band using Wegener
DVR2000 IRD Data/Store
DVB Table Editor and
Operating System: Windows NT Coding/Decoding
Canal+ and Discreet Logic
Discreet Logic announced that its VAPOUR virtual set
technology was demonstrated in conjunction with Canal+, a
pay television channel in Paris, to deliver a new look for
live broadcasting and sports reporting from the
International Broadcast Centre in Atlanta.
Canal+ broadcasted more than 22 hours of coverage per
day in a 17-day broadcast "marathon" that began on July 19.
Throughout the sporting event, Canal+ offered its French
audience highlights of every sports venue. To achieve this,
it built two television studios in the International
Broadcast Centre, one featuring a full VAPOUR virtual set.
The facility also featured a graphics suite and many
editing suites, which assembled footage from the different
VAPOUR is Discreet Logic's virtual set system,
combining an intuitive 3-D scene builder with tools to
optimise scenes for real-time rendering at NTSC and PAL
frame rates. With the addition of a GLASS precision camera
head, a virtual scene viewpoint can accurately
track/pan/tilt/zoom/focus parameters of a real camera.
VAPOUR was selected because of the flexibility it offered to
the artists and production crew.
"The virtual set broadcast was intense, with no room
for error," said Daniel Thomas, director of engineering and
maintenance for Canal+. "We had to go with a technology we
could believe in and needed support from a company that we
could count on. Discreet Logic and VAPOUR were the obvious
choice for the project. Now, looking back after the three
weeks of broadcasting_and numerous cups of coffee_we'd do it
again in a second."
Jerome Revon, producer for Canal+, commented: "Canal+
was the first French television station to work with this
technology, and it was a very positive experience. Philippe
Desert, design director, and I, worked several weeks with
Discreet Logic in Paris to prepare for the broadcast and
design the virtual sets. We look forward to seeing virtual
set technology in the future as we've only just begun to
explore the possibilities."
The Physical Installation
The facility was divided in four main areas:
u Studio 1 and Control Room. This is the Virtual Studio
made of a U-shaped green screen. The Control Room was used
for live virtual set production.
u Studio 2 and Control Room. A standard television
production studio replicated a newsroom environment. The
host sat at a triangular-shape table surrounded by remotely
controlled cameras. Sports reporters each had their own
desk in the studio.
u Central Equipment Room. This room contained the
central routing switcher that connected the television
studios, the editing suites, the graphics suite, a series of
editing VTRs and non-linear editing systems. This is where
the Silicon Graphics Inc. Onyx InfiniteReality and Onyx
RealityEngine2 supercomputers and the video equipment were
installed that composed the three camera chains.
The Virtual Studio
The Virtual Studio was built in a room approximately 20
feet by 20 feet, featuring a U-shaped green screen that
covered most of three walls. From this relatively small
space, viewers were treated to a main set that projected a
rooftop scene featuring the skyline of Atlanta as a backdrop
and a sky that changed from morning to night over the course
of the day. The second set was a techno-style structured
set with an animated video wall behind the talent.
"Space is an expensive commodity in any event
broadcasting venue, so to leverage a small space and
broadcast a set of grand proportions demonstrates the bottom
line value of the technology," said Walter Ferraro, manager,
Broadcast Products for Discreet Logic. "Broadcasters not
bounded by physical limitations the computer-generated set
can float, as shown in the Canal+ broadcast, or be of an
unlimited size or feasibility."
The three-camera set-up enabled numerous views as well
as the calibration to pan in 3-D space. Camera 1 was
installed on a GLASS, head mounted at eye level. The
platform on which it was mounted was equipped with wheels
compatible with Panther tracks. For this particular camera,
only four GLASS sensors were installed (PAN, TILT, ZOOM,
Discreet Logic pre-calibrated a number of pre-
established camera positions, and loaded the respective data
when the camera was moved. The platform was also used to
support eight video monitors used by the host to monitor
different video feeds coming from the broadcast venues.
Camera 2 featured the most complex set-up. It was
mounted on a GLASS head, which in turn was mounted on a
Movie Tech Leggerro Dolly, lowering arm and Panther track
combination. Six sensors were used in this configuration:
PAN, TILT, ZOOM, FOCUS, ELEVATION and TRUCK. This dolly
configuration offered the best demonstration of the 3-D
effect created by lateral displacement of the camera.
