Ever met a satellite technology naysayer? We have. Satellite naysayers believe that delivering audio or video content via satellite is antiquated. You see, only they can accurately read the future of telecommunications and – according to the naysayers – satellite is on its deathbed, being given its last rites.
Satellite technology naysayers like to share their opinions about the future of satellite with me, with you, and with anyone else within earshot. They like to make broad, sweeping statements, like:
“Satellite is old technology.”
“No one uses satellite for content delivery any more.”
“Satellite will be obsolete in the next few years; Internet is our future.”
It floors me when I hear these talking points from folks who are looking for a reliable, cost-effective content delivery method. Satellite has been around for a long time – over 50 years – yet I think it’s safe to say it is just now hitting it’s stride.
The very first orbital satellite, Telstar 1, was launched in 1962. It forever changed the way people could receive images and content from around the world. A joint venture between the US, France and Britain, the first satellite in space was aluminum and used only 14 watts of power (most laptops currently use 65 or 90 watts).
The first working satellite was only able to carry 600 phone calls and a single black-and-white TV channel, but hey – it WAS the 60’s, right? Not much was needed then.
Now there are countless commercial satellites orbiting the globe, providing everything from Ultra HD TV services and satellite radio to satellite-delivered broadband. Satellite delivers to every county, parish, small town and major city in the US, and to every continent on earth.
It may have all started with a hunk of metal 54 years ago, but this is really just the beginning of big things to come.
So what “big things” should our customers who use satellite for audio and video transmissions expect to see now and in the near future?
- DVB-SX for satellite transmissions. Benefits include smaller roll-off options of 5% and 10% (in addition to 20%, 25% and 35% in DVB-S2). Finer gradation and extension of number of modulation and coding modes, plus new constellation options for linear and non-linear channels. Additional scrambling options for critical co-channel interference situations. Channel bonding of up to 3 channels. Very Low SNR operation support down to -10 dB SNR super-frame option.
- DVB-S is now available for “Low Bit Rate” decoders in satellite audio network delivery. Gives small program providers all of the features and benefits once only available to the large national networks.
- A global broadband communications platform. Earlier this year ViaSat announced plans to design and deliver affordable, high-speed Internet connectivity and video streaming.
- An expansion of the development and broadcast of Ultra-HD/4K services. Ultra-HD has been used successfully in transmitting sporting events to all corners of the globe, helping grow events like the World Cup and Pan Am Games into truly global spectacles. Expect more development of Ultra-HD/4K in the future.
With any technology, there are naysayers. No matter. You can be confident that there are big things in the future for those of us who love the reliability, effectiveness and security of satellite.