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Introduction to SNG and ENG Microwave

Book Description

An excellent primer on the subject, this book gives beginning professionals in satellite newsgathering an introduction to the technologies and processes involved. It will also suit journalists, editors and producers needing to understand this important element of the newsgathering chain.


Written for the complete beginner, the book shows how typical transmission chains work and their communication with the studio. It also offers a brief introduction to analogue and digital theory before going onto to explain Electronic Newsgathering (ENG) systems: from basic principles: transmission and reception chains, frequencies used and why, through to audio channel, subcarriers and digital modulation, as well as applications: radio cameras, window links, infra-red & laser links.

A brief chapter on satellite theory gives an overview of satellite communication and orbits, basic satellite communication theory, transportables (`flyaways') and trucks, as well as analogue vs digital issues, digital compression and MPEG. Systems regulations and operations are also introduced as well as safety and logistics issues.

If you're looking for a quick and easy introduction to the subject, this book will act as an essential on the job reference guide.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Halftitle
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. Introduction
  8. Basic overview of the role of ENG/SNG
    1. A brief history
  9. Definitions
    1. ENG
    2. OB
    3. SNG
  10. Principal elements in covering an event
    1. Camera and sound
    2. Editing
    3. Getting the story back
    4. Going live
    5. Communication with the studio
    6. Talkback
    7. Back to the story
  11. Analogue theory
    1. Analogue basics
    2. Frequency and wavelength
    3. Phase
    4. Modulation principles
  12. The TV picture
    1. Colour information
    2. Capitalizing on the brain’s weaknesses
    3. Frames
  13. Digital
    1. Phase modulation
  14. Terrestrial microwave links
    1. Line of sight
    2. Microwave frequencies
    3. Microwave frequency bands for ENG
    4. Microwave – and the microwave
  15. Fresnel zones
    1. Fade margin
  16. Digital modulation in ENG microwave
    1. COFDM
    2. Compression
    3. Advantages of digital microwave
    4. Digital vs analogue
  17. Transmission and reception chains
    1. Audio channels
    2. Handling of baseband audio – digital vs analogue
  18. Antennas
    1. Polarization
  19. Trucks and masts
  20. Setting up a link
  21. Mid-points
    1. Roofs
  22. Other microwave link platforms
    1. Airship links
    2. Helicopter links
    3. Man-pack links
  23. Radio cameras
    1. Analogue radio-cam links
    2. Digital radio-cam links
  24. Optical links
    1. Infra-red optical video link
    2. Optical laser link
  25. Satellites and orbits
    1. Geostationary orbit principles
    2. Longitude and latitude
  26. Basic satellite communication theory
    1. Uplinks – space segment – downlinks
  27. Basic digital SNG system
    1. Frequency bands of operation
    2. Polarization
  28. Digital compression
    1. Squeezing the juice
    2. Pixels
    3. Principles of compression – digital sampling
    4. Redundancy
  29. Video compression
    1. Spectral redundancy
    2. Spatial redundancy
    3. Temporal redundancy
  30. MPEG
    1. MPEG-2
    2. Profiles and levels
  31. MPEG picture problems
    1. Artefacts
    2. Delay and latency
  32. Audio compression
    1. Psychoacoustics
    2. Audio sampling and masking
  33. Digital modulation in SNG
    1. Error correction
    2. Transmission and symbol rates
    3. Quality and compression
  34. DSNG processing equipment
    1. Encoders
    2. Modulator (modem)
    3. Upconverters
    4. Amplifiers
  35. SNG antennas
    1. Feedhorn polarization
  36. Link budgets
    1. Fade margin
  37. DSNG uplink types
    1. Configuration
  38. Flyaways
    1. Antennas
    2. Flight-cases
  39. Typical flyaway operation
    1. Live position
    2. Studio-remote communications
    3. Commslink
    4. Video editing
    5. Electrical power
    6. The challenges
  40. SNG vehicles
    1. Electrical power generator
    2. Stabilizing jacking system
    3. Level of redundancy
    4. Multiple programme paths
    5. Hybrid SNG/ENG trucks
  41. SNG operations – locating the uplink
    1. Finding your satellite
  42. Co-ordination and line-up procedures
    1. Over-runs
  43. Automation
    1. Automated acquisition of the satellite
    2. GPS
  44. Automation in operation
    1. Advantages and disadvantages of automation
    2. Fully remote operation
  45. Inmarsat and the use of videophones
    1. Inmarsat system
    2. The various types of satphone
    3. Inmarsat Mini-M
    4. Inmarsat GAN
  46. Video-conferencing and videophones
    1. Videophones
  47. Store and Forward
    1. Store and Forward hardware
  48. Inmarsat satphone operation
    1. Inmarsat GAN
    2. Siting the satphone
    3. Safety
    4. Operating
    5. Inmarsat Mini-M
  49. Satellite regulatory issues
    1. Regulation
    2. Spectrum
    3. ITU (International Telecommunications Union)
  50. National control and trans-border issues
    1. The control of SNG
    2. National controls
    3. Licences
    4. Frequency clearance
    5. ITU SNG handbook
  51. Satellite operators
    1. Intelsat
    2. SES Global
    3. PanAmSat
    4. Eutelsat
    5. Other operators
    6. Europe
    7. Other regional satellite operators
  52. The use of satellite capacity
  53. Types of capacity
    1. Dedicated and non-dedicated capacity
    2. Short-term leases
    3. Occasional capacity
    4. Inclined orbit
  54. Operating an SNG uplink
    1. Placing a booking for occasional space segment
    2. Multi-and unilateral operations
    3. Pools
  55. Safety
    1. Outline of hazards
    2. Non-ionizing radiation
  56. Dealing with hazards with microwave equipment
    1. The position in the United Kingdom
    2. The position in the United States
    3. Practical steps to minimize risks
    4. Safety zones
    5. Risk to the operator
    6. Operations near airports
  57. Electrical hazards
    1. Rugged extremes
    2. Taking care
    3. The residual current device (RCD)
  58. Operating ENG pneumatic masts
    1. Overhead hazards
    2. Look up!
    3. Anatomy of an ENG accident
    4. The pressure of time
    5. Mast safety alarms
  59. Manual handling
    1. Cable safety
    2. Working at heights
    3. Down below
    4. Weather and time of day
  60. Driving of vehicles
    1. Tiredness
  61. Operating in hostile environments
    1. The immediate response
    2. Risk to personnel
    3. The team
    4. Train for survival
    5. Accepting the risk
  62. Getting in to the war zone
    1. Locating the uplink
    2. Pool arrangements
  63. Logistics
    1. Critical factors
    2. Chartering
    3. Excess baggage
    4. Freighting
    5. Carriage of systems on aircraft
  64. On the horizon
  65. Glossary of terms