IBC 2012: Inmarsat to preview newsgathering technologies

by Staff Reporter | September 7th, 2012

Inmarsat, a provider of global mobile satellite communications services, will demonstrate the capabilities of existing solutions and preview the possibilities enabled by new satellites and services to be launched from next year.

Demonstrating that cellular bonding presents an opportunity for Inmarsat’s partners, the stand will feature 2connect-IT’s BMW motorbike that combines a BGAN terminal and a 3G modem

“We are the only mobile satellite provider to be making such a huge investment in new technologies and services. The benefits to broadcasters and their operations will include an array of new services and faster communications that will transform newsgathering,” said Martin Turner, Inmarsat director of media business.

HDR streaming combined with improvements in video encoding will result in a dramatic increase in live video quality, and reportedly enable significant enhancements to BGAN streaming performance. The company claims, users will benefit from the portability and ease of use of the BGAN service. Even faster performance will reportedly be possible under the footprint of Alphasat I-XL, which will cover Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

These enhancements are a precursor, the company claims, to the capabilities enabled by future Ka-band services that will be introduced by Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network Its deployment starts in 2013 with its first launch, with full, global service available by end 2014. Global Xpress will offer satellite broadband coverage and flexibility on a range of terminals. The IBC preview will be followed by a formal launch in October.

Inmarsat will also highlight the power of its existing BGAN services. Its stand will be divided into two environments, with broadcasters’ base operations represented on one side and broadcasting from the field on the other side, featuring Inmarsat’s ‘backpack broadcasting’. One of the key highlights will be the demonstration of BGAN’s capabilities as the hub around which a field operation can be built.

Partner demonstrations at IBC

Demonstrating that cellular bonding presents an opportunity for Inmarsat’s partners, the stand will feature 2connect-IT’s BMW motorbike that combines a BGAN terminal and a 3G modem. The bike was developed as a hybrid ‘broadcast-on-the-move’ concept that could be used for radio commentary during an at-speed event such as the Tour de France, for example.

Another Inmarsat partner, Livewire Digital, will preview the visible image quality improvements when next-generation video encoding at HDR streaming speeds becomes available. Livewire calculates that this will achieve a 70% improvement over today’s H.264 Advanced Video Coding. To emphasise the improvement and to allow visitors to compare and contrast the quality, today’s H.264 video will be shown next to the HDR preview. Livewire Digital will also have two new iPhone apps and other demos to share.

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