In Broadcast - March 2013 - 88


I N T E R N A T I O N A L

WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 17 - MARCH 2013

N E W S

InMEDIA

Carrier Identification And Broadcasters
The big bugbear of satellite communications is Radio Frequency Interference…
By
Roger Franklin
CEO, Crystal
Solutions

S

88

atellite is the backbone for
communicating the world’s
biggest events to every human
on the planet and for providing
connectivity to the remotest of
places. The effectiveness of this
backbone is incredibly resilient,
e s p e c i a ll y c o n s i d e r i n g the
environment in which it operates
– space.
However, we humans have
managed to irritate that resiliency
through operational errors. Whilst
Radio Frequency Interference
(RFI) is just an irritant, it’s one that
the industry continues to make
progress in minimizing its effects
on numerous fronts. That said, RFI
can potentially affect anyone relying
on satellite transmissions, and for
broadcasters this can mean loss of
service for viewers, which naturally
all broadcasters wish to avoid.
RFI has been around for a great
number of years, and for the most
part it is accidental.
In the beginning, there was
intentional use of space segment
from the “Captain Midnight” types.
Shortly thereafter accidental dual
illumination became more common
due to the early easy-to-use Network
Management Systems that were not
so smart and less skilled operators
who were being expected to take
on more responsibility beyond their
training level.
The lack of training and “smart”
systems and in some cases poor
equipment, also manifests itself in
other common RFI issues, such as
Adjacent Satellite RFI, which is due
to misalignments, dual illumination
RFI, which is due to coming up
at the wrong time or at the wrong
frequency, and transponder
compression RFI, which is due to
wrong power levels.
The commonality between all of

Operations Control Room

these causes is the fact that they are
all preventable. We remain focused
on decreasing the amount of time
transmissions are affected by RFI.
Quickly finding out who is causing
interference is a key element to
resolving RFI in a short period of time,
hence the recent advancements in
Carrier ID Technology.

CID Technology
Carrier Identification (CID) is
essentially an embedded code
containing contact information,
which enables the satellite
operator to identify the source of
an interfering transmission, thereby
reducing the effect for the correct
carrier. The concept of CID is nothing
new, just ask the FCC – they’ve
required an Automatic Transmitter
Identification System (ATIS) for
decades. However, with digital
transmissions, CID technology has
not been widely deployed.
The recent push, ahead of the
2012 Olympics, by IRG (Interference
Reduction Group) and partner
organisations, such as the Global
VSAT Forum (GVF), and the Radio
Frequency Interference – End Users
Initiative (RFI-EUI), has led to a much
larger proportion of carriers using
CID, and a greater awareness of
the technology.
Now, thanks to Comtech EF
Data and the DVB, a new spread
spectrum hidden carrier ID standard
will be available in a matter of a few
months. This technology adds a low
power spread spectrum carrier on
to the carrier it will identify.
The CID carrier has no real effect
on the carrier and consumes just
0.1dB of energy from that carrier.
In dual illumination situations,
multiple over-lapping CIDs can be
decoded at the same time, allowing
efficient resolution.

Broadcaster Planning
For CID to be successful, it requires
the support of the entire industry,
from manufacturers, through
satellite operators, and to end
users, such as broadcasters. Most
of the equipment manufacturers
are on board with ensuring
CID technology is included in
their equipment. The satellite
operators are also on board
and working alongside the
major groups to do their
part to reduce satellite
interference.
We now need more
support and action from the
user community, including
broadcasters across the globe.
There are a few key steps
which broadcasters should

Carrier ID is now being utilised increasingly by broadcasters

be ready to follow to help get closer
to the ultimate goal of eliminating
satellite interference altogether!
Firstly, broadcasters should
expect to activate CID on
contribution transmissions, as
well as distribution transmissions.
The industry will push first for the
contribution transmissions to be
identified. If the encoder/modulator
is fairly new, then activation of a
CID may require a simple and
economical firmware upgrade from
the manufacturer.
If the encoder/modulator can’t
support CID, then an external
CID embedder can be added to
the modulated output before up
conversion and amplification for a
modest price. In the near term, the
industry will also accept a standard
format for text data that is entered
into the Network Information Table.
However, this second method of
identifying a carrier is much less
resilient than the spread spectrum
method in interference situations.
Next, broadcasters should expect
to add a CID to their outbound
distribution carriers. The requirement
for broadcasters to identify their
carriers, if not regulated sooner
by government authorities, will
probably wait until January 1, 2015.
The satellite operators are in the
process of enhancing their detection
systems, and refining operational
procedures to handle tracking their
customers’ IDs and contacting other
satellite operators when detecting
an interfering carrier with an ID.
There are plans to automate the
latter procedures with a secure and
restricted database of links from IDs
to satellite operators.