Camera 3 was a fixed-position camera. The camera's
position was measured against reference points and the
resulting values were loaded into VAPOUR for a perfect match
between the real and the virtual worlds.
Use of VAPOUR and FROST, which is the stand-alone, real-
time rendering component of the system, has spread across
the world in broadcast and post production applications,
with a wide range of multi-camera installations world-wide.
In Germany, two live daily programs use VAPOUR_"Hugo," a
children's game show on Kabel-1, and the "18:30 Daily News"
DIGITAL VIDEO ANTICOPY IC FROM SGS-THOMSON
SGS-THOMSON Microelectronics, working closely with the
Macrovision Corporation, has developed one of the first
integrated circuits in the world that protects digital video
systems, such as the forthcoming DVD players, from copyright
pirates who illegally copy films, music and other material.
It is estimated that the first DVD players will reach
the market later this year. These players will allow
consumers to view movies on CD-sized disks that give high
quality sound and pictures. Copyright owners, such as the
major Hollywood movie studios, are concerned that the high
quality of images could encourage home copying and have
asked DVD manufacturers to add an effective copy protection
These requirements have been developed in conjunction
with new copyright protection legislation that may be
introduced into the US Congress in late 1996 or in 1997.
The anti copy system, called Macrovision 7.0, works by
modifying the video signal so that it can be viewed on a TV
set but not recorded on a VCR. Any attempt to record a copy-
protected signal results in a copy which is unviewable.
Twenty seven consumer electronics companies world-wide
have already been licensed to use the technology embodied in
the STV0117A, which meets the Macrovision revision 7.0
anticopy process for the NTSC standard.
C-Cube's Solution Selected By SONY
C-Cube Microsystems Inc. announced that SONY
Corporation has selected C-Cube's CL9100 MPEG-2 digital
video set-top decoder as the digital video engine for the
company's Digital CS Broadcast Tuner DST-500JS set-top
receiver. SONY's set-top receivers are being used for
Japan's PerfecTV program, which will deliver 70 channels of
television programming and 100 radio channels to PerfecTV
subscribers, offering a variety of video entertainment,
educational and interactive services not previously
available in Japan.
SONY's Digital CS Broadcast Tuner DST-500JS
incorporates a communication modem for Pay Per View (PPV),
TV shopping and other interactive operations such as
participating in quiz programs. The receiver offers an
advanced Electronic Program Guide (EPG) to allow users to
easily locate and select channels by displaying 16
promotional channels or 20 programs from a selected area of
interest such as sports, news, Japanese movies, foreign
SONY's receiver also provides two S-Video/Audio
outputs, which enables the receiver to connect to a
television or VCR. The versatile design provides an
upgradable platform, allowing additional communications
functionality to be added.
C-Cube's CL9100 is a single-chip, RISC-based solution
specifically designed to decode MPEG-2 main-level, main-
profile; MPEG-2 main-level, simple-profile; and MPEG-1.
This digital video set-top decoder is fully compliant with
MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and DVB standards, eliminating the
interoperability issues faced by many hardware developers.
The CL9100 provides on-screen display capabilities,
efficient memory usage, advanced error concealment
functionality and a high-level command-based host interface.
The programmability of the solution allows broadcasters to
add end-user oriented features to broadcast services using
the CL9100. The CL9100 also supports NTSC, PAL and film.
Scientific-Atlanta Expands PowerVu Digital System
Scientific-Atlanta is expanding the versatility of its
popular PowerVu digital video compression system with the
addition of a headend satellite receiver and a business
satellite receiver. Each unit is targeted for a unique
marketplace and offers specialised features and pricing
designed to meet specific customer needs.
The PowerVu Headend Satellite Receiver is an economical
alternative to the company's full-featured commercial
satellite receiver. The headend satellite receiver serves
those applications that don't require extra features such as
multiple audio channels, MPEG 2 transport outputs, digital
video and audio outputs, and high-speed data capabilities.
It supports commercial applications such as SMATV (Satellite
Master Antenna Television) while offering multilingual
subtitling, and cue tone equivalent signals for insertion of
The PowerVu Business Satellite Receiver provides an
ideal solution for business television (BTV) users. Since
BTV applications typically require fewer features than
commercial applications, both the price and the feature set
of the business satellite receiver are intended to make this
unit affordable and practical. This receiver is a set-top
unit that sits on a television in a conference room and
provides basic audio and video output to support training,
employee communications, product updates and overviews,
marketing programs, or other business topics.
