Modular broadcast test set spans audio, video, RF and multimedia applications

July 18, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
A test platform from Rohde & Schwarz offers an all-in-one solution for testing broadcast equipment.

Rohde & Schwarz' BTC – broadcast test centre – is designed to provide a complete testing environment for nearly all audio, video and multimedia applications in a single device. The BTC takes the form of a mainframe/chassis that can host up to eight functional modules, that comprise signal generation, analysis and test automation of RF, video, audio and data. The RF reference signal generator generates RF signals for all global TV and broadcasting standards and simulates transmissions. The generator can also analyse the audio/video functions of DUTs in real-time. The Unit can accept up to eight modules in a half-width format; some more complex functions use larger modules that occupy the space of two smaller plug-ins.

The R&S BTC reference signal generator enables users to perform complete end-to-end tests in realtime over all open systems interconnection (OSI) levels. DUTs can also be integrated into fully automated test sequences. This all-in-one generator handles today’s and tomorrow’s transmission standards. Video and audio streams can be generated, played back, fed externally and output in modulated form. The R&S BTC combines signal generation, DUT embedding and video/audio analysis while simultaneously determining the picture failure point (PFP). The result is fast, convenient and reproducible objective picture quality assessment.

The unit's broadcast signal generator has two separate real-time signal paths, each with a modulation bandwidth of 160 MHz. The BTC comes with a comprehensive range of analysis features and supports all common digital and analogue standards for cable, satellite and terrestrial television as well as digital and analogue audio broadcasting standards and second-generation DVB standards such as DVB-T2, DVB-C2, DVB-S2 and their interfaces.

To test target equipment under conditions, you can include up to eight arbitrary waveform generators (AWG) per RF path, in addition to the two independent real-time signal paths, that can draw on four independent noise sources. The AWGs generate complex interference scenarios with a maximum dynamic range over the entire frequency bandwidth. Realistic