Finally, the technology creators
of the spread spectrum CID are in
the process of devising economical
methods for enabling a broadcaster
to verify that they are transmitting
the correct IDs.

Implementation
The new CID standard is all but
ready. There are just a few bits of
red tape remaining before it will be
officially launched, and the sooner
it is implemented across both the
industry and globally, the better.
All the major satellite operators are
able to handle CID already, and
there are systems in place to use
that data effectively and coordinate
with other satellite operators. Those
systems are being refined so they
will get better in due course, but it
will be by using them that we can
truly refine the process.
Most modern encoders and
modulators can already support
CID and will easily upgrade to the
new technology. If yours is an older
model which doesn’t support CID,
now is a good time to invest in either
an external CID embedder or even a
new encoder or modulator that can
support the new technology.
Ultimately, for broadcasters, CID
means when errors do occur they
can be resolved quickly and avoid
viewers experiencing the effects on
their programming. With motivation
like that, why wait?
Roger Franklin is the CEO of
Crystal Solutions (www.crystalcc.
com) and Chairman of the
Satellite Interference Reduction
Group’s CID Working Group
(www.satirg.org).


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - March 2013

In Broadcast - March 2013
Contents
InNews: Red TX Records for War of the Worlds
InNews: Sky News Reports Live Using iPhone in China
InPreview: TV Connect – The Global Ecosystem Show
InView: in Good Company – Jump PR
InGear: TSL Professional Products – Solutions for Acquisition Through to Delivery
InGear: Belden Extends Mic Cables Line
InMedia: Post Asylum Centres on Smoke Workflow
InMedia: Carrier ID & Broadcasters
InMedia: Satellite Broadcasters’ Present United Front
InFile: Save Time on Video Management
In Broadcast - March 2013 - Intro
In Broadcast - March 2013 - In Broadcast - March 2013
In Broadcast - March 2013 - Cover2
In Broadcast - March 2013 - Contents
In Broadcast - March 2013 - InNews: Red TX Records for War of the Worlds
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 5
In Broadcast - March 2013 - InNews: Sky News Reports Live Using iPhone in China
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 7
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 8
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 9
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 10
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 11
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 12
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 13
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 14
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 15
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 16
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 17
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 18
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 19
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 20
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 21
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 22
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 23
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 24
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 25
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 26
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 27
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 28
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 29
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 30
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 31
In Broadcast - March 2013 - InPreview: TV Connect – The Global Ecosystem Show
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 33
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 34
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 35
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 36
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 37
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 38
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 39
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 40
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 41
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 42
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 43
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 44
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 45
In Broadcast - March 2013 - InView: in Good Company – Jump PR
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 47
In Broadcast - March 2013 - InGear: TSL Professional Products – Solutions for Acquisition Through to Delivery
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 49
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 50
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 51
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 52
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 53
In Broadcast - March 2013 - InGear: Belden Extends Mic Cables Line
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 55
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 56
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 57
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 58
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 59
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 60
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 61
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 62
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 63
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 64
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 65
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In Broadcast - March 2013 - 70
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 71
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 72
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 73
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 74
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 75
In Broadcast - March 2013 - InMedia: Post Asylum Centres on Smoke Workflow
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 77
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 78
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 79
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 80
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 81
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 82
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 83
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 84
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 85
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 86
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 87
In Broadcast - March 2013 - InMedia: Carrier ID & Broadcasters
In Broadcast - March 2013 - InMedia: Satellite Broadcasters’ Present United Front
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 90
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 91
In Broadcast - March 2013 - InFile: Save Time on Video Management
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 93
In Broadcast - March 2013 - 94
In Broadcast - March 2013 - S1
In Broadcast - March 2013 - S2
In Broadcast - March 2013 - S3
In Broadcast - March 2013 - S4
In Broadcast - March 2013 - S5
In Broadcast - March 2013 - S6
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