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

No. 6/2010 (Feb. 8, 2010)

"Always On, Always Connected."

The principle "Always On, Always Connected" of Broadcom Corporation is a new approach to management of multimedia connected consumer devices, communications, control and automation in the home/building. Broadcom provides components for a new generation of electronic devices - two processors manufactured in 40 nm technology and the management software - "Broadcom MediaxChange(TM)".
The first of the processors - BCM11211 - supports communication protocols, the second - BCM11181 - supports multimedia functions. The processors are based on RISC architecture (Reduced Instruction Set Computers) which guarantees high performance and capability of performing DSP operations (Digital Signal Processing). This effective solution enables the user to run graphical interfaces, web browsers, and multimedia resources. The BCM11211 processor allows wireless connectivity with other devices (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS).
This set of components allows to design equipment capable of managing: digital video recorder, video monitoring system, STB (Set-Top Box) settings, VoIP (Voice over IP), high resolution videoconferencing, Internet browsing. It has been announced as next generation Persona(TM) Internet Protocol (IP) communications platform.
Broadcom's market position as the world leader in the field of integrated circuits of SoC architecture (system-on-a-chip) and the potential of the new products provide the foundation for the success of this approach.
Modern devices distributing or playing back multimedia content (TVs, computers, DVRs, STBs, audio/video players, phones) should be interconnected and connected to the Internet, as a growing number of resources (text, audio and video) is available on the Web and has a universal form, i.e. can be played on many household devices (TV, PC, MP3 player, phone, etc).
The increasing importance of the equipment for automation and control of energy, ventilation, burglary alarm, video monitoring and other systems of a "smart home" is the reason for its integration and interconnection, as well as its availability through the Web.
All these requirements generate a need for seamless exchange of the multimedia content, integrated management, Internet connectivity - both in the case of multimedia devices and home systems creating a "smart" or "intelligent" home.

To implement "Always On, Always Connected" idea, Broadcom Corp. proposes a device integrating advanced features of multimedia, communications, and control center
Source: www.broadcom.com

TV tower on a hotel roof.

In general, television towers are built as separate structures, often far from city centers. It is not suitable for commercial use of the land directly below them.
One of the few exceptions is the tower visible in the photos, built on the roof of a hotel. The land in the city where it is located is extremely expensive, however there are no high-rise buildings there - so the TV tower does not need to be very high. Where is this tower? - Answer at the end of this issue.
TV tower on a hotel roof - where is it? Answer at the end of this issue.

How to receive programs from satellite pay-TV platform throughout the home, using a single smart card?

The subscriber wishing to receive channels of the digital platform on several receivers, has the following options:
  • using a single smart card - to employ sat receiver with loopthrough output, RF modulator, remote control extender;
  • to buy as many smart cards (and usually subscriptions) and sat receivers as the number of TVs in the home;
  • in the case of: Cyfra+ (Poland), Digital+/Astra (Spain), Canal Digitaal (Holland), CanalSat (France), Meo (Portugal) - to buy only one smart card (and subscription) but as many sat receivers as the number of TVs, and additionally - Clone+ and wireless cards communicating with Clone+.
In the first case the subscriber has only one subscription. The user can watch any channel on any television, but other televisions in the home can display only the same satellite channel.
This option requires a single sat receiver, either equipped with built-in RF modulator or connected to an external one. In order to be able to control the sat receiver from any room with a TV, a remote extender is needed. Its transmitter is placed close to the satellite receiver, and the IR receivers - at each place with a TV.
The main disadvantage of this solution is possibility of watching on all TVs only one, chosen at a moment, satellite SD channel (using an HD receiver, a high-definition channel could be watched in native resolution only on an HD-enabled TV directly connected to the receiver via HDMI interface).
Full Band LNB: Golden Interstar GI-201 (0.3 dB) Full Band LNB: Golden Interstar GI-201 (0.3 dB) Second LNB mount (for FAMAVAL dishes with rectangular arms)DiSEqC 2.0 / Tone Burst Switch: Golden Interstar GI 211 (2/1)TV/Sat Combiner (Diplexer) DC-009 TerraDVB-S Receiver: FERGUSON FK-7900 UCIFM Antenna: Dipol 1RUZ PM B (omnidirectional H+V)VHF TV Antenna: DIPOL 7/6-12 (7-element)UHF TV Antenna: DIPOL 44/21-69 Tri Digital2-Way TV/FM Splitter R-2 SignalTV Modulator TERRA MT473-Way TV/FM Splitter R-3 SignalCompression Antenna Socket PCT-IECF-9<br />(for TRISET-113)TV Modulator: Signal Digital Classic (ch.21-69, K - 6.5 MHz)Compression F Connector: PCT TRS-9 NT<br />(for TRISET-113) Elegant Satellite Dish: 80cm, offset, A-E, galvanized &paintedSubscriber terminal outlet: Satel GAR-BG-DK-SAT (surface type)Compression F Connector: PCT TRS-9 NT<br />(for TRISET-113) Wireless Remote Control Extension 2079T/RWireless Remote Control Extension 2079T/RWireless Remote Control Receiver 2079TWireless Remote Control Receiver 2079TAntenna Triplexer - ZA 4M
Each TV can display any terrestrial TV program, but all the TVs can show
only one (at a moment) satellite TV channel
In the next issues we will present the other two solutions.

