120GHz Milliwave Radio Relay Transmitter Tested at Olympics

Aug 12, 2008
Yukiko Kanoh, Nikkei Electronics
Overall image of the test
Overall image of the test
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The transmitter
The transmitter
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The transmitter controller
The transmitter controller
[Click to enlarge image]

Fuji Television Network Inc and NTT Corp will test non-compressed HDTV video transmission using a wireless technology based on the 120GHz milliwave band in live feeds from the Beijing Olympic Games.

The test will be conducted from August 8 to 24, 2008, during the games.

The two companies have demonstrated simultaneous, wireless transmission of multiple HDTV video channels without delay, using the 120GHz milliwave band several times since 2005. To enable the technology to be used in the production of programs, they developed a compact, low-power, 120GHz milliwave-based wireless transmitter, which can be powered by batteries for the aforementioned test.

In the test, staff of Fuji Television engaged in TV program production will aim to confirm the effectiveness of the technology and any issues by operating the wireless transmitters by themselves.

Specifically, they will transmit HDTV video signals sent from special live feed locations at the Beijing Olympics to the International Broadcast Center (IBC) of the Beijing Olympic Games using the 120GHz milliwave band without compressing the video. The distance between the special live feed location and the IBC is about 1km. Wireless transmitters using 120GHz milliwaves will be set at the both special live feed location and the IBC.

The special live broadcast locations can cover almost the entire Olympic Park area without blind corners, allowing Fuji Television to shoot live reports in front of various buildings inside the area, the companies said. Fuji Television is planning to use the video transmitted in the test in its news programs to be aired from early morning to late night.

The 120GHz milliwave wireless transmission technology used in the test features data rates of up to 11.1Gbps. It allows multi-channel transmission of non-compressed HDTV video signals up to six channels without delay.

Microwave band wireless video transmitters, which are commonly used by TV stations, cannot transmit HDTV video without compressing it or avoid a delay of about 0.5 seconds due to signal compression and decompression. The new technology can overcome these challenges, NTT and Fuji Television said.

In the production of live programs, there is strong demand for a wireless system that can transmit HDTV video without delay to realize smooth dialog between the studio and the on-site live feed, according to the two companies.

NTT and Fuji Television will advance the development of a 120GHz milliwave-based wireless transmission technology, making the most of the test's results, they said.