Digital Video Broadcasting - Satellite - Second Generation (DVB-S2) is a digital television broadcast standard that has been designed as a successor for the popular DVB-S system. It was developed in 2003 by the DVB Project, an international industry consortium, and ratified by ETSI (EN 302307) in March 2005. The standard is based on, and improves upon DVB-S and the electronic news-gathering (or Digital Satellite News Gathering) system, used by mobile units for sending sounds and images from remote locations worldwide back to their home television stations.

DVB-S2 is envisaged (contemplate) for broadcast services including standard and HDTV, interactive services including Internet access, and (professional) data content distribution. The development of DVB-S2 coincided with the introduction of HDTV and H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) video codecs.

Two new key features that were added compared to the DVB-S standard are:

  • A powerful coding scheme based on a modern LDPC code. For low encoding complexity, the LDPC codes chosen have a special structure, also known as Irregular Repeat-Accumulate codes.
  • VCM (Variable Coding and Modulation) and ACM (Adaptive Coding and Modulation) modes, which allow optimizing bandwidth utilization by dynamically changing transmission parameters.

Other features include enhanced modulation schemes up to 32APSK, additional code rates, and the introduction of a generic transport mechanism for IP packet data including MPEG-4 audio–video streams, while supporting backward compatibility with existing MPEG-2 TS based transmission.

DVB-S2 achieves significantly better performance than its predecessors – mainly allowing for an increase of available bitrate over the same satellite transponder bandwidth. The measured DVB-S2 performance gain over DVB-S is around 30% at the same satellite transponder bandwidth and emitted signal power. When the contribution of improvements in video compression is added, an (MPEG-4 AVC) HDTV service can now be delivered in the same bandwidth that supported an early DVB-S based MPEG-2 SDTV service only a decade before.

In March 2014, DVB-S2X specification has been published by DVB Project as an optional extension adding further improvements.[1]

KNCone TV Station DVBS2 PLUS pci card front 0595 by HDTVTotalDOTcom
DVB-S2 PCI tuner card

Main features

  • Direct input of one or more MPEG-2 Transport Streams (TS). MPEG-TS is supported using a compatibility mode.
  • The native stream format for DVB-S2 is called Generic Stream (GS), and can be used to efficiently carry IP-based data, including MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 services.
  • Backward compatibility to DVB-S, intended for end users, and DVB-DSNG, used for backhauls and electronic news gathering.
  • Variable coding and modulation (VCM) to optimize bandwidth utilization based on the priority of the input data; e.g., SDTV could be delivered using a more robust setting than the corresponding HDTV service.
  • Adaptive coding and modulation (ACM) to allow flexibly adapting transmission parameters to the reception conditions of terminals, e.g., switching to a lower code rate during fading.
  • Four modulation modes:
    • QPSK and 8PSK are proposed for broadcast applications, and can be used in non-linear transponders driven near to saturation.
    • 16APSK and 32APSK are used mainly for professional, semi-linear applications, but can also be used for broadcasting though they require a higher level of available C/N and an adoption of advanced pre-distortion methods in the uplink station in order to minimize the effect of transponder nonlinearity.
  • Improved rolloff: α = 0.20 and α = 0.25 in addition to the roll-off of DVB-S α = 0.35.
  • Improved coding: a modern large LDPC code is concatenated with an outer BCH code to achieve quasi-error-free (QEF) reception conditions on an AWGN channel. The outer code is introduced to avoid error floors at low bit-error rates. A single forward error correction or FEC frame may have either 64,800 bits (normal) or 16,200 bits (short). If VCM or ACM is used, the broadcast can be a combination of normal and short frames.
  • Several code rates for flexible configuration of transmission parameters: 1/4, 1/3, 2/5, 1/2, 3/5, 2/3, 3/4, 4/5, 5/6, 6/7, 8/9, and 9/10. Code rates 1/4, 1/3, and 2/5 have been introduced for exceptionally poor reception conditions in combination with QPSK modulation. Encoding values 8/9 and 9/10 behave poorly under marginal link conditions (where the signal level is below the noise level). However, with targeted spot Ku or Ka band downlinks these code rates may be recommended to prevent out-of-region viewing for copyright or cultural reasons.
  • Optional input stream synchronization to provide a constant end-to-end delay.

