SVC over satellite

  • Status
  • Status date

The objective of the project is to study and validate a more performing and cost-effective satellite broadcast technologies for HDTV; initially, combined usage of SVC and VCM techniques had been targeted. While studying the usage of SVC in the first technical phase, the project shifted to AVC + HEVC following the market timeframe.

Main objectives of the project:

  • Validation of multi-standard video decoding algorithms (AVC+HEVC) with DVB-S2 VCM over satellite by using Ku and Ka frequency bands.
  • Development and validation of a prototype of Set Top Box compatible with AVC&HEVC+VCM

Development and integration of multi-standard decoder into a Set Top Box prototype receiving in DVB-S2 VCM mode. This STB and transmission are intended to be backward compatible with existing STB and broadcast services.

  • The usage of combination of multi video coding with VCM will allow a cost-effective satellite broadcast service
  • To develop a first compatible STB prototype with the multi-standard decoder.

In order to reduce the satellite resources per video content with respect to the current commercial services transmissions and to deliver a better service to subscribers, the project combines the fact to encode a High Quality video with a more efficient video coding, saving resources with respect to simulcast transmission of two H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, and to transmit the video channel within a multistream transmission carrier DVB-S2 mode VCM (variable coding and modulation)

Two video layers (base and High Quality) are transmitted in different satellite streams, within the same carrier, allowing different transmission robustness depending of the video layer. The base layer may be transmitted with higher protection (FEC and more robust modulation) than the high quality video layer in order to avoid a service outage in case of e.g., bad link conditions.

In that case, the new commercial scenario may select different availabilities for each level of quality and may cover heterogeneous receivers (antenna sizes, different set-top-boxes, TV screens,…) without oversizing the system or without wasting satellite capacity simulcasting video content with different qualities (base and High Quality) using the same video coding H.264/MPEG-4 AVC over a CCM carrier.


After a first stage about analysis and definition of technologies and the system design for the new combination of technologies, a multi-standard decoder and STB prototype are designed and developed. Finally, a test campaign over real satellite capacity is carried out for Ku and Ka frequencies band.

Current status

The three main phases have been completed, system analysis, STB prototype development and system tool box prototype and test campaign phases.

Development and validation of a prototype of Set Top Box compatible with AVC&HEVC+VCM has been completed. The multistandard video decoding (AVC+HEVC) with DVB-S2 VCM over satellite by using Ku and Ka frequency bands has been validated, having a scalable service with smooth transition between qualities when the signal suffers degradation.