Satellite Based Multimedia Delivery

P N Chopra

DIG BSF (Retd)


     Multimedia as a concept includes transmission, distribution, switching, storage, archiving, processing, display and interactivity to deliver text, graphics, voice, sound and video to users. The transmission intended for direct reception by general public one to all and may be wireless or wireline and satellite.


       Multimedia delivery can however be defined as a true Convergence of Broadcasting & Communications . Concepts like DTH, DAB  DVB-H  DVB-T, High Quality Music, Video and Data , T-DMB, S-DMB   with Gap Filters, Seamless Mobility are going to used with Bi-directional capability,


     The satellite multimedia delivery will make it possible to use  devices  like, Mobile hand sets screen, home computers and  TV’s for receiving streaming Video and watching movies in a moving vehicle as well as digital distribution of full length movies in theater where conventional fiber routes are not available.


      Availability of speedy communication links to individuals and organizations is essential to keep pace with the business and social requirements of this modern age. Provision of broadband (multimedia) links at minimum speeds of 256 kbps has been recognized and also emphatically stated in the policy document of the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications. While much emphasis is laid on fiber and terrestrial systems to provide these services, satellite communications systems will play an important role in quickly establishing these services in areas where fiber and other communication systems are not available and are not likely to be available for a long time to come.


    According to a study, released by the National Readership Studies Council, there are 112 million TV homes in India, of which 68 million homes receive television broadcasts through cable and satellite. These are the initial beneficiaries of the multimedia services The total distribution is successfully functioning only due to satellite multimedia distribution and the concept like the Headend in the Sky (HITS). Most these services are functioning through National Satellites


     Earlier satellites were mere extension of  the terrestrial networks. Today, this has clearly changed. Now Satellite applications have a very important role to play in meeting the broadband communication requirements of the country and in meeting the targets. Even the rural and remote areas of the country which cannot expect to have fiber connectivity can join the national mainstream via satellite, The satellite communication systems have wide area coverage and thereby have the inherent advantage of providing services across the country irrespective of the geographical location of the user - even in inaccessible regions


     The capability of multimedia hookups are enormous like e-governance rural intelligent terminals telemedicine and tele-tour without physically visiting places of you choice and with the satellite facility it makes the concept much more flexible


   Worldspace Satellite Radio: The first breakthrough in this satellite direct reception was made by ‘Worldspace Satellite Radio’ of USA. The system used a very high power geostationary satellite in ‘L’ band with adequate FEC for direct reception by a very small fixed patch antenna.


    (ISDB-S) of Japan:The next concept in this direction is Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-S (ISDB-S) of Japan: started in Japan on Dec.,2000 based on its ‘Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting’ standard, which uses ‘Band Segmented Transmission OFDM’ or ‘BST-OFDM’ technique with hierarchical transmission


   (S-DMB) of South Korea :The next concept in the multimedia broadcast via satellite is Satellite-Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (S-DMB) of South Korea who have developed a Satellite-Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (S-DMB) system which  has been widely deployed in the country as well as in Japan.


   European DVB-S’: The European standard for satellite digital TV broadcasting ‘DVB-S’ has evolved two latest standards. These are (i) DVB-S2 and (ii) DVB-SH.   DVB-S2 is for fixed multimedia service, giving higher throughputs, better coding efficiency and improved satellite resource utilization


   Department of Space (DOS) GSAT-6’:In India, the Department of Space (DOS): has planned the launch of ‘GSAT-6’ the ‘S’ band satellite carrying payload for direct satellite broadcasting of multimedia contents to mobile handheld receivers.


    To sum up today, Satellite through – DBS/DTH/HITS Systems and VSAT Networks and Mobile Satellite Systems are directly reaching the end user and increasingly able to deliver mass consumer market and provide all type of services mentioned above .The current .market is propelled by DTH/DBS Services, IP driven VSAT/USAT System, Marine, Aeronautical and Land Mobile System