Depending on code rate and modulation, the system can operate at a C/N between −2.4 dB (QPSK, 1/4) and 16 dB (32APSK, 9/10) with a quasi-error free goal of a 10−7 TS packet error rate. Distance to the Shannon limit ranges from 0.7 dB to 1.2 dB.

Modes and features of DVB-S2 in comparison to DVB-S:

Input interface Single transport stream (TS) Multiple transport stream and generic stream encapsulation (GSE)
Modes Constant coding & modulation Variable coding & modulation and adaptive coding & modulation
FEC Reed–Solomon (RS) 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8 LDPC + BCH 1/4, 1/3, 2/5, 1/2, 3/5, 2/3, 3/4, 4/5, 5/6, 6/7, 8/9, 9/10
Modulation Single-carrier QPSK QPSK, 8PSK, 16APSK, 32APSK
Modulation schemes n/a n/a
Interleaving Bit-interleaving Bit-interleaving
Pilots Pilot symbols Pilot symbols

Use cases

Envisaged scenarios for DVB-S2 by the standard document are:

  • Broadcasting television services in SDTV or HDTV. Optionally, this transmission may be backwards compatible with DVB-S, but does not benefit from the 30% extra bandwidth.
  • Interactive services including Internet access. Data generated by the user may be sent by cable (copper/fibre optic), mobile wireless, or satellite uplink (DVB-RCS).
  • Professional applications, where data must be multiplexed in real time and then broadcast in the VHF/UHF band (e.g., digital TV contribution, satellite news gathering). These transmissions are not intended for the average viewer.
  • Large-scale data content distribution. These include point-to-point and multicast services, as well as transmission to head-ends for (re-)distribution over other media.

The DVB-S to DVB-S2 upgrade process

The conversion process from DVB-S to DVB-S2 is being accelerated, due to the rapid increase of HDTV and introduction of 3D-HDTV. The main factor slowing down this process is the need to replace or upgrade set-top boxes, or acquire TVs with DVB-S2 integrated tuners, which makes the transition slower for established operators.

Current direct-to-home broadcasters using DVB-S2 are:

  • VAST fully replaced the previous DVB-S Aurora service from December 2013. The extra capacity has allowed a Network Ten affiliate to be added along with five HD, seven SD multi-channels and limited advertisement targeting for viewers in DVB-T black-spot areas on Optus C1/D3 156E)
  • Foxtel use this for their four HD downlinks on Optus D3 @ 156E
Germany, Austria and Switzerland
  • IRIB on Badr5 26°E and on Intelsat 902 62°E and on Eutelsat W3A 7°E
  • Gem Group on YahSat 1A 52.5°E
  • Digiturk on Eutelsat W3A 7°E
  • D-Smart on Turksat 3A 42°E
  • TRT (HDTV feed only) on Turksat 3A 42°E
  • DTVH (HD feed only) on Turksat 3A 42°E
United Kingdom and Ireland
  • Dolce operated by Romtelecom, only for HD channels. For SD channels is using DVB-S. Backward compatibility, if subscribed to HD package. Service can only be accessed with proprietary Set-top-boxes. NDS Encrypted. Card paired with set top box. If You have a HD receiver from them, you are able to receive two HD channelsin basic package. Needs special antena for HD.
  • Focus Sat operated by UPC Romania, only for HD .SD remains in DVB-S ( except fashion TV SD). Can be used with a DVB-S receiver for SD channels, or DVB-S2 for SD and HD. May be used also with a CAM and a TV with built in DVB-S (for SD channels)or DVB-S2 (Both SD and HD) tuner and common interface slot. HD channels are offered on separate package, therefore aside a HD terminal (TV or STB), you need to pay this package. CONNAX CAS 7 Encryption. Card not paired with receiver.
  • Orange TV operated by Orange Romania, only in DVB-S2 both SD and HD. Viaccess Encrypted. Only available with proprietary set top boxes. Card paired with set top box. Set top boxes are only HD, these channels are available from the cheapest package.
  • Digi TV, operated by RCS & RDS (since March 2014). Until March 2014, only DVB-S, SD. Nagravision 3 Encrypted. Although it is said that the card and receiver are paired, some subscribers stated that the service can also be accessed with a TV with built in DVB-S/S2 tuner and common interface by using a CAM. However, Until March 2014, only SD channels were available. Needs special subscribing for HD. DVB-S is used in SD reception while DVB-S2 is used both for SD and HD.
Other countries

These broadcasters have used DVB-S2 in their internal broadcast distribution networks, but may not have instituted DVB-S2 transmissions for consumers.


