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Category Archives: Education
“How to Transmit Wireless 4K Video or 10 Gbps Data”
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
5:30 – 6:00 PM social hour and networking
6:15 – 8:00 PM technical meeting
Speaker: Jim Jachetta, VidOvation
The 60GHz band, with a 7GHz bandwidth, promises to provide wireless broadband network connectivity at distances of up to one kilometer at data rates up to 10 Gbps. In this presentation we’re going to look at some of the different challenges that 4K video presents in wireless transmission. If you’re a broadcaster, you might be looking for higher resolution. If you’re a sports league, you might want a higher frame rate for instant replay. We’ll touch on some of these subjects and we’ll share with you some of the future developments in the area of 4K wireless video transmission.
Jim Jachetta Bio:
Jim Jachetta is co-founder, CTO, Executive VP, and chief problem solver of VidOvation. With over 30 years of experience in designing, integrating and delivering wireless, fiber optic, and IP communication and transmission systems, Jim drives VidOvation to create solutions using world class technology to make the “impossible” and “never been done before” a cost effective, everyday solution.
Jim’s expertise includes streaming video and webcasting, wireless video communications, IPTV, video over wired IP and Ethernet networks, CATV and RF video transport over category cable, video over category cable and coax, and video and RF over fiber optic cable and fiber optic networks. Jim and his team have produced results for many organizations by implementing comprehensive systems for the NHL, NFL, Pentagon, The Las Vegas City Center, and the US Marine Corps to name a few.
In addition, Jim Jachetta has authored multiple articles and white papers including a chapter on Fiber Optic Transmission Systems in National Association of Broadcasters Engineering Handbook and has a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from NYU Polytechnic University. Jim rounds out his design and implementation expertise as a co-author on two patents.
TORONTO—The White House has its Situation Room. The National Hockey League has one, too. Unlike the White House version, the NHL Situation Room is solely concerned with hockey; specifically, live monitoring of all the plays taking place in up to 16 simultaneous NHL games/feeds across North America.
The NHL Situation Room is located in a 10th floor office inside a tower adjacent to Toronto’s Air Canada Center, in the heart of downtown.
The room itself measures about 20×40 square feet in size. Walk in, and the first thing you see is the front wall HD video display along one of the walls. The overhead projector-driven central screen measures nearly 7 feet diagonally, and can be split to show 16 separate video windows. Since there are 30 teams in the NHL, this means that the central screen can show all 15 games at once, with one video window to spare.
Looking towards this screen is “The Bridge,” the room’s length-wise control center, where the day’s game managers stay in close contact with game officials. This is where Mike Murphy and his key people sit when the games are on; eyes glued to the TVs, and watching the overhead red strobe lights that flash whenever a call is coming in from a game. (There’s too much going on in the NHL Situation Room to rely on audio telephone alerts.)
Each NHL Situation Room workstation is equipped with four 24-inch HD monitors. The first screen on the left shows the game as distributed on a satellite TV feed. The next two screens show real-time feeds direct from the arena’s on-site broadcasters (home and away) via fiber-optic cable. Thanks to satellite latency, it is common for the satellite feed to be up to 15 seconds behind the live feed.
The fourth HD screen on the right, with its screen split into four video windows, is the one that really matters. Using feeds synchronized off-site by NeuLion in New York—and fed to Toronto via fiber-optic cable—the top two windows show the two broadcast arena fiber-optic feeds. The lower two windows show the goal zones at both ends, using either an operator- selected above-net or in-goal camera. (These cameras belong to the NHL, and their feeds are only shown on air if the NHL decides to release the footage to the broadcasters.)
New high-speed semiconductor technology has enabled the development of affordable, compact wireless systems that can operate in the unlicensed 60 GHz frequency range.
60 GHz systems on the market today offer completely uncompressed HD-SDI operation at 1.5 Gbps, including any embedded audio channels, metadata, SMPTE time code, etc. Because the signals are uncompressed, no encoding/decoding delay is present in the system, making it ideal for sports, live interviews and other time-sensitive applications. Solutions are also available in the 70/80 GHz and the 90 GHz frequency bands, including high speed Ethernet links that can support bi-direction GigE speeds, which is great for high performance IP video and audio networking.
Signals operating at these very high frequencies (also known as the millimeter band) have properties that offer some important advantages for video transmission. First and foremost, these signals are readily absorbed by the atmosphere, so there is a significantly reduced chance of a signal propagating beyond its intended receiver. This property also greatly reduces the amount of interference from other sources, and makes it possible for many devices to be used in close proximity. Another advantage of high radio frequencies are their short wavelengths, which permit use of very small, high-gain parabolic or horn antennas. These allow highly focused radio beams to be used, further limiting spurious reception and signal interference. Of course, there are limits to the distances over which these signals can be used, with a practical limitation of about 600m or 2000ft. Fortunately, this range is more than adequate for most venues.
Essentially all of the wireless radio frequencies (literally DC to light) have been allocated to specific uses by the FCC or similar regulators in other countries. Most of the available frequencies require users to get licenses that specify exactly which RF channels can be used in which locations at specified power levels for defined applications. A few frequency bands are unlicensed, such as the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and the 60GHz bands, and are therefore available for anyone to use in any location provided certain limits on effective radiated power are observed.
Licenses to use specific radio frequencies are a good news/bad news proposition. The good news is that a license gives a broadcaster an exclusive right to use a particular frequency in a defined location for a specific period of time. This helps ensure that other users will not create destructive interference with the signal. The bad news is the cost and the paperwork that are necessary to obtain the license, not to mention the time for the application to be processed. In addition, licensed frequencies may only be available in specific, pre-defined locations, making “grab and go” shooting more difficult.
Initial & Recurring Costs
Any wireless video solution will have some sort of an up-front expenditure, related to the costs of purchasing, installing and configuring the necessary equipment. Some solutions will also have a cost associated with each use. For example, a system that uses a cell-phone network for backhaul will need to pay for the data consumed by each transmission, either directly (as a bill for gigabytes) or indirectly (built into the cost of the service/device).
The unlicensed spectrum has no associated licensing and bandwidth fees. Since there are no licensing fees and less usage regulations, unlicensed spectrum has a much higher chance of interference by other users. Typically unlicensed frequency bands have a narrow, more controlled bandwidth usage. The 60 GHz, 70/80 GHz and 90 GHz frequency band are the exception having wide channel bandwidths.
The licensed spectrum typically has associated fees for spectral and bandwidth usage. There is typically less chance of interference and congestion with less users operating in the same spectral band. Typically a licensed band offers more available bandwidth than a comparable unlicensed band. Licensed spectrum typically offers higher reliability and greater transmission distances.