Asia-Pacific Broadcasting (APB) August 2017 Volume 34, Issue 6 - Page 26

26 DISTRIBUTION
August 2017

50 years on from the first live international video broadcast

by peter ostapiuk
In an era when you can send a video of your cat around the globe in the blink of an eye , it seems quaint to recall that just 50 years ago , Intel sat satellites carried the first-ever live international video broadcast , the TV special Our World .
The two-and-a-half-hour programme , ran on 25 June 1967 , was coordinated out of the BBC control room in London and featured live feeds from 14 different countries in succession moving West around the globe . The programme concluded back in London with the premiere performance of the Beatles singing All You Need Is Love , backed by a chorus of more than a dozen other musical stars .
One of the refrains in the song is : “ It ’ s easy .” But a look back at the event reminds us that it was anything but !
The programme , conceived by BBC producer Aubrey Singer , was 10 months in the planning and ultimately required the participation of around 10,000 technicians , producers and interpreters . Broadcasters in the participating countries received the live black-and-white video feed using Intelsat 1 , known as ‘ Early Bird ’ because it was the first Intelsat satellite ; Intelsat II F2 , called ‘ Lani Bird ’; Intelsat II F3 , ‘ Cana ry Bird ’; and NASA ’ s ATS-1 .
The positioning of the four satellites provided complete global coverage , allowing the programme to be broadcast in 24 countries with interpreters providing voiceover in 22 different languages .
The producers who put the show together faced technical obstacles that are hard to imagine today , given how far satellite and broadcasting technology have progressed in those five decades .
One was that Early Bird could only transmit two TV channels at a time — one from the Americas to Europe and the other from Europe to the Americas . No company had ever coordinated a broadcast using multiple satellites , and the timing had to be precise when the live action broadcast shifted
Intelsat ’ s first satellite , also known as ‘ Early Bird ’, carried the TV special Our World , the first-ever live international video broadcast , 50 years ago .
from one location to the other as it moved from country to country .
While satellites had previously been used to broadcast feeds over wide regions , the Our World programme demonstrated for the first time that it was possible to arrange a global broadcast with multiple satellites and multiple control centres thousands of miles apart .
Satellite and broadcast technology has advanced exponentially since the Our World project , which was transmitted using analogue broadcast technology . Today , the use of digital technology is ubiquitous and most content is produced in high definition .
Each year , events of global significance from national elections to breaking news in regions of conflict as well as fun events such as the Super Bowl , the Miss America pageant , the Olympics and the Academy Awards are broadcast globally using an array of satellites and fibre .
It is remarkable to think of how far we have come : Early Bird only carried two TV channels . Today , our satellites carry more than 5,000 channels for broadcasters all around ‘ our world ’.
The legacy of the broadcast is that it showed the power of television to create a truly “ global village ”, with millions of people around the world experiencing an event simultaneously .
Peter Ostapiuk is Head of Media Product Services at Intelsat .

Prysmian Group addresses global optical cabling needs with new investment

The Prysmian Group has inaugurated its new optical cable plant in Slatina , Romania , said to the largest of its kind in Europe .
The new Slatina plant , said the company , is also part of a three-year , € 250-million ( US $ 286-million ) investment plan aimed at improving the Prysmian ’ s production capacity and capabilities worldwide , and to meet the growing demand for optical cables for the deployment of new high-speed telecom networks .
Philippe Vanhille , SVP , telecom business , Prysmian Group , elaborated : “ The digital transformation goes through the development of new broadband and ultra-broadband fibre-optic telecommunication networks and only the fibre can provide the necessary speed and reliability .
“ These strategic infrastructures must be based on a high quality and designed to provide high performance over time so as to be ready for the services of the future like 5G , smart cities , smart transportation , and smart homes .”
The Prysmian Group ’ s continuing investments involve optical fibre and cable facilities in Italy , France , the Netherlands , North and South America , together with new plants in Slatina , Romania , Presov , Slovak Republic and Durango , Mexico .

