Posted on November 3, 2015 in ATSC News
Gérard Faria is Chief Technology Officer of TeamCast, a company he co-founded in 2003 that is a worldwide supplier in digital modulation technologies for DTV and mobile TV, wireless video links and satellite transmission solutions. An Electronic Engineering graduate from the University of Paris-Sud, Faria says it’s just by chance that he became involved in broadcasting. But involved he became and he is now firmly entrenched.
After tenure with several large French companies including Thomson-CSF and Marcel Dassault Aircraft, Faria launched his first start up in 1988, ITIS (Innovation in Telecommunications Image and Sound), where he was a significant contributor to the European standards for Digital Radio (DAB) and Digital TV (DVB) for the next decade. Faria also worked on MPEG1 digital audio compression and early COFDM technologies, pioneering activities paving the way to develop and market network equipment which ultimately led to ITIS’ and Faria’s participation in standardizing digital broadcast systems.
ITIS was acquired by Harris Corporation (now GatesAir) in 1997 and, soon after, Faria worked on Single Frequency Networks for terrestrial broadcasting.
The Future: Flexible, Efficient, Versatile
Since the terrestrial broadcast platform will experience strong competition with broadband standards, either as developed by IEEE (WiFi and WiMax) or by 3GPP (4G-LTE and 5G later), Faria says future systems should be built with three key components:
“Currently, the competition takes place in the allocation of spectrum resources but soon it will be the effectiveness of the systems that will make the difference on the market,” he said. “In such context, my contribution to the ATSC 3.0 was to think beyond the selection or the fine tuning of the ATSC 3.0 technical bricks and to consider their assembly and their ability to contribute to the ATSC 3.0 flexibility, efficiency and versatility.”
Importance of ATSC Participation
Faria has been actively participating in ATSC 3.0 since late 2013.
“I wanted to leverage the experience I gained in Europe since 1998 in using broadcast systems to supply mobile receivers,” Faria said. “Accordingly, I contributed to ATSC 3.0 by analysis of the various trade-offs required to optimize the broadcast infrastructure to serve both stationary and non-stationary receivers.”
With Faria’s industry history and expertise, he’s in a unique position to comment on how members can most benefit from ATSC membership.
“The real competitive field is not inside the ATSC forum but outside. And outside, the wireless transmission industry has strong actors with powerful technologies. We should try to forget that competition and catalyze on the cooperation: from this coop-etition will arise the best achievable broadcasting system.”
Faria and FoBTV
“My company’s core business is to provide the broadcast infrastructure market with network equipment,” Faria says. “That’s why we contributed to the standardization efforts not only in the European DVB, but also by the introduction of digital broadcast technologies around the world: DVB-T & DVB-T2 worldwide, T-DMB (Korea), DTMB & CMMB (China), ISDB-T (South America) and even ATSC 1.0 & FLO (USA).”
He also notes that TeamCast contributes to the FoBTV (Future of Broadcast TV) initiative and sustains the idea of a “universal” terrestrial broadcast standard, embracing the needs and requirements of every broadcaster around the world.
“ATSC 3.0 specifications portfolio seems to complement DVB sspecs. Both portfolios exhibit transmission performances close to the Shannon limit, but ATSC 3.0 offers an end-to-end IP-centric system while DVB offer an end-to-end MPEG-TS centric system. Fortunately, the layer independency rule that governed the design of the two portfolios, allows one to bridge the ATSC3.0’s protocol stack with the DVB’s transmission infrastructures and vice-versa!” Faria adds. “These two complementary approaches could constitute the “universality” sought after by FoBTV.”
Technical Meets Artistic
While Faria clearly engages the technical side of his brain, it’s certainly not at the expense of the artistic. A lifelong music lover, he began playing the accordion 50 years ago but found he could play Chopin, Bach and Beethoven masterpieces on a synthesizer for a full orchestral sound. He says he’s told he performs Mozart’s Turkish March quite well, possibly because Mozart is his favorite composer. He recently started studying architecture to keep up with his son who is nearing completion of course work at the Architecture High School of Versailles (ENSA-V). Faria lives in France but is a frequent world traveler, regularly spending time in such far flung places as Tokyo, Hanoi and Moscow.
Posted in ATSC News
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The Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc., is an international, non-profit organization developing voluntary standards and recommended practices for digital terrestrial broadcasting. ATSC member organizations represent the broadcast, broadcast equipment, motion picture, consumer electronics, computer, cable, satellite, and semiconductor industries. ATSC also develops digital terrestrial broadcasting implementation strategies and supports educational activities on ATSC standards.