Home >> March 2010 Edition >> Product Uplink — Affordable Satellite Backhaul
Product Uplink — Affordable Satellite Backhaul
by Stephen Flood
auriga intro sm mar10 Auriga Networks has been formed by a group of Industry leading VSAT professionals (originally under the name DC-Sat.Net) and has grown to become a leading global provider of VSAT services, building reputation across the European market by bringing broadcasters the most affordable remote video contribution services.

The company provides live-event contribution services to top broadcasters, and news agencies as well as specialty broadcasters and webcasters. Successes include providing U.S. election coverage for three major U.K. news networks, coverage of the Georgian Conflict in Gori, and the ongoing maintenance of more than 50 live TV links per month to mainstream U.K. network news. We run our own 24/7 NOC based in the U.K., control our own routing infrastructure in London Telehouse, and route SDI video from our infrastructure located within the BBC Television Centre

The Auriga Network offers premium space segment capacity on a single Ku-band footprints that cover Europe, the extended Middle East Region, and North America operating from Teleports in London, Hong Kong, and California. Based on iDirect Technology, services are optimally positioned to offer unsurpassed coverage, IP, and RF availability to support to a global client base.

In striving to meet the broadcast industry’s growing requirement for lower-cost infrastructure alternatives, we have developed a service model that dramatically reduces capital and operational costs associated with collecting live video for events or short-term projects. One key to making this service reliable and cost-effective without compromising video quality is our use of the hai1020 encoder from HaiVision Network Video.

The HaiVision system is incorporated into our end-to-end video transmission model for global video transport. In a typical implementation, it is installed at source, typically in a truck or temporary installation, for delivery of live news or sports content to a broadcast center. We have used the hai1020 encoder for projects spanning news reporting to action sports. The transmissions themselves depend on a unique combination of finely tuned satellite and terrestrial IP networks powered to efficiency with high-performance MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) codecs.

Over the complex combination of satellite and terrestrial links, we have managed to reduce network jitter to less than 1 millisecond — a level of performance typically seen only on the simplest network topologies. The MPEG-4 AVC H.264 core compression engine hardware (TRUE-H.264) of the hai1020 enables delivery of high-resolution video across IP networks at bandwidths anywhere from 256 kbps to 10 Mbps. We use the HaiVision encoder to send excellent full-resolution pictures at a 1.2 Mbps video bit rate for transport over our 1.8 Mbps satellite links.

The codec chain needed to be low-latency in order to deliver news and sports rapidly, and it needed to be resilient to the network conditions. The hai1020 achieves an exceptionally low end-to-end latency of only 70 milliseconds, a unique feature in today’s market. Such low latency helps us maximize efficiency and quality of IP pipeline, starting at the encoder. In a common scenario, video from the encoder is sent through our satellite service via the iDirect satellite modem within a U.K.-based VSAT truck.

auriga sng sm mar10 Our VSAT trucks are standard commercial vans that have been specially adapted to support occasional-use services at a far lower cost than traditional SNG trucks in service today. As these trucks are smaller, and thus more nimble, than standard SNG vehicles, we can deploy them more quickly and to more locations than competing providers. As video is captured and encoded, we use the network to bring the IP stream back to our core network data centre in London Docklands, and then use fixed data lines for transport directly to a client broadcast centers

auriga author sm mar10 We decided to invest in the HaiVision system because it excels in exactly the areas that our operations require. As we created our cost-effective occasional-use model, our encoder requirements were reliability (telco-grade), affordability, consistent bandwidth, and high quality at a low bit rate. HaiVision’s hai1020 codec supporting MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 has answered those requirements completely. In doing so, the encoder has allowed us to deliver affordable and reliable video from remote locations to our most prestigious clients.

HaiVision’s hai1020 boasts unmatched quality at an attractive price point, which in turn allows us to offer a broader range of affordable video delivery services. These services give broadcasters the ability to collect and distribute more content from more places — dramatically extending the reach and flexibility of their broadcast centers.

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