Cordillera turns to GatesAir for TV spectrum repack

US-based TV station group Cordillera Communications has selected GatesAir transmission equipment and services for three of its local stations that must relocate their UHF channels in accordance with the US Federal Communications Commission ’ s ( FCC ) spectrum repack transition schedule .
The affected Cordillera stations include : WLEX-DT , the NBC affiliate in Lexington , Kentucky ; KOAA-DT , the NBC affiliate serving the Pueblo / Colorado Springs , Colorado market ; and KAJJ-CD , a low-power TV station in Kalispell , Montana .
Careful strategising is particularly key for WLEX , which shares a broadcast antenna with WTVQ , the local ABC affiliate owned by Morris Multimedia . During the initial DTV transition , the stations decided to share an antenna with a combiner because they operate on adjacent RF channels . Branded Channel 18 , WLEX actually transmits on Channel 39 , while WTVQ transmits on Channel 40 .
The challenge is that WLEX must relocate its UHF channel in Phase 8 of the FCC transition plan , which spans from 18 January to 13 March 2020 ; while WTVQ moves sooner in Phase 6 , which will happen between 7 September and 18 October 2019 .
The two stations are looking to continue with the same configuration — separate transmitters but a shared antenna on a single tower — following the repack period .
Sean Franklin , VP of engineering and technology for Cordillera Communications , explained : “ The biggest challenge for us — and other impacted stations — is to maintain uninterrupted over-the-air service . As we want to switch to the new antenna at the same time , the Morris station is looking into petitioning the commission to move its channel in Phase 8 instead of 6 .
“ We ’ re also looking into putting up an interim antenna to keep our signal on the air until we can make a clean switch to the permanent antenna . GatesAir has been a valuable resource in weighing our options .”
For the long-term GatesAir transmitter customer , the latest decision to choose Gates Air ’ s Maxiva transmitters and XTE exciters is that these systems are ATSC 3.0-ready , which is on Cordillera ’ s future roadmap , Franklin revealed .
When the group finally decides that the time is right to begin broadcasting in ATSC 3.0 , the latest GatesAir Maxiva transmitters and XTE exciters can become fully ATSC 3.0 operational with a simple field upgrade .
A long-term GatesAir transmitter customer , Cordillera Communications has chosen GatesAir Maxiva transmitters and XTE exciters in anticipation of the TV spectrum repack in the US .
26 DISTRIBUTION August 2017 50 years on from the first live international video broadcast by peter ostapiuk In an era when you can send a video of your cat around the globe in the blink of an eye, it seems quaint to recall that just 50 years ago, Intel­sat satellites carried the first-ever live international video broadcast, the TV special Our World. The two-and-a-half-hour pro- gramme, ran on 25 June 1967, was coordinated out of the BBC control room in London and featured live feeds from 14 different coun- tries in succession moving West around the globe. The programme concluded back in London with the premiere performance of the Beatles singing All You Need Is Love, backed by a chorus of more than a dozen other musical stars. One of the refrains in the song is: “It’s easy.” But a look back at the event reminds us that it was anything but! The programme, conceived by BBC producer Aubrey Singer, was 10 months in the planning and ulti­ mately required the participation of