Frontline Communications Puts MPEG-4 on the Front Line

Mobile units from PACSAT and Peak Uplink are on display at the Frontline Communications booth, and both offer dual C- and Ku-band uplink capabilities as well as MPEG-4 encoders.

“These two trucks are used primarily for the transmission of big-time sports,” says Bob King, international sales manager for Frontline Communications. “They’re after the sports-network business. Sometimes, sports entities want to do it all on C-band because they own capacity on the satellites, and that’s a pretty important thing because it’s so expensive.”

However, both trucks on display have MPEG-4 encoders, which squeezes the HD compression so that all of the HD content can fit on that C-band uplink.

“MPEG-4 is here, and it takes up less space,” King explains. “Heretofore, to do HD C-band with that size antenna, it was on the hairy edge. Sports guys were saying, we want to do full transponder, so you have to have a big antenna or we have to get the newest compression system that’s going to work. The guys that are taking the plunge and getting all new MPEG-4 encoders and doing the dual-band antennas, they’re getting the lion’s share of the jobs.”

Luckily for him, he adds, there is a pent-up need for smaller trucks, as larger companies look to replace some of their fleet this year and smaller truck companies look to buy new trailers.

“There are a lot of trailers that are going to go this year,” King says, “and I’m excited about that.”