  1. ^ "DVB-S2X specification receives approval from DVB Steering board" (PDF). DVB Project.

External links

Astra 2E

Astra 2E is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES, launched to the Astra 28.2°E orbital slot on 30 September 2013 after a 10-week delay caused by rocket launcher problems. The satellite provides free-to-air and encrypted direct-to-home (DTH) digital TV and satellite broadband services for Europe and the Middle East.After launch, Astra 2E underwent in-orbit testing at 43.5°E and began commercial operations at 28.2°E in February 2014. At that time, channels broadcast via Astra 1N (temporarily located at 28.2°E pending Astra 1E's launch) were transferred to Astra 2E and Astra 1N relocated to its design position at 19.2°E.Astra 2E is the second of three 'second generation' satellites for the 28.2°E position to replace the first generation Astra 2A, Astra 2B, Astra 2C and Astra 2D craft originally positioned there between 1998 and 2001. The first, Astra 2F, was launched in 2012 and the third, Astra 2G, was launched in 2014 (launched on 27 December 2014).

Unlike other SES/Astra spacecraft, the launch order of Astra 2E and Astra 2F is not reflected in their alphabetical names, with Astra 2F launched 10 months before Astra 2E.

Astra 2F

Astra 2F is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES, launched in September 2012 to the Astra 28.2°E orbital slot. The satellite provides free-to-air and encrypted direct-to-home (DTH) digital TV and satellite broadband services for Europe and Africa.

Astra 2F is the first of three ‘second generation’ satellites for the 28.2°E position which replace the first generation Astra 2A, Astra 2B and Astra 2D craft previously there. The second, Astra 2E, was launched in 2013 and the third, Astra 2G, was launched in 2014 (launched on December 27, 2014). Some parts of the construction of Astra 2F by Astrium (now Airbus Defence and Space) in Stevenage, UK could be seen in the BBC2 documentary programme, How To Build… A Satellite broadcast on November 27, 2011.

Astra 2F was successfully launched from Kourou in French Guiana on September 28, 2012. and underwent in-orbit testing at 43.5°E. Commercial operations at 28.2°E began on November 21, 2012.

Astra 2G

Astra 2G is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES, launched to the Astra 28.2°E orbital slot in December 2014, at 03:37:49 Baikonur time.Astra 2G is positioned at 28.5°E (part of the Astra 28.2°E orbital slot) and is the last of three 'second generation' satellites launched to this slot to replace the first generation Astra 2A, Astra 2B, Astra 2C and Astra 2D craft originally positioned there between 1998 and 2001, and it joined Astra 2E and Astra 2F launched in 2013 and 2012, respectively.


Cignal (pronounced as signal) is a subscription-based Direct-To-Home (DTH) satellite television service and Internet Protocol television provider in the Philippines. Cignal is owned by Cignal TV Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the MediaQuest Holdings Inc. under the PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund.For subscribers to receive Cignal broadcasts, they may either have it through satellite broadcast or through the internet. Its IPTV service is availed through PLDT in which the digital set-top box is connected with the optical network terminal through a ethernet cable. Cignal’s prepaid electronic loading system, is powered by the prepaid loading platform of Smart Communications, Inc. Cignal uses VideoGuard encryption system to protect its content from signal piracy. Cignal TV is using the SES-7 satellite to provide optimal coverage directly to the target markets.Cignal offers both Prepaid and Postpaid plans as low as ₱120 and high as ₱1990 per month.

They transmit 89 SD channels, 32 HD channels, and 12 audio channels. They offer Pay-per-view services as well as streaming services.Cignal uses the DVB-S2 digital television broadcast standard to accommodate both Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD) TV broadcasts.

As of June 2018, Cignal reached the 2,000,000 subscribers mark.

Cignal operates a premium movie channel named Cignal 24/7 Pinoy Pay-Per-View.

