DVB-S2 (Second Generation Satellite)

Second generation framing structure, channel coding and modulation systems for Broadcasting, Interactive Services, News Gathering and other broadband satellite applications; Part 1 (DVB-S2)


DVB-S (EN 300 421) was introduced as a standard in 1994 and DVB-DSNG (EN 301 210) in 1997. The DVB-S standard specifies QPSK modulation and concatenated convolutional and Reed-Solomon channel coding, and is now used by most satellite operators worldwide for television and data broadcasting services. DVB-DSNG specifies, in addition to DVB-S format, the use of 8PSK and 16QAM modulation for satellite news gathering and contribution services.

Since 1997, digital satellite transmission technology has evolved somewhat:

  • New channel coding schemes, combined with higher order modulation, promise more powerful alternatives to the DVB-S/DVB-DSNG coding and modulation schemes. The result is a capacity gain in the order of 30 % at a given transponder bandwidth and transmitted EIRP, depending on the modulation type and code rate.
  • Variable Coding and Modulation (VCM) may be applied to provide different levels of error protection to different service components (e.g. SDTV and HDTV, audio, multimedia).
  • In the case of interactive and point-to-point applications, the VCM functionality may be combined with the use of return channels, to achieve Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM). This technique provides more exact channel protection and dynamic link adaptation to propagation conditions, targeting each individual receiving terminal. ACM systems promise satellite capacity gains of up to 100 % to 200 %. In addition, service availability may be extended compared to a constant protection system (CCM) such as DVB-S or DVB-DSNG. Such gains are achieved by informing the satellite up-link station of the channel condition (e.g. C/N+I) of each receiving terminal via the satellite or terrestrial return channels.
  • DVB-S and DVB-DSNG are strictly focused on a unique data format, the MPEG Transport Stream (ISO/IEC 13818-1 [1] or a reference to it). Extended flexibility to cope with other input data formats (such as multiple Transport Streams, or generic data formats) is now possible without significant complexity increase. The present document defines a “second generation” modulation and channel coding system (denoted the “System” or “DVB-S2” for the purposes of the present document) to make use of the improvements listed above.

DVB-S2 is a single, very flexible standard, covering a variety of applications by satellite, as described below. It is characterized by:

  • a flexible input stream adapter, suitable for operation with single and multiple input streams of various formats (packetized or continuous);
  • a powerful FEC system based on LDPC (Low-Density Parity Check) codes concatenated with BCH codes, allowing Quasi-Error-Free operation at about 0,7 dB to 1 dB from the Shannon limit, depending on the
  • transmission mode (AWGN channel, modulation constrained Shannon limit);
  • a wide range of code rates (from 1/4 up to 9/10); 4 constellations, ranging in spectrum efficiency from 2 bit/s/Hz to 5 bit/s/Hz, optimized for operation over non-linear transponders;
  • a set of three spectrum shapes with roll-off factors 0,35, 0,25 and 0,20;
  • Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) functionality, optimizing channel coding and modulation on a frame-by-frame basis.

The System has been optimized for the following broadband satellite applications:

  • Broadcast Services (BS) Digital multi-programme Television (TV)/High Definition Television (HDTV)
  • Interactive Services (IS) Interactive data services including Internet access
  • Digital TV Contribution and Satellite News Gathering (DTVC/DSNG)
  • Data content distribution/trunking and other professional applications (PS)


The present document:

  • gives a general description of the DVB-S2 system;
  • specifies the digitally modulated signal in order to allow compatibility between pieces of equipment developed by different manufacturers. This is achieved by describing in detail the signal processing principles at the modulator side, while the processing at the receive side is left open to different implementation solutions. However, it is necessary in the present document to refer to certain aspects of reception;
  • identifies the global performance requirements and features of the System, in order to meet the service quality targets.

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