The BBC has worked with NSSLGlobal to enable its first live bonded HDR (High Data Rate) satellite television broadcast. The BBC’s The One Show broadcast on 5 March featured Lenny Henry live from the Iyolwa Health Clinic, Uganda, as part of the lead-in to BBC’s Comic Relief programming a week later. In the broadcast, Henry showed the audience the results of a major refurbishment funded by Comic Relief money.
HDR video services typically transmit at around 650-700kbps. By bonding two portable BGAN EXPLORER 710 satellite terminals (on Inmarsat’s satellite network) NSSLGlobal was able to deliver double the normal HDR bandwidth for this transmission. This is the first time this has been possible using BGAN terminals, (which are valued in the industry for small size and extreme portability, fitting easily into a rucksack or carry case).
In terms of allowing a higher-quality broadcast, this extra bandwidth not only allows for the transmission of sharper images, but can also accommodate the higher data throughput of highly dynamic images such as moving backgrounds or extremely active scenes. As a result, for the first time, rather than being restricted to static camera setups, satellite-broadcast camera crews can be in-motion, provided they have a suitable wired or wireless link to the BGAN terminal. “We have provided satellite broadcast services to the BBC for over a decade, and The Corporation is continuing to show its stripes as a leading broadcaster,” commented Peter Crafter, Enterprise & Government sales director, NSSLGlobal. “The BBC was also one of the first organisations to undertake a live HDR satellite video feed following Nelson Mandela’s death.”
“Obviously the potential for sharper resolution through bonded HDR is of major benefit to broadcasters, as is the ability for camera crews to move around without image degradation. Bonded HDR, using lightweight, portable, easy-to-set-up BGAN terminals, presents a superb alternative for high-quality moving broadcasts where a full, vehicle-based SNG uplink would be impractical. Lenny Henry’s Uganda broadcast was an excellent test-case for the abilities of this system and we’re very pleased with the results.”