EXECUTIVE SPOTLIGHT ON... Chris Burdick
Vice President of Product Management - iDirect
Satellite broadcasting continues to gain momentum, especially with Digital Video Broadcasting Satellite Second Generation technologies, otherwise known as DVB-S2. As an enhanced specification that replaces the former standard, that being DVB-S as well as the DVB-DSNG standard for field units that are mobile, DVB-S2 supports the transmission of multiple MPEG-2 streams. DVB-S2 is also backwards compatible with DVB-S and DVB-DSNG. DVB-S2 actually arrived as a newly developed technology with both MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) and HDTVs debut good timing!
Speaking of good timing, we were able to interview one of the major players at iDirect who was directly involved with the development of their Evolution product line that is built using the DVB-S2 standard. Their product line includes the Evolution X3 Router, XLC-10 Line Card, and IDX Software, which can deliver as much as a 30 percent bandwidth improvement factor to users over older DVB-S1 systems. Use Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM), and that gain could be as much as 50 percent! Vice President Chris Burdick offers his insight and expertise regarding Evolution in this interview.
iDirect recently announced its Evolution product line built on the DVB-S2 standard. What distinguishes Evolution from the many other DVB-S2 offerings that are available?
iDirect has been working on our Evolution product for a number of years. We didnt want to rush a DVB-S2 product to market, but wanted to have a solution that integrates with the overall iDirect strategy. We are confident that the Evolution product line will meet the high standards our partners have come to expect from our company.
Evolution has several key strengths its easy and affordable to implement as well as to maintain. Service providers can deploy DVB-S2 on their existing iDirect infrastructure, protecting their hub investments. In addition, feature enhancements and upgrades on Evolution remotes can be made with over-the-air software upgrades.
Most importantly, Evolution fully integrates with the advanced features of the iDirect platform. This allows service providers to maximize their efforts using the DVB-S2 standard. For example, iDirects Group QoS allows service providers to increase their efficiency gains by combining multiple small networks into a single, larger carrier that is better able to leverage DVB-S2 benefits. In addition, new features have been built into the iVantage network management system that enable service providers to track ACM gains in real time and configure their networks to optimize bandwidth efficiency.
Many DVB-S2 offerings, including iDirects Evolution product line, integrate Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM). What is ACM and why is it so important?
ACM automatically adjusts the modulation scheme on a networks outbound carrier to ensure each remote receives optimum data throughput at any given time. With Evolution, these adjustments are made per remote in real time, based on each remotes location within the satellite footprint, its antenna size, and local rain fade conditions. ACM allows network operators to dramatically conserve space segment and use the additional bandwidth to increase data rates and expand their offerings.
Chris, would you give us an overview of the offerings that comprise iDirects Evolution product line?
The Evolution X3 router, XLC-10 line card and iDX software are the first offerings within the Evolution product line.
The Evolution X3 is the central component of the new product line. It is an integrated satellite modem and IP router with an Ethernet interface that features DVB-S2/ACM on the outbound carrier and iDirects patented, deterministic TDMA on the return channel. It supports a wide range of carrier IP data rates, FEC codes and modulation types, including downstream modulations of up to 16APSK and upstream modulations of 8PSK. This is unique in the industry. The remote is engineered for broadband applications as diverse as VPN access to enterprise networks, point of sale and Internet cafés. It also supports real-time applications such as VoIP and videoconferencing.
The Evolution offerings fully integrate with the advanced features of the iDirect intelligent platform and allow service providers to build next-generation satellite networks that significantly improve bandwidth efficiency and lower operating costs.
Who benefits the most from DVB-S2?
DVB-S2 arrived at a critical time as service providers are struggling to extract the most out of dwindling satellite capacity in an effort to serve more customers. The bandwidth efficiencies that DVB-S2 brings to the table are impacting providers in a range of verticals, especially those operating large networks. This is especially important in regions that are experiencing acute space segment scarcity, like the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin American.
Can you quantify the gains that service providers experience by using Evolution?
With Evolution, service providers can gain a 30 percent improvement in bandwidth efficiency over DVB-S systems. This is based on a new low-density parity-check coding scheme. An additional 50 percent boost in bandwidth efficiency is also possible through iDirects ACM technology. The Evolution product line supports data rates as high as 156 Megabits per second.
These gains have created a lot of excitement within, and for, the satellite industry. Weve had an extremely busy year working with service providers to allow them to tap into the new growth opportunities Evolution makes possible. We look forward to continuing to help our partners advance their services and build next-generation networks around the world.
We appreciate you sharing your knowledge with us, Chris. For readers who wish to know more about the Evolution product line, we recommend you select the Evolution product diagram below to access their platforms webpage.