DIPOL Weekly Review - TV and SAT TV, CCTV, WLAN

No. 2/2009 (Jan. 12, 2009)

"The key to all the locks" - a receiver for multiple systems.

Broadcasting of radio and television programs is the oldest and still the most popular form of electronic communication, despite the growing popularity of other forms of transmission used e.g. in the Internet or cellular networks.
The primary advantage of broadcast transmission is its efficiency - the possibility to deliver a wide range of programs to multiple consumers simultaneously. However, the receivers are "specialized" (these are mostly radios and televisions designed for specific markets, comparatively sparse FM tuners/TVs on PCs and laptops, some models of mobile phones enabling reception of FM radio and/or mobile TV in one of the several standards).
Overcoming the barriers arising from different frequency ranges used (from the LW to L-band), the kinds of transmission (analog, digital, for mobile devices), various standards and technology (different modulations and color coding systems - analog and digital technology in many incompatible variations) is possible thanks to the achievements of the modern semiconductor industry and the development of software running on powerful hardware platforms.
The company which has focused on this field is Mirics Semiconductor, a UK-based fabless semiconductor company developing projects of integrated circuits and software solutions for universal receivers. The vision of the company is to enable reception of "everything and everywhere", while ensuring low cost of implementation in many devices, potentially suitable for this function (laptops, mini-notebooks, PDAs, satellite navigation devices, mobile phones, portable media players, "global" receivers etc).

Mirics has prepared two platforms - hardware (FlexiRF) and hardware-software (Mirics FlexiTV) solutions:
In the first case, this is one of the integrated circuits (Mirics Msi001, Msi002) of the world's first "poly-band" silicon tuner (with inputs AM1, AM2 , VHF, Band3, Band4/5, L-band - 1.9 GHz), enabling reception of AM, FM, digital radio (DAB, DRM, HD) digital terrestrial television (DVB-T, ISDB-T, DTMB), Mobile TV (DVB-H, CMMB, T-DMB, T-MMB) broadcasts. The tuner is intended to be embedded in any of the mentioned above devices, without requiring specific hardware resources (CPU, memory, etc.).
The second platform has been implemented in the form of a miniature USB 2.0 tuner (Msi3101 SmartTuner) that additionally enables reception of analog television. Through the use of the dedicated software running on the host device (computer, laptop, notebook, PDA, advanced satellite navigation device, or a modern media player), it performs software demodulation.
Source of the diagrams: www.mirics.com
Mirics Semiconductor has been qualified by UK Trade and Investment as one of nine representatives of British industry to the CES 2009 (USA, Las Vegas, 8-11 January). More about this global exhibition of consumer electronics and its huge impact on the development of the market - in the next issue.

Easier to build than keep up with modern standards.

The requirements for the housing and office equipment are continuously changing, and the new technologies are often difficult for implementation in the structure of an older building. Buildings constructed to the highest standards several dozen years ago have to be adapted to the new demands of nowadays telecommunications. Introduction of the new technologies often cannot wait until a complete renovation, so sometimes we can see shortcuts - especially with the wiring.
Therefore, it is important to design all cable runs and openings much wider, with free space for additional cables that can be needed for some future systems not known at the stage of construction or a major renovation of the building.
Even the most prestigious buildings lose their functionality
and then the cabling sometimes goes on the front...
(to see the details you should enlarge the picture on the right)

How to combine two SAT signals into one cable - TWINSENDER.

A common mistake made when wiring houses and apartments (or installing a satellite TV system) is putting only as many cables as needed at the moment. Most of satellite dishes have been installed with single LNBs, each connected with the sat receiver via single coaxial cable. However, modern sat receivers with recording functions (PVRs) have two tuners that require two independent signals. The same is needed when one wants to use another receiver. To avoid the trouble with installing another cable, one can use the TWINSENDER.
The device allows to transmit via a single coaxial cable two independent satellite signals plus terrestrial broadcasts. It is the best solution for all those who want to replace their single SAT receiver for a PVR or use another receiver, but are not able or don't like to install another cable.

Cable transmitter TWINSENDER R85260 can be used for:
  • connecting a PVR (HDD recorder) with a twin LNB - via one coax,
  • connecting two SAT receivers with a twin LNB - via one coax,
  • connecting a PVR/two SAT receivers with a twin LNB - via one coax, plus connecting (to the same cable) a terrestrial antenna (to be used with FM/TV receivers),
  • connecting a PVR (HDD recorder) with a multiswitch - via one coax (plus possibility of providing terrestrial signals to FM/TV receivers),
  • connecting two SAT receivers with a multiswitch - via one coax (plus possibility of providing terrestrial signals to FM/TV receivers),
  • connecting a PVR/two SAT receivers and TV set with TV/SAT combiner (e.g. R85300).
  • Using individual satellite dish, the fullband LNB has to be replaced by a TWIN LNB.
  • In multiswitch installation the inputs of the combiner have to be connected to separate outputs of the multiswitch.
  • To separate the terrestrial and SAT signals, the REC 2 output of the receiver has to be connected to a SAT/TV outlet (e. R694100), or TV/SAT diplexer (e.g. R85300).
  • No additional devices (amplifiers, diplexers, splitters etc.) can be used between the TWINSENDER combiner and receiver.
Cable transmitter TWINSENDER (2xSAT and FM/TV)
Cable transmitter TWINSENDER (2xSAT and FM/TV)
TWINSENDER R85260 - two SAT signals combined in one cable
Universal TWIN LNB Inverto 0.3 dBTwin Monoblock LNB: INVERTO BLACK PRO (0.2 dB)Cable transmitter TWINSENDER (2xSAT and FM/TV)Cable transmitter TWINSENDER (2xSAT and FM/TV)
One-cable connection of two signals from one or two satellites to a 2-tuner PVR