The business satellite receiver, which is operated
using a hand-held remote control, also includes a super high-
speed 13Mbit data port. The port's throughput speed is
ideal for batch file transfers, downloading catalogue or
service manual updates, and connecting to the Internet.
Many BTV customers use their network during non-peak
business hours as a high-speed data pipeline for handling a
variety of business applications.
Orion Atlantic Launches International Internet
Orion Atlantic, L.P., has agreed with DIGEX, Inc.
(Beltsville, Maryland), to resell DIGEX's Internet access
services internationally. The agreement gives DIGEX access
to the high-growth international marketplace, and enables
Orion to offer an increased range of value added services to
its corporate customers.
Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Orion will
offer private label Internet access services using the DIGEX
network to corporate customers throughout the Orion 1
satellite's European coverage area. Orion 1 covers all of
Western, Eastern and Central Europe, and portions of the
Former Soviet Union.
The Internet services to be provided by Orion under the
agreement include high-speed (64 kbps-45 Mbps) Internet
connectivity, World Wide Web browsing, large data file
transfer, E-mail, and newsfeeds. The agreement also
provides for the private-labelling by Orion of such value-
added services as World Wide Web server hosting and Internet
General Instrument Corporation and WorldGate
General Instrument Corporation and WorldGate
Communications, Inc. have signed an agreement for WorldGate
to develop TV On-Line, its new Television- Internet access
application, to run on GI's DCT-1000 digital and CFT 2200
analogue set-top terminals.
TVOL will provide cable subscribers access to the World
Wide Web via their TV screens at a much higher speed (up to
one thousand times faster with GI's DCT-1000 digital set top
terminal) than traditional Internet access via telephone
modem. A low-cost wireless keyboard will allow them to
receive all traditional Internet features including e-mail.
TVOL also includes "Channel Hyperlinking", a feature that
enables subscribers to instantly access web sites,
newsgroups and other Internet options that provide more
details on an aspect of the material they are viewing that
particularly interests them.
Orion Network Systems
Orion Network Systems, Inc. and PSINet Inc. have signed
a multi-year agreement under which Orion affiliate Orion
Atlantic, L.P. is to provide international backbone network
transmission for PSINet's recently announced PSINet Europe
Internet services venture.
PSINet recently announced the formation of a joint
venture with The Chatterjee Group, a Soros Fund Management
affiliate, to build a $100 million state-of-the-art Internet
network across Europe and to begin offering PSINet Internet
related services to individual and corporate users in Europe
by mid 1997.
Under the terms of the agreement, Orion Atlantic is to
provide very high speed network connections to PSINet
between existing and future PSINet Internet points-of-
presence (POPs) within Europe and between Europe and the
U.S. via the Orion 1 satellite. The potential value of the
contract to Orion is in excess of $10 million, based on
PSINet Europe's projections, according to Orion Network
Systems Chief Executive Officer W. Neil Bauer. Specific
financial terms of the agreement between PSINet and Orion
were not disclosed.
Multivision Acquires Additional Pay TV System
Multivision Communications Corp. has acquired TeleVideo
Codificado S.A., a large pay TV system operator in La Paz,
Bolivia. Televideo operates a fully addressable (wireless
MMDS) pay TV system and serves more than 5,600 subscribers
in La Paz. The acquisition of TeleVideo will strengthen
Multivision's current operations in La Paz, Bolivia. Its
licenses cover an additional seven cities, with total
households in excess of 150,000.
The acquisition increases the Company's existing
subscriber base to more than 17,000 with a total potential
market in excess of 900,000 households. The transaction
provides an opportunity to develop additional license areas
and strengthens Multivision's position as the country's
leading provider of satellite programming and premium
Pasifik Satelit Nusantara
P.T. Pasifik Satelit Nusantara reported its Asia
Cellular Satellite is progressing steadily, with the launch
of the Garuda satellite targeted in late 1998 as scheduled.
It is expected that the selection of launch vehicle will be
finalised in the third quarter of the year. Meanwhile,
negotiations with Ericsson on the development of the dual-
mode handset have already reached a mature stage, with
formal agreement expected by late 1996.
VLSI Technology Announces VISTA NTSC/PAL Video
VLSI Technology, Inc. have announced the VES7000
NTSC/PAL video encoder, an integral element of its just-
announced VISTA (VLSI Integrated Set-Top Architecture)
System-Level Silicon solution for the digital set-top box.
