Media Links Achieves a Global Milestone with Studio Transmitter Link Using IP PTP on a Microwave Utility Line

Published: 14 June 2024

Media Links Achieves a Global Milestone with Studio Transmitter Link Using IP PTP on a Microwave Utility Line

Media Links, a manufacturer and pioneer in Media over IP transport technology, has succeeded in a world's first3 demonstration of PTP1 and STL2 using IP over microwave dedicated lines. Microwave dedicated lines are widely used for STLs at many broadcasting stations both in Japan and overseas. Based on the success of this demonstration, Media Links will now offer STL transmission using the IP/PTP transmission method to broadcast stations both in Japan and across the globe.

Today, broadcasting systems are rapidly changing from networks that utilize traditional coaxial cables to systems based on new IP-based technologies. For STLs however, which are the backbone of many broadcast networks, the locations of transmitting stations (mountaintops, etc.) are often unsuitable for networks that rely on wired lines, and where microwave transmission  remains essential. It has therefore become important to develop IP transmission technology using PTP over microwave.

Media Links was the first in the world to develop and deploy STL using PTP1 over a wired IP network (STL over IP/PTP). Building on this innovative work, we’ve now developed a new technology solution (STL over IP/PTP Microwave) that again realizes STL over IP/PTP but now over dedicated lines using microwaves.

Together with our partner Oscilloquartz, Media Links conducted a demonstration of the technology on an existing microwave install. The demonstration was carried out at a broadcasting station in the Philippines from May 13 to 17, 2024. It used Media Links' STL over IP/PTP device the MDP3020 SFN to transmit both broadcast content and PTP timing, and leveraged the existing equipment installed by the broadcast station for normal microwave transmit and receive operations. As a result, the team confirmed the normal operation of the transmission of signals and the accurate transmission of timing by PTP. It therefore succeeded in realizing the world's first STL using IP and PTP using microwave lines.

Tsukasa Sugawara, CEO of Media Links, commented: “The success of this demonstration has made it possible to realize STL transmission by IP/PTP over microwave lines, where previously this was a difficult step in the IP migration of broadcaster systems. Going forward, we will not only propose IP migration within broadcast stations, but also the IP migration of STL transmission, thereby delivering a complete IP migration of broadcast systems.

Anil K Reddy, Associate Vice President of Oscilloquartz, Adtran Networks commented: “It is exciting to see success of the trial of PTP over IP Microwave networks with OSA Synchronization technology. Adtran’s Oscilloquartz innovative and versatile solutions bring the highest timing accuracy required in packet broadcast networks both on wireline and wireless networks for a better quality of experience.

Explanation of terminology

1.    PTP = An abbreviation for Precision Time Protocol, a protocol for synchronizing time with a high degree of accuracy of 1ns (1 billionth of a second).

2.    STL = An abbreviation for Studio to Transmitter Link, a network link for transmitting broadcast signals from a broadcasting station to a transmitting station (radio tower, etc.).

3.    May 2024 according to Media Links’ research.



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