around 10,000 technicians, pro- ducers and interpreters. Broadcast- ers in the participating countries received the live black-and-white video feed using Intelsat 1, known as ‘Early Bird’ because it was the first Intelsat satellite; Intelsat II F2, called ‘Lani Bird’; Intelsat II F3, ‘Cana­r y Bird’; and NASA’s ATS-1. The positioning of the four satellites provided complete global coverage, allowing the programme to be broadcast in 24 countries with interpreters pro- viding voiceover in 22 different languages. The producers who put the show together faced technical obstacles that are hard to imagine today, given how far satellite and broadcasting technology have progressed in those five decades. One was that Early Bird could only transmit two TV channels at a time — one from the Americas to Europe and the other from Eu- rope to the Americas. No company had ever coordinated a broadcast using multiple satellites, and the timing had to be precise when the live action broadcast shifted Prysmian Group addresses global optical cabling needs with new investment The Prysmian Group has inaugurated its new optical cable plant in Slatina, Romania, said to the largest of its kind in Europe. The new Slatina plant, said the company, is also part of a three-year, €250-million (US$286-million) investment plan aimed at improving the Prysmian’s production capacity and capabilities worldwide, a @FVWBFRw&vrFVBf"F66&W2f FRFWVBbWrv7VVBFVV6WGv&2ƗRf憖R5eFVV6'W6W72'6֖w&WV&&FVC( FRFvFG&6f&FvW0F&VvFRFWfVVBbWr'&F&B@VG&'&F&Bf'&RF2FVV6V6FWBЧv&2BǒFRf'&R6&fFRFRV6W76'7VVBB&VƖ&ƗG( FW6R7G&FVv2g&7G'V7GW&W2W7B&R&6VBvVƗGBFW6vVBF&fFRvW&f"Ц6RfW"FR62F&R&VGf"FR6W'f6W2`FRgWGW&RƖRTr6'B6FW26'BG&7'FFB6'BW2( ХFR'6֖w&W( 26FVrfW7FVG2ЧffRF6f'&RB6&Rf6ƗFW2Fǒg&6RFRWFW&G2'FB6WFW&6FvWFW vFWrG26F&&W6b6f&WV&Ɩ2BGW&vW6खFV6N( 2f'7B6FVƗFR6v2( V&ǒ&&N( 6'&VBFREb7V6W"v&BFRf'7BWfW"ƗfRFW&FfFV'&F67BSV'2vg&R6FFFRFW"0BfVBg&6VG'F6VG'vR6FVƗFW2B&WfW6ǐ&VVW6VBF'&F67BfVVG2fW vFR&Vv2FRW"v&B&Цw&RFV7G&FVBf"FRf'7@FRFBBv276&RF'&vPv&'&F67BvFVFP6FVƗFW2BVFR6G&6VG&W2FW6G2b֖W2'B6FVƗFRB'&F67BFV6Цw2Gf6VBWVFǐ66RFRW"v&B&V7Bv6v2G&6֗GFVBW6rwVP'&F67BFV6wFFFPW6RbFvFFV6w2V&VЧFW2B7B6FVB2&GV6V@vFVfFV6V"WfVG2bv&6rЦf66Rg&FVV7F2F'&VrWw2&Vv2b6fƖ7@2vV2gVWfVG27V62FP7WW"&vFR֗72W&6vVBFRǖ72BFP6FVגv&G2&R'&F67@v&ǒW6r'&b6FVƗFW0Bf'&RगB2&V&&RFFbpf"vRfR6SV&ǒ&&Bǐ6'&VBGvEb6V2FFW"6FVƗFW26''&RFR6V2f"'&F67FW'2&VB( W"v&N( FRVv7bFR'&F67@2FBB6vVBFRvW"`FVWf6F7&VFRG'Vǒ( v&fv^( vF֖Ɩ2bVP&VBFRv&BWW&V6rWfVB6VFVW6ǒWFW"7FV2VBbVF&GV7B6W'f6W2BFV6B6&FW&GW&2FvFW4 f"Eb7V7G'V&W6U2&6VBEb7FFw&W6&FW&6ЦV6F226VV7FVBvFW4"G&6֗2Ч6WVVBB6W'f6W2f"F&VRbG067FF2FBW7B&V6FRFV"T`6V266&F6RvFFRU2fVFW&6V6F26֗76( 2d427V2ЧG'V&W6G&6F66VGVRFRffV7FVB6&FW&7FF26VFStUEBFR$2ffƖFRWwFVGV6EBFR$2ffƖFR6W'bЦrFRVV&6&F7&w26&F&WCB4BrvW"Eb7FЧFƗ7VF6&VgV7G&FVv6r2'F7V&ǒWf"tUv66&W2'&F67BFVvFuEeFR6$2ffƖFRvVB''&2VFVFGW&rFRFEE`G&6FFR7FF2FV6FVBF6&PFVvF6&W"&V6W6RFWW&FRF6VB$b6V2'&FV@6VtU7GVǒG&6֗G26V3vRuEeG&6֗G26VCFR6VvR2FBtUW7B&V6FPG2Tb6V6RbFRd42G&6ЧFv672g&V'F2&6##vRuEefW26W 6Rbv6vV&WGvVVp6WFV&W"B7F&W"#FRGv7FF2&RrF6FVPvFFR6R6fwW&F( B6W&FPG&6֗GFW'2'WB6&VBFV6vRFvW"( BfvrFR&W6W&B6Vg&ƖebVvVW&r@FV6wf"6&FW&6V6ЧF2WVC( FR&vvW7B6VvRf W2( BBFW"7FVB7FF2( B2FFVFW''WFVBfW"FR"6W'f6R2vRvBF7vF6FFRWrFV@FR6RFRFR'&27FF2pFWFFrFR6֗76FfRG06V6R7FVBbb( v^( &R6rFWGFrWখFW&FVFVWW"6vFP"VFvR6R6V7vF6FFPW&VBFVvFW4"2&VVfV&R&W6W&6RvVvrW"F2( Фf"FRrFW&vFW4"G&6֗BЧFW"7W7FW"FRFW7BFV66F66PvFW<*.( 2fG&6֗GFW'2BDPW6FW'22FBFW6R77FV2&RE402&VGv626&FW&( 2gWGW&P&Fg&Ɩ&WfVVBvVFRw&WfǒFV6FW2FBFPFR2&vBF&Vv'&F67FrE402FRFW7BvFW4"fG&6֗GFW'0BDRW6FW'26&V6RgVǒE422W&FvF6RfVBWw&FRrFW&vFW4 G&6֗GFW"7W7FW"6&FW&6V6F2266VvFW4"fG&6֗GFW'2@DRW6FW'2F6FbFPEb7V7G'V&W6FRU2