Control of PTZ cameras with modern DVRs.

One of the many advantages of ULTIMAX DVRs is implementation of majority of the most popular PTZ protocols. The operator can select the protocol of a specific camera and control its functions without a need of opening the menu of the camera.
Other merits of ULTIMAX series include possibility of PTZ control via Internet browser and, what is even more important, via ULTISYSTEM - a unique solution in the world, allowing to integrate local analog CCTV systems with city surveillance.
ULTISYSTEM surveillance suite allows to control a variety of PTZ devices, regardless of the manufacturer and model. For example, it is possible to control the wiper in a Pelco PTZ device integrated with camera housing, with a Bosch camera inside.
ULTIMAX Client does not perform all PTZ functions. They can be made available by entering appropriate preset and direct access to the camera menu. In the case of M1224 PTZ camera it is 95. The menu of the camera displayed on the screen enables the operator to control all parameters, enter presets, define the route.
Access to the menu of PTZ camera via "ULTIMAX Client" utility

Video from CCTV camera in home antenna system.

The cheapest way of getting CCTV images on televisions is use of Signal modulators: R95175 (5.5 MHz sound subcarrier - PAL G) or R95176 (6.5 MHz sound subcarrier - PAL K).
The modulators are designed for use in small antenna installations e.g. in one-family houses - for distributing audio-video signals from CCTV cameras, video cameras/camcorders, DVDs, SAT receivers etc. They implement digital selection of working channel, from 21 to 69 (the number is displayed). Signal Digital Classic RF modulators have loopthroughs both for baseband signals (SCART - SCART), and for RF (2 x IEC).

The range of modulators
ZA 1-12 / 21-60 Antenna DiplexerBroadband TV Combiner - ST 1-60VHF/UHF Amplifier - Terra HS-013(1-input / 2-output, 12V)TV Modulator: Signal Digital Classic (ch.21-69, K - 6.5 MHz)TV/SAT Wall Plate: Signal R-TV-SAT (terminal)Outdoor Color Camera: VF-515 IR
A simple home CCTV system allowing to use televisions
Ceiling Camera: SN-IR141DC (420 TVL, CCD, 0.1 lx, 3.6mm, IR)Outdoor Color Camera: VF-515 IRNetwork DVR: ULTIMAX-304 (H.264, 4 channels)TV Modulator: Signal Digital Classic (ch.21-69, K - 6.5 MHz)
When adding a DVR (before the modulator), the system is equipped with a professional feature - recording of the video from the cameras

Video server PiXORD P4504 K2132 allows local recording.

PiXORD P4504 K2132 uses advanced MPEG-4 ASP compression and, aside from streaming video to Ethernet network, allows local video recording - after installing optional hard drive.
The main applications include professional video surveillance systems based on IP networks, from small to extensive CCTV installations in scattered locations.
PiXORD P4504 K2132 cooperates very well with NVR server based on NUUO software, located in the monitoring center. This solution ensures security of the monitoring system: local recording on HDD and remote surveillance and maintenance by the operator. It is especially important in the case of Internet connection. If it fails, the server records the video locally, and the recordings will be available after restoration of connectivity.
Video server PiXORD P4504 K2132 supports RTSP protocol, allowing to watch the video with VLC or QuickTime.
Video surveillance in scattered locations (branches/chain of stores etc. - with local recording) managed by monitoring center

Mega cameras in mini housings.

IQinvision is the world's leader in manufacturing megapixel cameras. The company launched on the market a new series of the cameras - it sustains the high quality of the images, known from the professional equipment and is easier to manage. The IQ041 K1414 and IQ042 K1424 models provide images of 1.3 and 2.0 Mpix resolution respectively, which is rather untypical for such small cameras. They can be powered only via PoE. Similarly to other IQinVision cameras, the size of the picture can be freely set, even by one pixel. This function is ideal for posting the images on websites, with predefined size. Another plus of the series is Java environment, which allows to monitor the images with any Internet browser. Comparatively high sensitivity (0.2 lx) and WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) function make the cameras suitable even in very demanding environments.
Megapixel IP Camera: IQinvision IQ042 (2.0 Mpix)
2.0 Mpix camera IQinVision IQ042

ACTi IP cameras with megapixel resolution.

