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An experimental time-compression system for satellite television transmission

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4 Author(s)
Schmidt, R.L. ; AT&T Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, NJ, USA ; Haskell, B.G. ; Eng, K.Y. ; O'Riordan, S.M.

We describe an experimental system for demonstrating time-compression multiplexing (TCM) of two NTSC color television signals in a satellite channel of 36 MHz. The system employs digital processing to derive line or field differentials from each picture. The television signals are then converted into interleaved lines (or fields) of unimpaired baseband video and companded line (or field) differentials. These signal components are finally time compressed and multiplexed into a combined signal for single-carrier FM transmission. With 4.5-m earth stations, the field-differential technique offers extremely good transmission quality suitable for TV distribution to cable head-ends (weighted signal-to-noise ratio, WSNR ≈ 51.5 dB), while the line-differential method provides a slightly lower WSNR ( ≈ 49 dB). We recommend the field-differential approach because of its superior overall picture quality. For larger receive stations (7m), higher picture quality (WSNR ≈ 56 dB) could be obtained. If 10-m earth stations are employed, the received video performance is practically indistinguishable from the corresponding one in the one-television-per-transponder case, and we infer that three pictures can indeed be sent with a graceful degradation as previously suggested. By choosing the parameters properly, the current TCM system can be optimized for a wide variety of applications with higher channel capacity.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:73 ,  Issue: 4 )