Middle East satellite operator Nilesat has announced technology partners for a next-generation satellite platform – the Nilesat Smart Digital Broadcasting System – that it says will provide for the compression and multiplexing of 360 TV services and 120 radio services over 24 digital transport streams, with the ability to expand up to 480 TV Services and 30 transport streams.

Nilesat has contracted Media Era Technologies (Mera-Tech) as the integrator and consultancy partner to supervise the building of the platform, with responsibility for designing, planning, and testing, deploying, and optimising the end-to-end platform.
Suppliers include Cisco, which will provide technologies from Cisco Media Production Solutions including its D9036 encoder and DCM platforms to manage headend functions including acquisition, encoding and transcoding, video processing.
Mera-Tech has chosen Bridge Technologies to provide the digital media measuring and analysis technology for the platform. Bridge’s VB330 core probes, VB288 Content Extractor, VB272 Satellite RF S/S2 analysis, VB242 for ASI analysis, VB220 for IP analysis and VBC for probes full management will be deployed at the main production facility and headends to provide a monitoring capability for up to 900 services and 48 Transport streams over Nilesat’s network during the first phase of the project, increasing to up to 1,100 services and 60 Transport streams in the second phase.
Newtec has supplied over 30 M6100 broadcast satellite modulators with automatic redundancy for the platform. Newtec’s technology can be upgraded to support DVB-S2X and Carrier ID insertion (DVB-CID), on top of other Newtec advanced satellite technologies that are compatible with the DVB-S2 standard, such as its Automated Equalink pre-distortion technology. Newtec’s Clean Channel Technology provides improved roll-offs for DVB-S2 and advanced filtering for optiomal bandwidth use, according to Newtec.
Nilesat currently broadcasts over 730 TV channels, and over 140 digital radio channels uplinked from Cairo, Dubai, Amman, Doha, Riyadh and Beirut. Over 75% of the TV channels are free to air, and the Nilesat audience in the MENA region has shown steady growth, from 11 million households in 2003 to more than 60 million households in 2013.