SMATV system based on multiswitches - 5/9-cable or cascade architecture?

Many designers and installers are facing the problem of choosing the network topology of SMATV installations distributing terrestrial and satellite television. There are several options, and the main factor determining the choice should be the number and physical layout of the subscriber outlets.
Some designers prefer cascadable multiswitches also in multi-story buildings, due to simplicity and ease of implementation of this type of network. The main disadvantage of this solution is limited number of outlets - each cascade level rapidly decreases S/N ratio and increases the risk of network failure (a failure of one device may affect many users, on multiple floors).
The 5/9-cable systems are free from the drawback.
An example of a network based on 9-cable distribution system supported by the MSV multiswitches from TERRA is shown below. The trunk of the system is the 9-cable line which feeds (via taps) the multiswitches on the floors. Similarly to cascade systems, one multiswitch is responsible for distributing the signals on one floor, with the difference that it does not influence the rest of the network (including failure of the multiswitch). Replacement of some multiswitch by a model with a larger number of outputs in no way affects the performance of the network.
SMATV network with 80 outlets, based on MSV multiswitches from TERRA. A screenshot from the design made with the aid of SatNet2.0 program. Green spots in the outlets mean signal levels consistent with the standards for satellite and terrestrial TV distribution networks.
5/9-cable systems based on TERRA multiswitches have a number of advantages:
  • extensive range of equipment provides unlimited design possibilities,
  • the largest implementations contain about 1000 outlets,
  • centralized power supply - a single 230 VAC outlet is sufficient for powering the RF equipment for up to 200 subscriber outlets,
  • high flexibility of the installation - in the era of double-tuner receivers the replacement of any multiswitch by a model with a larger number of outputs is no problem - it is not "visible" for the subscribers connected to other multiswitches and does not require a redesign of the network,
  • reduced susceptibility to "single points of failure".
5-cable (for one satellite and terrestrial TV) and 9-cable (for two satellites and terrestrial TV) SMATV systems based on MSV multiswitches are the most versatile and flexible solutions for distributing satellite and terrestrial broadcasts to multiple subscribers.

Additional information on the subject:
- article: "Designing SMATV systems with SatNet software from TERRA"
- free software for network design: SatNet2.0
- presentation: SatNet Tutorial - 2.5 MB.

How far a 550 TVL camera is better than a 450 TVL device?

One of the fundamental problems in the design of a video monitoring system is adequate image quality. The quality of a CCTV camera is determined by two main factors: the kind of the image sensor and its resolution measured in visible lines (TVL). The most popular cameras on the market usually employ 1/3'' Sony CCD sensors of 450 TVL or 550 TVL video resolution.
To demonstrate the difference in picture quality between cameras with different number of TVL, there have been carried out tests of the u-cam 552 M11227 camera and u-cam 442 M11223 camera. The both cameras are equipped with Sony 1/3'' Super HAD CCD II sensors, however u-cam 442 M11223 in the 450TVL version, and u-cam 552 M11227 in the 550 TVL version. The cameras were tested using M231 TOKINA lens, in the same configuration and environment.
Picture from the camera
u-cam 552 M11227 (550 TVL)
Picture from the camera
u-cam 442 M11223 (450TVL)
10x magnification,
u-cam 552 M11227 (550TVL)
10x magnification,
u-cam 442 M11223 (450TVL)
The difference in images from the 550 TVL and 450 TVL cameras is easily noticed at 10x magnification. The image from the 550 TVL camera shows much more detail, the edges of objects are sharper. When choosing the camera with 550 TVL resolution, it is important to remember about suitable DVR, capable of recording images with 4CIF resolution - to maintain high image quality. An example of such DVR is ULTIMAX 204 M72040.
A complete image from analog camera consists of two fields. During one field the matrix of the sensor is scanned horizontally on the odd lines (1, 3, 5 ...), from the top to the bottom; during the next field the scanning is performed in the same way on even lines (2, 4, 6 ...), and so on. The complete frame is a composite of two scans - of odd and even lines. The number of scanning lines is compliant with TV norm (PAL: 625/560 - total/visible). At standard frame rate (PAL - 25 fps) the field scanning is performed 50 times per second. The resolution of the sensor is measured horizontally and depends mainly on its physical structure and electrical parameters.

