ARCTEK Blazes New Territory Transmitting Super Bowl in HD to SKY Sports London

ARCTEK Satellite Productions, LLC, has upgraded its Tandberg
encoders and decoders to DVB-S2. The modulation scheme allowed SKY Sports
London to transmit two HD signals on half the bandwidth for its pre-game show
from the Super Bowl in
Ariz. last month.

“By transmitting DVB-S2 at 8PSK we were able to cut the amount of
satellite bandwidth needed in half,” said Brian Stanley, ARCTEK partner
and vice president of sales and operations. “This could have a positive
economic impact on HD satellite transmission as users become more familiar with
the technology. We know of at least one network news organization already
testing DVB-S2.”

ARCTEK believes that the additional cost of satellite space for HD has
prevented network and local news operations from doing more HD live shots.

“SKY had two Sony 900 HD cameras in the stadium for its pre-game
show,” said Shawn Erickson, ARCTEK partner and vice president of
production. ARCTEK’s job was to transmit two separate feeds so SKY could switch
its own show from
“The cool part was SKY wanted to transmit HD in the DVB-S2 modulation
scheme. We took the challenge and upgraded our ARCTEK Red KU HD truck to be
DVB-S2 capable. After some testing with London,
we were heading to
continued Erickson. “It was a honor to be called upon to broadcast such a
high-profile event.”

ARCTEK RED, the company’s KU HD transmission vehicle, transmitted two
15-megabit channels for SKY’s pre-game show. Path one was a talent camera, and
path two was a beauty shot with both cameras inter-cut with the FOX HD world
feed. ARCTEK upgraded its Tandberg 5788 encoders and Tandberg receivers to be
able to transmit and receive the DVB-S2 HD signals.

“Using 15 megabits of satellite space, we were able to transmit more than
40 megabits of data. If we were to do DVBS, we would have needed 36 megabits of
satellite bandwidth,” said

“SKY’s plan for implementing this type of show required the services of an
uplink truck equipped with DVB-S2, encoders and converters,” said
Millie Coffey, president of KamalaMillie, Inc., a domestic production
coordination firm hired by SKY to manage all aspects of its Super Bowl
coverage. “In addition to housing the equipment,” Coffey continued.
“It was necessary to hire an engineer with vast experience in and knowledge
of the DVB-S2, (a technology rarely used with dual path in the
Thank you ARCTEK, for being that company we needed and relied on to put
together a show that was technically sound and managed by an engineer whose
performance was clearly indicative of the quality service ARCTEK offered and
clearly provided. Without a shadow of a doubt, ARCTEK has set a benchmark for
all to notice and beat.”

To learn more about DVB-S2, download the white paper from

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