Broadcast Australia (a BAI Communications Company) and Free TV are performing trials in order to evaluate next generation broadcast technology for Australia. The objective is to have a second-generation system able to broadcast 4K TV programmes, while the first generation system built in 2001 and based on DVB-T cannot.
The trials include both laboratory testing and field trials to determine candidate operating modes for the future system and to verify interoperability of multiple-vendors equipment for single frequency network (SFN) operation.
TeamCast provided a TWISTER DVB-T2 exciter and associated support for the tests. TWISTER first successfully passed the SFN interoperability testing done in Laboratory. Then, it has been installed in a high power very high frequency (VHF) transmitter covering the Sydney area and installed at the Gore Hill site. The transmitter was configured to achieve a peak ERP of 50kW. The operating frequency is VHF Channel 10 (212.5 MHz) using a 7 MHz bandwidth. This setup is used to determine the actual coverage area of the different operating modes considered, through field measurements. In a third step, the field tests now involve several sites and aim to check the performance of SFN operation. The high power VHF transmitter powered by the TWISTER exciter is used for feeding two ultra high frequency (UHF) transmitters operating in SFN (Channel 29, 536.5 MHz) and field measurements aim to check the SFN performance.
“These trials would not have been possible without the support and the expertise of equipment manufacturers such as TeamCast. We’re very appreciative of their support in this important step in the evolution of broadcast in Australia” said Broadcast Australia’s Chief Technology Officer, Stephen Farrugia.
“We are very pleased to contribute to the tests performed by Broadcast Australia and their partners. With its dual DVB-T and DVB-T2 operation and its advanced digital features, our TWISTER exciter is the perfect digital exciter when an operator wishes either to upgrade its transmitters from DVB-T to DVB-T2 or just modernise its existing transmitters for improving their performance and specifically their energy efficiency” added Eric Pinson, Head of the DTT TV Unit at TeamCast.