Direct Broadcast Satellite Communications: An MPEG Enabled Service, 1st edition

  • Donald C. Mead

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With its higher power and superior video and audio quality, Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) communications is proliferating worldwide. Many new DBS systems are evolving and with the introduction of HDTV, DBS technology is predicted to become even more prevalent.

Written by a leading DBS authority, this book is required reading for anyone involved in this burgeoning field. This comprehensive reference describes the history and structure of DBS systems, the regulatory environment, the subsystems that support it, and the underlying compression technology that makes it commercially feasible. Direct Broadcast Satellite Communications can be read as a broad overview of DBS systems or can serve as a detailed technical description.

In particular, the author thoroughly explains how MPEG compression standards are used to implement modern satellite broadcast systems. You will find complete information on key topics such as:

  • International and FCC regulations
  • Radio frequency components of DBS systems, including the shaped reflector antenna
  • Forward error correction, looking at block codes, interleaving, and Viterbi decoding
  • The use of cryptography for conditional access to subscription services
  • MPEG system and transport layer
  • MPEG-2 video and audio compression
  • Connecting terrestrial systems and DBS uplinks
  • The Integrated Receiver Decoder

In addition, the book explores future developments, including the Spaceway and the Global Broadcast Service, as well as the MPEG-4 compression standards. Numerous case studies involving DIRECTV(TM) and the European DVB standard appear throughout the book. For other books in this series, see

Table of contents


1. History of Communication Satellites.

Background. Arthur C Clarke's Vision. The Early Days of Satellite Communications. SYNCOM. The Early Commercial Geostationary Earth Orbit Satellites: INTELSAT I and II. The Evolution of Communication Satellites. The Hughes Direct Broadcast Satellites. Frequency Bands. Summary.

2. Regulatory Framework.

The 1977 World Administrative Radio Council and 1983 Regional Administrative Radio Council. Federal Communications Commission Licensing. Recovery and Reallocation of Spectrum.

3. An Overview of the DBS Communication System.

Overview. Multiple Access and Multiplexing. Transponder Power and Configuration. The Throughput. Overall Throughput. More Services per Orbital Slot. Link Analysis. Degradation Because of Rain. Energy Dispersal.


4. Key Elements of the Radio Frequency Subsystem.

Introduction. The Shaped Reflector Antenna. Modulation and Demodulation. The Low-Noise Block. Traveling Wave Tube Amplifier.

5. Forward Error Correction.

What Is Error Correction? Types of Codes. Block Codes: Cyclic Codes. Reed-Solomon Codes. Interleaver. Convolutional Codes/Viterbi Decoding. Performance.

6. Conditional Access.

Objectives of a CA System for DBS. Types of Attackers. Some Encryption Preliminaries. Mathematical Preliminaries. Cryptographic Algorithms. Generic CA System.


7. MPEG 2 Systems.

The Role of MPEG Systems. Transport Stream. Individual Stream Operations (PES Packet Layer). Program Specific Information. Adaptation Field.

8. MPEG 2 Video Compression.

The Need for Video Compression. Profiles and Levels. Digital Video Primer. Structure of MPEG 2 Coded Video. Detailed MPEG 2 Coding of Pictures. The Video Decoding Process. Prediction Modes.

9. MPEG 1 Audio Compression.

MPEG Audio Compression Overview. Description of the Coded Audio Bitstream. Detailed Encoder. The Audio Decoding Process.


10. DBS Uplink Facilities.

Existing Uplink Facilities. Constituents of an Uplink Facility. Key Uplink Subsystems. Statistical Multiplexing.

11. Integrated Receiver Decoder.

IRD Components. The IRD Architecture. Electronic Program Guide. Menu Selections. Multiple TV Sets.


12. Spaceway and the Global Broadcast Service.

Spaceway Overview. Global Spaceway. The Global Broadcast Service.

13. Intelligent Compression: MPEG 4.

Raster and Waveform Emulation versus Symbolic Compression. MPEG 4: The First Steps Toward Symbolic Compression. MPEG 4 Overview. Technical Description of the MPEG 4 Standard. Conclusion. Appendices.

A. Performance Degradation Because of Rain.

B. QPSK Modulation and Demodulation.

C. Algebraic Preliminaries.

D. BCH Code Details.

E. Cyclical Redundancy Code.

F. A5 Matrix.

G. Operators, Mnemonics, Abbreviations.



Published by Pearson (September 20th 1999) - Copyright © 2000