The VES7000 video encoder generates a standard analogue
television video signal in full compliance with existing
television standards and specifications (CCIR-624/SMPTE-
170M). It interfaces gluelessly to the VES6000 MPEG 2
The VES7000 video encoder is a key building block in
VLSI's VISTA System-Level Silicon set-top solution. Digital
set-top designs attain their large number of available
channels and high-quality audio and video from the
processing and decoding of broadcast digital MPEG 2 signals.
Even with today's state-of-the-art digital set-top box, the
final output medium for this digital data is still an
analogue television set. The VES7000 receives this high-
quality digital information and converts it into NTSC or PAL
standard analogue signals, allowing the analogue television
to accurately display the data generated inside the digital
The VES7000 features all-digital video encoding and
fully supports the NTSC and PAL standards. Integrated is an
internal digital subcarrier synthesiser, enabling the system
clock frequency to be set anywhere from 24 MHz to 30 MHz.
The VES7000 supports data input compliant with CCIR-601/656,
supporting both 8-bit 4:2:2 and 24-bit 4:4:4 formats for RGB
and YCrCb. Two-times oversampling of the output signals are
provided as simultaneous S-video/RGB or SCART output. Three
9-bit resolution output DACs have also been integrated.
Some other features include complete on-chip video
timing, master/slave synchronisation, switchable black level
pedestal and a slave-only I2C interface port.
The VES7000 supports both 50 and 60 Hz NTSC and (M)
NTSC standards as well as versions B, D, G, H and I of PAL,
(N) PAL. By supporting these NTSC and PAL standards, the
VES7000 is able to encode analogue television signals used
in a large majority of the world's markets, including North
and South America, Europe, Japan and Southeast Asia.
Future versions of this device will also support SECAM,
the third and final standard used in countries such as
France and Russia as well as support for Macrovision
anticopy, teletext insertion and closed caption insertion.
VLSI Unveils VISTA Architecture
VLSI Technology, Inc. announced the VISTA (VLSI
Integrated Set-Top Architecture) System-Level Silicon
solution positioning the company as one of the leading
single-source, set-top silicon suppliers in the world.
VISTA is VLSI's comprehensive suite of digital video
devices, application program interface (API) software and
reference platforms, providing the full range of components
necessary to build a complete digital set-top box. With
VLSI's advanced CMOS process technology and FSB (functional
system block) design methodology, the VISTA architecture
will enable the implementation of the industry's long-
awaited, super-integrated, single-chip set-top box.
The VISTA architecture is comprised of: network
interface (VISTA NI) devices performing demodulation and
forward error correction; system controller (VISTA SC)
devices featuring the advanced RISC machine (ARM) processor
and MPEG 2 demultiplexing and decryption; and audio/video
(VISTA AV) devices providing MPEG 2 audio/video
decompression and NTSC/PAL video encoding . The VISTA API
provides a software "wrapper" that eases and accelerates set-
top software development efforts for the manufacturer, while
the VISTA ENVISION and PROFILE reference platforms assist
the set-top designer in evaluation and design. VLSI, with
its VISTA architecture, will provide the market with high-
quality, long-term and cost-effective digital video
solutions through continuing System-Level Silicon
integration and feature enhancement.
Vyvx and Instant Video Technologies
Vyvx Inc. announced a marketing alliance agreement with
Instant Video Technologies Inc. (IVT) of San Francisco, the
leading developer of Burstware products and applications
used for the faster-than-real-time transmission of
multimedia content over telecommunication networks,
satellites and the Internet.
The companies will jointly market connectivity to the
Vyvx fibre-optic network and Burstware to the post-
production, television, film and music industries in
California, New York, and the United Kingdom.
Discreet Logic Inc. announced that Fox Tape (Los
Angeles) is the first broadcast facility to purchase FIRE,
the company's non-compressed, on-line, non-linear digital
video editing system.
Fox Tape is the technical facility used by the Fox
Broadcasting Co., Fox Children's Network and Fox Sports.
Three STONE disk arrays and a Silicon Graphics Inc. Rack
Onyx were also part of the sale.
Fox Tape will be using the system to develop 30-60
second on-air promos for the Fox Children's Network. Prior
to selecting FIRE, Fox Tape conducted an extensive search of
uncompressed editing solutions to replace traditional linear
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