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Video: Key Caveats of Satellite-Based Streaming
Microsoft's Jeff Tyler, ReelSolver's Tim Siglin, and Take One's Troy Witt discuss the attendant challenges and risks of using satellite delivery for large-scale live streams.

Watch the full panel discussion from Streaming Media West, HOW TO: Handling First-Mile Networking Challenges, on the Streaming Media Conference Video Portal.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Jeff Tyler: One thing that I do want to mention on satellite though is, I'd say the biggest risk with it is that though it works very well, weather is a real factor. Rain fade can cause some interference or take you off the air entirely. We try and do everything with redundancy and diversity, right? So we wouldn't just bring two satellite trucks, we would bring a satellite truck and IP or something like that. The one time years ago that some budget decision was made, "Satellite's been working great, we'll just go with the one." We brought in one satellite truck, this was in Houston, and a major thunderstorm came rolling in out of nowhere and we were off the air for five minutes. It's like, okay, we're never doing that again.

Satellite is great. We still use it today for our high-level things. We did an event out of Mohave Desert and it was KU band satellite and they actually brought a trailer with the data so that we could also do a IP feed from there as well, hitting the different satellites. But we also find that KU band is used more commonly and less expensive, comparatively. C band will handle the weather phenomenon better, in general, but it's typically more expensive and it's just not used as often.

Tim Siglin: It's interesting to watch some of the satellite companies as they're putting up new birds because I've been consulting with one company who's looking to put one up. They're also buying a lot of dark fiber up, because they understand that they also need that redundancy, if there is a rain fade situation.

Troy Witt: And to stratify it, I don't know what budget level you're looking at. When you go to satellite, whether it's KU or KA, I find for my clients that basically, I put in a budget number. Whenever, the second that somebody mentions the satellite word, I just tell them $10,000. When we want to talk about cellular, bonded cellular or house IP, we can talk about under-$5,000 jobs. But the second that somebody says satellite, I just say, just for that line item, just let's put in today, let's put in 10 grand, depending on a lot of variables. You get variables with satellite, KU too, of multiple hops across the country or the way that it goes up to the satellite, and if you need to go across the country, you got to go across multiple transponders. And each one of those transponders costs money. As I tell clients, it's in space. It costs money.

Casey Charvet: It's hard to put up more of it.

Troy Witt: Exactly.

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