How to add intelligence to a CCTV system - Event Handler.

ACTi cameras allow to create a modern CCTV system, characterized by both high image quality and intelligent responses to various situations. The interface between the events and responses is Event Handler. When something happens at the camera point: someone passes by, a door opens, a fire breaks out, or there is a change in lighting - these are the events (or triggers). For each event, the user may assign any rule that can change operating parameters of the video surveillance system, providing the desired response. As an example, motion in the area of detection may increase the camera resolution and frame rate. Or the switching into night mode can trigger uploading of pictures to an FTP server and increase of contrast level. An interesting solution is the ability to control parameters of another camera. For example, an event activating alarm input of camera 1 may cause that camera 2 (PTZ) will change the monitored area, going to the previously programmed position.
Such advanced features may also cause a lot of problems at the configuration stage. The help is provided by a short movie showing how to setup the ACM8511 K1217 camera in order to upload video clips to an FTP server and direct the camera to the previously set position. To view it, just click HERE.
Event Handler - advanced configuration
of ACM8511Z K1217 camera

4 burglaries in one year - a good reason for monitoring of underground garage.

Underground garages are easily accessible for thieves. Standard locks on the gates do not ensure sufficient safety level. Another problem is poor lighting in corridors.
In the garage of one of the housing cooperatives in Krakow there were 4 burglaries in one year. A dozen or so garage boxes were robbed each time. There were acts of vandalism and assault.
In order to increase security in the underground garage, the members of the residential community decided to install a video surveillance system.
The requirement of the investor has been remote access to the recorded material and the possibility of recognition faces and car license plates.
The installation company has built a CCTV system based on ULTIMAX 516 M75160 DVR that ensures recording of images with 4CIF resolution at 12 fps in each channel. The images with such resolution allow for recognition of faces and license plates of vehicles within the monitored area.
Network DVR: ULTIMAX-516 (H.264, 16 channels)Vandal Proof CCTV Camera: V-CAM 515 + IRVandal Proof CCTV Camera: V-CAM 515 + IRVandal Proof CCTV Camera: V-CAM 515 + IRVandal Proof CCTV Camera: V-CAM 515 + IROutdoor Color CCTV Camera: VF-515 IR/B<br /> (with 4-9 mm varifocal lens and IR illuminator)Vandal Proof CCTV Camera: V-CAM 515 + IR
CCTV installation diagram
Outside the building, at the entrances, and in the corridors in the garage, there are deployed vandal proof cameras V-CAM 515 M10751. At the entrances to the staicases there have been employed color cameras with 4-9 mm lenses - VF-515 IR/B M11278. All the cameras installed in the facility are equipped with IR illuminators, so the images are clear, even from places with poor lighting.
The DVR has been placed in a secure, heated room in the building. The local ISP has provided access to the Internet with an external IP address, so the users can remotely access live video and the recordings.
Both the DVR and cameras are normally powered from the local electricity network. However, the DVR and the cameras monitoring the route to the entrance to the room with the DVR are additionally protected by UPS - loss of AC power supply will not stop recording.
The video from the cameras placed outside the building is recorded on a continuous basis. The images from the corridors are recorded continuously during the night, but during the day the recording is performed only when triggered by motion detection.
To deter a potential intruder, there are deployed boards informing about operation of CCTV system.
Thanks to ULTIMAX Client software, each user of the garage has the possibility to watch recordings and video from cameras showing their box. It is possible due to individual settings of access rights to the system. The video from the cameras mounted outside the building is also available for the police and municipal police.
Residents are satisfied with the system. So far, its effectiveness is confirmed by the fact that since the startup (4 months ago) no burglary or act of vandalism happened.

