At the November 17 meeting...

Digital ENG

Managing Content for the Changing Shape of Television

By Paul R. Beck

The November 17, 1999 Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE) New England Section meeting event was held at Wolf Coach in Auburn, MA.

The featured speaker was Richard Wolf, President and CEO of Wolf Coach. The meeting host was Emeric Feldmar, Engineering Manager at Wolf Coach and an SMPTE Section Manager, serving as the Meeting Coordinator/Planner.

Mr. Wolf gave an in-depth PowerPoint presentation on a newly-developed digital transmission system used by mobile TV vans, aircraft or water vessels, which allows almost flawless picture and sound transmission, even when the vehicles are moving.

The system is termed COFDM for Co-Orthagonal Frequency Domain Multiplexing, and is being considered as a new technological advancement for Digital Broadcast systems direct-to-the-home, largely because of the inherent reduction of ghosting and other artifacts with conventional forms of analog and digital transmission.

Mr. Wolf’s presentation very graphically showcased how COFDM technology has already revolutionized the ENG industry. The presentation included videotape playback of recent live coverage of major news events in downtown New York City, where the presence of multiple tall buildings frustrates any attempts at "direct-path" transmission. The videotape depicted remarkably stable images from multiple locations in the heart of Manhattan, transmitted directly from moving land vehicles.

The presentation discussed how the current COFDM system provides acceptable MPEG-2 Digital video transmissions in the 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 formats, good enough for "Contribution Grade" digital signals.

Mr. Wolf emphasized that the new COFDM technology offers several unique and key advantages over other technologies:

  1. High level of protection against both static and dynamic multipath signal degradation
  2. Minimally a 4dB Co-Channel rejection,
  3. Excellent Adjacent-Channel interference reduction
  4. Ultra-reliable "Fixed-Path" radio links,
  5. "User-friendly" Digital ENG systems,
  6. Allows dual mode SNG & ENG on the same vehicle
  7. Dual-Path (two-camera view) using simple multiplexing
  8. True "all-mobile" applications from fast-moving land vehicles, watercraft and both rotary and fixed-wing types of aircraft.

For further information, contact Richard Wolf or Emeric Feldmar at Wolf Coach (508-791-1950)

Paul R. Beck is Director of Engineering at the TRF Unit at Emerson College and New England Section Secretary/Treasurer of SMPTE/New England. He can be reached at 617-824-8834.

Posted: 1 March, 2000
Robert Lamm, SMPTE/New England Newsletter/Web Page Editor