If you’ve ever seen full frame uncompress 625line SD with component 10-bit colour then you will know that sometimes resolution doesn’t matter. At a previous employer of mine we could show normal people pictures on a Barco Grade 1 monitor and they would swear it was HD. Freeview just has poor quality because the cost of carriage is so high, especially when there are a dozen versions of BBC One or ITV1 and they have to compress everything down to the n-th degree. The reason that regionalisation costs money is that we must have a cellular transmitter design, each region has it’s own frequency (or more than one because of relays), adjacent regions can’t use these frequencies because otherwise that would affect coverage. The UK design has many “guard” frequencies to protect adjacent transmitters in this way. If every region had the same channels they we could uses a system called an “SFN”, or Single Frequency Network, in this configuration the transmitters all transmit exactly the same thing at exactly the same time at exactly the same frequency. When transmitting in an SFN if you are between two transmitters you get the signal from both transmitters, but instead of causing a problem for you it actually helps because the two transmitters actually re-enforce each other.

 

Continue reading “UK Broadcasting and Local Multiplexes”

Now that my profile has become a fair bit more public I get asked quite alot if people can have pre-release hardware for products that are arriving soon. The truth is, it's not that simple, we are a mass-manufacturing company and for us to produce something in low volume (such as samples) it is incredibly expensive. It takes a certain amount of time to set-up a production run, then the sample run may only produce a fraction of a full production run, or another alternative is that the boards assembled by hand, anyway there are various methods all producing expensive hardware. This can be one of the most significant single expenses we might have in development after paying the developers.

Once the software is tested and all the bugs tidied up we can actually start manufacturing completed products in a couple of days, the turn around is amazingly quick because of the preparation that happens in advance. So the time between the last bug fix and the shelf is actually very short when there is a pressure on time from the customers.

So, please, first there is no point in asking for prototype hardware, it's too expensive and second you'll get products when they are ready we don't delay for our fun! We need the return on investment as soon as possible, so we release at the most appropriate moment for everyone.

Preface

This is an article I offered for publication to the BKSTS, but after a couple of revisions it kind of fell by the way-side and has laid neglected on my storage since. So here it is, an analysis of satellite technology from the viewpoint of its use in D-cinema distribution.  I hope it proves useful to someone and that some insight can be gained into the various technologies available.

(copyright Bob Hannent, do not reproduce without permission, yada, yada, yada…)

Continue reading “Changing satellite techniques and their potential in D-Cinema”