Wireless transmission faster than Fast Ethernet.

The devices supporting wireless-n standard conquer the market of home networking equipment. The popular N Lite devices from TP-Link allow to transmit data at speeds up to 150 Mb/s, using only one transmission path (they use single antennas).
Advantages of home networks based on TP-Link N Lite equipment:
  • Possibility of high-speed file transfers, especially important in the case of multimedia content. Transmission speed up to 3x higher than in the case of 802.11g (54 Mb/s) and up to 15x higher than in the case of 802.11b (11 Mb/s);
  • Backward compatibility with the older standards - any b/g device can connect to the network at its own speed;
  • Simple configuration of the network due to QSS (Quick Secure Setup), allowing to add wireless-n devices to the existing 802.11n network just by pushing the QSS button.
Wireless USB Adapter: TP-Link TL-WN722N (802.11n, 150Mb/s)Access Point: TP-Link TL-WR740N (w. router, 4p-switch, 150Mb/s 802.11n) Wireless USB Adapter: TP-Link TL-WN721N (802.11n, 150Mb/s)ADSL Annex A Router: TP-Link TD-8816
A home network based on TP-Link N-Lite devices
The network employs:
ADSL Annex A Router: TP-Link TD-8816
The device allows access to the Internet through ADSL technology. The data is exchanged with the router with built-in Access Point - TL-WR740N N3252.
TP-Link TD-8816
Access Point: TP-Link TL-WR740N (w. router, 4p-switch, 150Mb/s 802.11n)
The computers can be connected to the router via four Ethernet ports or wirelessly (802.11n standard with transmission speed up to 150 Mb/s).
TP-Link TL-WR740N
Wireless USB Adapter: TP-Link TL-WN722N (802.11n, 150Mb/s)
Wireless USB adapter allowing to connect any PC to the wireless network. The biggest advantage of this card is external, detachable antenna, which enables transmission over long distances.
TP-Link TL-WN722N
Wireless USB Adapter: TP-Link TL-WN721N (802.11n, 150Mb/s)
Another wireless-n USB adapter allowing to connect any PC to the wireless network.
TP-Link TL-WN721N

Kyoto - Japan.

Kyoto, located on the island of Honshu, was founded in 794 AD. For nine centuries it was the capital of Japan. There are more than 1500 Buddhist temples and about 200 Shinto shrines there.
The city was completely destroyed in the "Onin War" of 1467-77. As the result of this war, the population dropped from 900 thousand to 40 thousand. A revival began much later, in the mid-16th century.
Kyoto was the formal capital of Japan until the Meiji Restoration in 1868, when the shogunate was overthrown and the Emperor with the government moved to Edo. After changing the name of Edo to Tokyo ("Eastern Capital"), Kyoto was for a short period known Saikyo ("Western Capital").
At the end of World War II, the United States considered dropping the atomic bomb on Kyoto, but finally the city was removed from the list of targets.
Kyoto - from the left: Torii leading to the inner shrine of Fushimi Inari Taisha. Geisha in the Geisha district - Gion. Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji or Rokuon-ji) in the sun.
We have written about:

Modern system of monitoring dorms. Maisel SudParis is an non-profit organization whose main mission is to provide accommodation for students of two prestigious French universities: "Telecom SudParis" and "Telecom Ecole de Management" (former INT). The campus located in Evry consists of six buildings with single rooms, studios, apartments, common living areas such as kitchens, dining rooms, laundry rooms, meeting rooms...
Basic system architecture of the IP CCTV system
CCTV DVRs - the power issues. DVRs should be powered from single-phase 3-wire TN-S power networks (IEC 60364): phase (L) - neutral (N) - protective earth (PE). If the local power network does not have PE wire (usually green-yellow) connected to the earthing pin of the power socket, the proper solution in grounding the housing of the DVR. Any alteration in the power network can be done only by a licensed electrician, not only because of the danger of electric shock during such operations, but also because not all neutral and grounding circuits fulfill technical requirements necessary for effective protection (measurements needed)...

How to use wireless connectivity to extend the network. Internet access is nowadays indispensable in any office, store, or hotel. It can be easily distributed among many users by wireless means. The diagram below shows an example when the connection is provided by the ISP (cable TV, DSL, or other operator) via Ethernet interface (for example, cable modem with RJ-45 socket, Ethernet cable etc.)...

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