Broadcast Signal Generator Integrates Test Functions

April 14, 2008
Broadcast television equipment production testing usually requires a trio of tools: a signal generator, modulator, and high-power amplifier for distributing test signals throughout a manufacturing facility. They combine to evaluate ...

Broadcast television equipment production testing usually requires a trio of tools: a signal generator, modulator, and high-power amplifier for distributing test signals throughout a manufacturing facility. They combine to evaluate televisions, set-top boxes, and other broadcast products in accordance with a specific standard or standards at multiple frequencies and with different waveforms. To simplify matters, the R&S SFE100 broadcast signal generator from Rohde & Schwarz (rohde-schwarz.com) can include all three as well as a transport stream generator, audio/video generator, and arbitrary waveform generator in a rack-mount unit only 1.7 in. high.

The R&S SFE100 can be ordered with a specific digital or analog baseband signal source. The source can be programmed for specific modulated outputs by the user, or can play back signals based on Rohde & Schwarz's extensive waveform library. The modulation parameters of signals for each broadcast standard, such as constellation, code rate, and fast Fourier transform (FFT), can be defined and varied, allowing all versions of a standard to be tested. The R&S SFE100 covers 100 kHz to 2.5 GHz in 1-Hz steps specified by either center frequency or channel number. The generator's single-sideband (SSB) phase noise is better than -115 dBc/Hz offset 20 kHz from a 300- MHz carrier, with modulation error ratio (MER) of better than 40 dB.

An optional high-power RF amplifier aids signal distribution in productiontest facilities. A standard R&S SFE100 provides adjustable output levels from -100 to +15 dBm in 0.1-dB steps. The optional amplifier boosts the upper output level limit to +27 dBm (0.5 W).

An optional transport stream generator creates high-bit-rate MPEG-2 data, eliminating the need for an external generator. The unit's standard-definition- television (SDTV) transport stream library includes Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) and digital video broadcast (DVB) test streams covering many applications and test scenarios, with additional signal libraries available from Rohde & Schwarz. Another option allows transport (.trp) file format streams installed in the R&S SFE100 to be replayed along with T-DMB and DAB ETI streams. Other options include an analog video generator to create test patterns and audio signals, including FuBK and color bar test patterns for PAL, SECAM, and NTSC video formats.

With a baseband in-phase/quadrature (I/Q) modulation bandwidth to 35 MHz and sample rate to 100 MSamples/s, the optional arbitrary waveform generator can create signals ranging from complex modulation types to interferers such as notched noise.

The R&S SFE100 runs on an embedded Windows XP operating system, and can be controlled from the frontpanel keypad or SCPI commands over 10/100BaseT Ethernet via Windows Remote Desktop software or the included Virtual Network Computing (VNC software).

Rohde & Schwarz
8661A Robert Fulton Dr.
Columbia, MD 21046-2265
(410) 910-7800
e-mail: [email protected]
Internet: www.rohde-schwarz.com.

See Associated Figure 1

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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