Digital Video Systems, Broadcast & Operations


    This four-day course is designed to make the student aware of digital video systems in use today and planned for the near future, including how they are used, transmitted, and received. From this course you will obtain the ability to understand the various evolving digital video standards and equipment, their use in current broadcast systems, and the concerns/issues that accompany these advancements.


What you will learn:

  • How compressed digital video systems work and how to use them effectively.
  • Where all the compressed digital video systems fit together in history, application and implementation.
  • Where encryption and conditional access fit in and what systems are available today.
  • How do tape-based broadcast facilities differ from server-based facilities?
  • What services are evolving to complement digital video?
  • What do you need to know to upgrade / purchase a digital video system?
  • What are the various options for transmitting and distributing digital video?

Course Outline:

  1. Technical Background. Types of video. Advantages and disadvantages. Digitizing video. Digital compression techniques.
  2. Proprietary Digital Video Systems. Digicipher. DirecTV. Other systems.
  3. Videoconferencing Systems Overview.
  4. MPEG1 Digital Video. Why it was developed. Technical description. Operation and Transmission.
  5. MPEG2 Digital Video. Why it was developed. Technical description. Operation and Transmission. 4:2:0 vs 4:2:2 profile. MPEG profiles and levels.
  6. DVB Enhancements to MPEG2. What DVB does and why it does it. DVB standards review. What DVB-S2 will accomplish and how.
  7. DTV (or ATSC) use of MPEG2. How DTV uses MPEG2. DTV overview.
  8. MPEG4 Advanced Simple Profile. Why it was developed. Technical description. Operation and Transmission.
  9. New Compression Systems. MPEG-4-10 or H.26L. Windows Media 9. How is different. How improved. Transcoding from MPEG 2 to MPEG 4. JPEG 2000.
  10. Systems in use today: DBS systems (e.g. DirecTV, Echostar) and DARS systems (XM Radio, Sirius).
  11. Encryption and Conditional Access Systems. Types of conditional access / encryption systems. Relationship to subscriber management systems. Key distribution methods. Smart cards.
  12. Digital Video Transmission. Over fiber optic cables or microwaves. Over the Internet – IP video. Over satellites. Private networks vs. public.
  13. Delivery to the Home. Comparing and contrasting terrestrial broadcasting, satellite (DBS), cable and others.
  14. Production – Pre to Post. Production formats. Digital editing. Graphics. Computer Animations. Character generation. Virtual sets, ads and actors. Video transitions and effects.
  15. Origination Facilities. Playback control and automation. Switching and routing and redundancy. System-wide timing and synchronization. Trafficking ads and interstitials. Monitoring and control.
  16. Storage Systems. Servers vs. physical media. Caching vs. archival. Central vs. distributed storage.
  17. Digital Manipulation. Digital Insertion. Bit Stream Splicing. Statistical Multiplexing.
  18. Asset Management. What is metadata. Digital rights management. EPGs.
  19. Digital Copying. What the technology allows. What the law allows.
  20. Video Associated Systems. Audio systems and methods. Data encapsulation systems and methods. Dolby digital audio systems handling in the broadcast center.
  21. Operational Considerations. Selecting the right systems. Encoders. Receivers / decoders. Selecting the right encoding rate. Source video processing. System compatibility issues.


This course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses. If you are interested in attending this or another course as open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or at ati@aticourses.comand indicate the course name and number of students who wish to participate. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a lead time of 3-5 months. Group courses can be presented at your facility at any time. For on-site pricing, request an on-site quote. You may also call us at (410)956-8805 or email us at


  • Sidney Skjei

    is president of Skjei Telecom, Inc., an engineering and broadcasting consulting firm. He has supported digital video systems planning, development and implementation for a large number of commercial organizations, including PBS, CBS, Boeing, and XM Satellite Radio. He also works for smaller television stations and broadcast organizations. He is frequently asked to testify as an Expert Witness in digital video system. Mr. Skjei holds an MSEE from the Naval Postgraduate School and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Virginia.

    Contact this instructor (please mention course name in the subject line)

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