Prepaid and Postpaid subscribers can watch movies at ₱30 on channel 196.

Claro TV

Claro TV is a Latin American operator of Pay television. The service is supplied by Embratel and Claro companies and operates in Star One C2 satellite. Its transmission system is DTH (Direct to Home) in Ku Band, and the channels are encrypted by Nagravision 3 system. The reception is made via mini-satellite dish and a DVB-S2 receiver, and subscribers authentication is made by conditional access card. As of October 2011, Via Embratel had achieved 2,000,000 subscribers.In Puerto Rico, Claro is deploying VRADs in order to launch its IPTV service which will work parallel with their current satellite service.

Cosmote TV

Cosmote TV is the corporate name for two pay television services in Greece, owned by Greek telecommunication operator OTE. The two services are as follows:

Cosmote TV via Broadband - IPTV service

Cosmote TV via Satellite - satellite television serviceCosmote TV Satellite broadcasts on Ku band from Eutelsat's Eurobird 9A at 9.0°E featuring DVB-S2 -8PSK/MPEG-4 technology. In June 2012 OTE TV had 76,345 subscribers. In July 2017, after more than 5 years of operation, it was announced that the (now) Cosmote TV package has reached 510,000 subscribers.

DD Free Dish

DD Free Dish (previously known as DD Direct Plus) is an Indian Free-To-Air digital direct-broadcast satellite television service. It is owned and operated by Public Service Broadcaster Doordarshan (Prasar Bharati). It has a reach of approximately 30 million households which is 15 % of the total TV Households in the country.It is the only free-to-air satellite television service in India. After upgrade, INSAT-4B satellite at 93.5° was used to broadcast 64 FTA MPEG-2 Channels and 29 radio channels.

With the latest upgrade, to GSAT-15 at 93.5° on 1 February 2016, the present capacity is likely to be enhanced to 104 SDTV channels and 40 Radio channels in near future with the introduction of new MPEG-4, DVB-S2 stream. DD Free Dish DTH viewers can watch 80 SD MPEG-2 TV channels and 18 SD MPEG-4 channels apart from 40 radio channels. New logo for DD Free Dish was added on its transponders on 29 October 2014. DD Free Dish also offers its slots to private channels.At this time DD Free Dish TV channels can be received by using simple free to air set-top boxes with DVB-S and DVB-S2 technology. Now a days many free to air set-top box are available. Recently Prasar Bharati selected few Indian manufacturers to produce iCAS enabled set-top box with MPEG-4 technology. Free to air set-top box can be bought online as well as in offline markets.

There is no monthly charges to access DD Free Dish DTH service. This is India's only free DTH (direct-to-home) service.


DVB-S2X is an extension of DVB-S2 satellite digital broadcasting standard.

DVB-S2X is a digital satellite television broadcast standard. It has been standardised by DVB Project in March 2014 as an optional extension of DVB-S2 standard. It will also become an ETSI standard.

Digital Satellite Service

Digital Satellite System is the initialism expansion of the DSS digital satellite television transmission system used by DirecTV. Only when digital transmission was introduced did direct broadcast satellite (DBS) television become popular in North America, which has led to both DBS and DSS being used interchangeably to refer to all three commonplace digital transmission formats - DSS, DVB-S and 4DTV. Analog DBS services, however, existed prior to DirecTV and were still operational in continental Europe until April 2012.At the time of DirecTV's launch in 1994, the DVB-S digital satellite system in use in the majority of the world had not yet been standardised, the Thomson developed DSS system was used instead.

While functionally similar in DVB-S - MPEG 2 video, MPEG-1 Layer II or AC3 audio, QPSK modulation, and identical error correction (Reed-Solomon coding and Viterbi forward error correction), the transport stream and information tables are entirely different from those of DVB. Also unlike DVB, all DSS receivers are proprietary DirecTV reception units.

DirecTV is now using a modified version of DVB-S2, the latest version of the DVB-S protocol, for HDTV services off the SPACEWAY-1, SPACEWAY-2, DirecTV-10 and DirecTV-11 satellites; however, huge numbers of DSS encoded channels still remain. The ACM modulation scheme used by DirecTV prevents regular DVB-S2 demodulators from receiving the signal although the data carried are regular MPEG-4 transport streams.

