SABC settles on ND SatCom for newsgathering fleet

Subsequent to a technology evaluation for its needs around contribution of news from any corner of South Africa, South Africa’s public broadcaster SABC has decided on the latest Satcom-On-The-Move (SOTM) technology for its SNG fleet. The ten new vehicles will have the ability to transmit video (SD or HD), voice and data, all while on the move.

The vehicle no longer needs to park, unfold the dish on the roof, point, go through the ‘align-the-dish’ procedure with the satellite provider and then commence with transmission. Now it’s simply ‘point the camera’ and transmit, no matter if the vehicle is driving down a busy highway or is at standstill at some event.

Simultaneously while this video is transmitted the user has telephone contact with MCR via SABC’s own PABX telephone network, making the vehicle independent of a possible overloaded GSM network. To monitor the vehicles and limit wasteful use of satellite capacity, the whole fleet will be controlled from headquarters in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. From here the Management System – Media Fleet Manager (MFM), an ND SatCom developed system, informs the manager where each vehicles are, if it’s travelling or standstill, transmission is scheduled up to the second automatically, reducing the time and effort to a minimum. Key for the used smart technology in the vehicles is the ND SatCom SKYWAN modem integrated with the SOTM antenna allowing the MFM to dynamically grant transmission capacity to camera teams when and where needed.

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