TV GLOBO TVDR
Digital terrestrial TV is being launched in Brazil with great success, reaching more than 65 million people in less than two years. However, Brazil is a huge country, and there are rural areas that will never be covered by terrestrial TV. In fact, even though terrestrial TV covers even small cities in Brazil, the only TV Globo TV signal that currently reaches these rural areas is a C-band analog satellite national feed, which, being unencrypted, also overlaps local TV coverage areas and spills over into adjacent countries, causing both commercial problems and difficulties in sporting exhibition rights. Aiming to better serve the rural communities and digitize the analog satellite signal before analog technology becomes obsolete, TV Globo decided to develop a system targeted for rural areas based on GPS. It was conceived years ago, but only recently the GPS silicon implementation became mature enough for the project’s needs.
Project planning for TV Globo’s Digital Television for Rural Areas (TVDR) began in 2005 when Nagravision and Thomson joined the project as partners, followed later by Prime. Checking its location through a GPS module, the set-top box will only yield TV GLOBO’s satellite signals in the rural areas of Brazil.
In November 2009, this pioneer system will launch in the Rio de Janeiro rural area and will subsequently be expanded throughout Brazil. TVDR will feature only one satellite national feed, but regional feeds will replace the national feed, region by region. A conditional access system was developed for this project, linking geo-referenced maps to each regional feed. As each regional feed becomes available, the receivers located in the corresponding region will automatically choose it. If the location is outside Brazil, no signal will be decrypted.
TV Globo serves 99.5 percent of the Brazilian population and produces 90 percent of its programming, including 2500 hours of soap operas and more than 1800 hours of news programs per year. It is a free-to-air TV network with a business model based solely upon advertising. Furthermore, it is committed to keeping alive regional cultures through the programming efforts of its 121 affiliated TV stations throughout Brazil, and TVDR is the perfect ally toward this goal.
To ensure the launch of the first signal in Rio de Janeiro, the technical team designed, integrated and tested the whole system in detail. The operational team was involved and trained throughout the process to facilitate the start of this new operation. The key components of the system are a conditional access system from Nagravision, encoders and multiplexers from Cisco, a set-top box from Thomson and a GPS module from Prime.
TVDR’s project team developed a system that will benefit the population of rural areas with digital quality and lend to satellite transmissions the regional aspects of terrestrial TV, while helping to eliminate rights issues and preserve TV GLOBO’s business model.
New studio or RF technology — station
Submitted by GLOBO Comunicação e Participações SA
Ana Eliza Faria, eng. mgr.; Paulo Henrique de Castro, sys. conceiver; Arthur Vilella, eng. mgr.; Cíntia Leite, prog. mgr.; Marcelo Souza, headend coordinator; Rodrigo Nascimento, set-top box coordinator; Carlos Fernandes, eng.; Deyse Freitas, eng.; Gustavo Dutra, eng.; Patrícia Freire, eng.
Technology at work
Cisco: DCM9900 digital content manager multiplexer, D9034 SD H.264 MPEG encoder, D9054 HD H.264 MPEG encoder, D9854 receiver/decoder, ROSA network management system
Nagravision: Merlyn conditional access system
Newtec: NTC 2277 DVB-S2 modulator, NTC 2185 IF redundancy switch
Prime: RRG48B GPS module
Thomson: DSI705THO set-top box