Microwave Journal

Rohde & Schwarz's test transmitter for broadcast production delivers price-performance advantage

January 17, 2011
Munich, 06 December 2007 — The R&S SFE100 test transmitter from Rohde & Schwarz targets production test applications for set-top boxes, TV sets, and other broadcast terminal units and modules. This signal source's compact design makes it easy to install – especially in complex test systems. The R&S SFE100 combines an RF signal generator, power amplifier, and baseband generator into a compact package with an attractive price/performance ratio. By providing multiple functions in a single unit, it lowers purchase and operating costs, increases reliability, and simplifies maintenance. The R&S SFE100 is designed as a single-standard test transmitter and comes in several models to handle common terrestrial, satellite, cable, and mobile TV standards as well as a number of sound broadcasting standards. The signal generator's real-time coders deliver endless and seamless test signals. This is particularly useful in production applications because the signal generators do not have to be synchronized with the production cycle. Moreover, modulation parameters can be set as required for each transmission standard. Users can, for example, define the constellation, code rate, and FFT mode. These parameters can be varied independently of the transport stream or A/V signal to be transmitted. This allows all conceivable versions of a standard to be tested. The real-time coder automatically adjusts the corresponding signaling information for the receiver. The R&S SFE100 can be equipped with an optional power amplifier that has a maximum output power of +27 dBm. This higher signal level makes the instrument an ideal choice for use in production test systems in which the signals of multiple test transmitters are combined in a coupling network and distributed over large distances. To compensate for the accompanying losses, a high signal level is required. Each R&S SFE100 model can be equipped with a baseband generator appropriate for the specific transmission standard under test. For digital transmission, the baseband signal is provided in the form of transport streams. For ATV modulators, the signal takes the form of analog CCVS signals. No external baseband generator is required and this significantly reduces the number of instruments required – especially in complex test systems. The R&S SFE100 covers a wide range of applications in the field of broadcasting. In addition to the real-time coder models, the R&S SFE100 can be configured with an arbitrary waveform generator. This model can replay waveform libraries from Rohde & Schwarz for various transmission standards as well as user-specific I/Q waveforms. This allows the R&S SFE100 to generate any externally computed RF signals – from complex modulation signals to special interference signals such as notched noise. The R&S SFE100 features a powerful hardware platform for baseband signal processing. The platform delivers the I and Q bit streams for the wideband vector modulator and is factory-configured for the specific transmission standard. A user-friendly keypad and liquid crystal display (LCD) enable intuitive operation. In addition, the R&S SFE100 can be easily remote-controlled from a PC.