Skip to comments.DirecTV Pursues Ka-band for 'Ultra HDTV'
Posted on 03/15/2012 4:40:42 PM PDT by Las Vegas Dave
At the 2012 Satellite Convention which took place in Washington D.C. this week, Philip Goswitz of DirecTV (News - Alert) announced that, 4,000 and 8,000-line services are great for the satellite industry, and will ensure that satellite broadcasting continues to distinguish itself for image quality of service. We see this as a key strategic advantage for us. Goswitz is disclosing how his company plans on providing its spectrum with advantages unique to satellite services.
Unlike new spectrum-seeking satellite companies that are now hoping to initiate Ku-band transmissions (like Qatars EshailSAT) Goswitz predicts that Ku-band will soon be obsolete and Ka-band is what consumers are turning towards for HDTV services. According to the press release, Japan plans to launch their Ultra-HDTC services using Ka-band in 2020. Goswitz says in addition to his company being fully aware of Ka-band transitions, DirecTV is also working on developing, so-called Reverse Band for DBS. The technological edge will include amongst other things, 3D viewing without glasses.
But what makes Ka-band superior to Ku-band? Goswitz says, I am not even sure our own executives know! They dont know the difference between Ka and Ku-band, and why should they?
Whatever Ka-band means to anybody else may be unclear, but Goswitz recognizes it the means for one thing every business understands: money. He adds, But Ka-band doesnt just mean broadband. To us it means broadcasting. The truth is that as our Ku-band transmissions end, then increasingly every dollar in revenue is attributable to Ka-band. Well be entirely Ka-band in about five years. Currently, of our total $27 billion in annual revenues, about $20 billion comes from Ka-band,
DirecTV has most recently made press appearances for their coveted spectrum. Companies like AT&T (News - Alert) have been denied the perusal of additional spectrum by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and have just recently been denied from acquiring T-Mobile for their spectrum. Other satellite companies have suffered from regulations imposed by the FCC (News - Alert), so DirecTVs spectrum is all the more valuable.
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It means my Radar Detector will be going nuts all over the place.
cool stuff....i install directv.
Yeah, I was wondering about that one as well. Or if police radar would create interference for nearby receivers.
I would worry more about rain. I think Ka attenuation is even worse than K band.
Not eliminated, but mitigated. And with multiple satellites you have path diversity.
Ka band frequencies are higher than than Ku band. That makes it easier to get higher bandwidth in the key rf components of the system: antenna, amplifiers, converters and filters. Ground antennas can be smaller and that is also a plus. The penalty: probable higher atmospheric attenuation. And getting transmit power on the satellite will be harder but apparently DirecTV thinks they can handle that problem.
I think he’s concerned about rain-fade on the downlink...
I have one of those fancy smanshy Cobras that pick up everything from K to LIDAR. If a cop is within a half mile it goes off. I could just imagine one of those bands being used as a video carrier.
Watch out for the Train Crossings at Kroger as well. :^)
To the other side of the water hole (26.5 GHz) they go. I’ll have to check the atten chart, but I believe atmospheric attenuation is higher there, but they will make up for it with more gain in the same size antenna. It’ll even out, or pretty close.
Yeah, it'll be higher at Ka.
What came of broadband over powerline? TXU or whatever they call themselves today was going ot do it and suddenly backed out. Reportedly could get broadband + HDTV + phone.
It exists and you can buy it now, but it’s not very good.
Our house is surrounded by tall trees - years ago we checked with the “dish” people and they said no way could we get reliable signal.
For people with dishes in the best locations - do they lose signal during storms/heavy rain? Just curious - sort of sounds that way ... out here in Florida that would seem to be a consideration favoring cable ... ;-)
Aren't you forgetting about the dipole factor? I mean, of course the dB gain could be the same with a smaller dish. But the actual signal strength, measured as microvolts across the terminals of the dipole, would vary inversely as a function of wavelength.
According to ARRL, BOPL is basically dead. Hams and some other MW users fought it vigorously at every step of the way, but they probably had little effect on the regulators. What finally seems to have nailed the coffin is that BOPL technology just wasn’t cost-competitive in most places where it was tried.
>> Our house is surrounded by tall trees - years ago we checked with the dish people and they said no way could we get reliable signal <<
They’re wrong. It all depends on how tall a tower you’re willing to install in your backyard!
The dipole factor means, for an antenna whose size is held constant as measured by wavelength, signal strength will vary inversely as a function of the freqency. (Just hope I got it right this time!)
These antennas are mostly parabolic sections with offset feeds (the focal point is not directly in front of the antenna so aperture blockage is nil - good thing). Typical circular reflectors and feed designs are nominally 10% bandwidth (10% of the nominal design frequency).
Hence, roughly, if you double the frequency, the operating bandwidth doubles. Additionally, if the aperture size stays the same, the gain increases when the frequency is increased...so - more bandwidth, more gain (there are other losses that counteract some of the gain increase). There will also be a narrower beamwidth which means more difficult to align. I find it curious that businessmen in charge of billion dollar plus enterprises don't even understand what makes them tick...if I owned the company, their buts would be in a class somewhere.
Good point. With a tall enough tower I could just plug a cable directly into the satellite ... ;-)
Actually the dish would probably have to be smaller. Keeping it the same size as the current dishes would raise the gain and make pointing the dish more difficult. But that’s a trade off. More gain is always better.
I am told that my electric supplier, TXU Luminate, has BOP on now, but only to read our rural meters and probably to “turn you off or brown” via the “Smart Meter” they and nobama are trying to sell us.
>> I am told that my electric supplier, TXU Luminate, has BOP on now, but only to read our rural meters and probably to turn you off or brown <<
If that’s all they’re doing, then I’d say it’s “narrowband” rather than broadband. And they’re probably down in the LW frequencies, which for many years the power companies have used for telemetry. In other words, nothing new.
(In fact, it’s probably been opposition from the power companies that has prevented LW broadcasting in the USA.)