The main quality parameters of CCTV system include resolution of the recorded images, i.e. the number of distinguishable elements (points). The number cannot be higher than that provided by the camera.
Megapixel cameras are quickly gaining popularity. They set new quality standards in video monitoring, not achievable in previous systems based on analog cameras and typical DVRs. Let's compare a standard D1 camera (720 x 576 = 0.4 Mpix) and "typical megapixel" ACTi camera (1280 x 1024 = 1.3 Mpix) - the latter provides 3 times as much information.
ACTi manufactures a full range of cameras for various applications.

A companion to ACTi cameras
Megapixel Day/Night IP Camera: ACTi ACM-5611
  • Box - versatile cameras for many purposes. Due to changeable lens the installer can adjust the viewing angle. The shape of such a camera is suitable for indoor applications, or - after using an outdoor housing equipped with heater, thermostat and fan - also for outdoor operation. Available models: K1512 (day/night), K1513.
  • Bullet - a very popular model due to outdoor housing (IP66) and built-in IR illuminator. A perfect camera for use in systems requiring compact and durable outdoor devices. Available model: K1511.
  • Dome - outdoor cameras designed for mounting on ceilings. Vandal-proof construction allows applications in harsh environments. Available model: K1313. For less demanding applications - K1314 (indoor dome, not rugged)
  • PTZ - an interesting solution combining features of megapixel and PTZ cameras. It can provide very detailed, high resolution images as well as a wider panorama of the monitored area. Very useful in large rooms, halls etc, e.g. in storehouses.
  • Cube - the simplest model of megapixel camera, a very compact one. An ideal device for monitoring of offices, shops etc. Available model: K1510.

Backup link in IP CCTV system - ACTi cameras.

Critical surveillance systems have to be protected against loss of power and/or connections among the vital components. The means include reserve power supply, duplicate recording system, and backup links, especially in the case of wireless transmission.
All IP cameras and video servers from ACTi are equipped with two RJ-45 ports, LAN and WAN. Aside from the basic functions, it allows to create backup links. Normal transmission can be performed via WAN port, in the case of a failure it switches to LAN. This function requires to set "Failover" option in the camera settings.

Most IP cameras in the market do not have double Ethernet ports, which makes it difficult to create a backup link.
- Backup link - example application.
Remote CCTV monitoring is indispensable for operating self-service gas/petrol station. In the case of a link failure, the operator would loss the image. It is important to protect the continuity of the monitoring by using backup links that will take over transmission during the time needed for repairing the main link.
For reliable wireless transmission we recommend ULTIAIR Access Points.
Wireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 423KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 423KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 323KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 323KC
Normal operation
Wireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 423KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 423KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 323KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 323KC
Automatic switching to the backup link

Transmission qualities of different architectures of wireless IP CCTV networks.

High reliability of wireless infrastructure is especially important in the case of IP CCTV systems. The diagrams below present two quite different network architectures.
1. Efficient wireless backbone based on sector antennas

Use of 4 sector antennas allows to cover the whole area (360o). The four independent sectors are easy to manage. They operate in optimal, individually selected channels. The sector antennas can be adjusted (tilt) to their counterparts cooperating with cameras.
The total capacity of such base station can theoretically reach 216 Mb/s (up to 54 Mb/s for each sector), which provides a large margin for practical IP CCTV solutions. This infrastructure allows to connect a much greater number of cameras than in the case of one omnidirectional antenna.
Wireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 319KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 319KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 319KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 319KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 323KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 323KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 323KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 323KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 417SBWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 417SBWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 417SBWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 417SBWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 419KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 419KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 423KCWireless Access Point: ULTIAIR 423KCIP Speed Dome Day/Night Camera: ACTi CAM-6621 (MPEG-4)IP Speed Dome Day/Night Camera: ACTi CAM-6621 (MPEG-4)IP Speed Dome Day/Night Camera: ACTi CAM-6621 (MPEG-4)IP Speed Dome Day/Night Camera: ACTi CAM-6621 (MPEG-4)IP Speed Dome Day/Night Camera: ACTi CAM-6621 (MPEG-4)Video Server: ULTINET-701 (H.264)Speed Dome Camera: T2-SB36
IP CCTV system for cities based on ULTIAIR sector antennas
2. Inefficient wireless backbone based on omnidirectional antenna
Application of a single omnidirectional antenna allows to cover the whole area (360 o) too, but the only plus of this solution is low cost. Such a solution is usually not suitable for professional purposes due to:
  • low maximum capacity of the base station (up to 54 Mb/s) - in the case of the previous architecture it can be multiplied, e.g. to 432 Mb/s - for 8 antennas),
  • one-channel operation makes the system sensitive to interferences (in the case of sector antennas they operate in different channels),
  • the antenna cannot be adjusted to local propagation/link conditions (in the case of sector antennas some of them can be tilted).
Wireless backbone based on omnidirectional antenna
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