Dish Home

DishHome is the DTH service provider in Nepal, operated by Dish Media Network Ltd. It was formed in 2010 after a merger between two DTH providers, namely Home TV and Dish Nepal. In the year of 2011 Sandmartin International Holding (SMT) became one of the key stareholder of Dish Media Network Pvt. Ltd. and provides expertise in developing new technologies and digital innovations in the satellite broadcasting.By the year 2016, DishHome had crossed the 750,000 subscriber mark.Dish Home has achieved a customer base of 1000000 plus by 2019. As of April, 2019 DishHome has a total of 180+ television channels, including 130+ SD channels and 50+ HD channels with DishHome's own Channel Plus Movie- Nepali Cinema Channel , Ramailo TV - Complete Nepali Entertainment channel, Action Sports- Nepal's first and only Sports channel, Cine Hits- Nepali Movie MUsic channel, Bollywood Beats- Nepali channel for Bollywood Music, Gunjan- A channel dedicated to Folk Music, Nepa Channel- Newari channel, Junior TV- Nepali Kids channel. Dish Home also runs a Pay Per view Service with a call sign Dishhome Cinemaghar which offers new release Nepali cinema to the market. It provides all the major Nepali channels, Hindi and English language general entertainment channels, including other pay channels of sports, music, movies, news, and kids genre.

DishHome uses MPEG-4 with DVB S2 digital compression technology, transmitting HD Channels and SD Channels in Ku-Band on Amos-4 at 65.0°E. DishHome relies on CAS from Verimatrix and Latens. Their STBs are provisioned by SandMartin and Arion. Its primary competitors are cable television providers, and other DTH service providers from India and China.

Generic Stream Encapsulation

Generic Stream Encapsulation, or GSE for short, is a Data link layer protocol defined by DVB. GSE provides means to carry packet oriented protocols such as IP on top of uni-directional physical layers such as DVB-S2, DVB-T2 and DVB-C2.

GSE provides additional features beyond the pure carriage of IP datagrams that increase the protocol flexibility and applicability. Some key GSE functions/characteristics are:

Support for multi-protocol encapsulation (IPv4, IPv6, MPEG, ATM, Ethernet, 802.1pQ VLANs, etc.)

Transparency to network layer functions, including IP encryption and IP header compression.

Support of several addressing modes. In addition to the 6-byte MAC address (including multicast and unicast), it supports a MAC address-less mode, and an optional 3-byte address mode.

A mechanism for fragmenting IP datagrams or other network layer packets over Base Band frames to support ACM/VCM.

Support for hardware filtering.

Extensibility: additional link protocols can be included through specific protocol type values (e.g. Layer 2 security, IP Header Compression, etc.).

IP over DVB

IP over DVB or IP over MPEG implies that Internet Protocol datagrams are transferred over the MPEG transport stream, and are distributed using some digital television system, for example DVB-H, DVB-T, DVB-S or DVB-C.

SKY PerfecTV!

SKY PerfecTV! (スカパー!, Sukapā!) is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service that provides satellite television, audio programming, and interactive television services to households in Japan, owned by parent company SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation.

SKY PerfecTV! is also a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service. While SKY PerfecTV! Premium Service use DVB-S and DVB-S2, SKY PerfecTV! Basic Service use ISDB-S.


Saorsat ( SAIR-sat; the Irish word Saor, meaning free, therefore implying Freesat in English) is a free-to-air satellite service in Ireland. The service launched on 3 May 2012.

TV Vlaanderen

TV Vlaanderen is a digital satellite television and terrestrial television service provider for the Flanders region in Belgium.

TV Vlaanderen's customers are mostly people living in Flanders. However, as TV Vlaanderen is officially available to the whole of Belgium, TV Vlaanderen also has many Flemish customers living in the French-speaking part of Belgium due to the unavailability of Dutch-language TV channels on Cable Television platform's in Wallonia.

Like the Dutch satellite television provider CanalDigitaal, TV Vlaanderen is owned by M7 Group S.A..

Viasat Ukraine

Viasat Ukraine is a Ukrainian direct broadcast satellite television distributor. It is owned by "Vision TV" which is a joint venture between the Strong Media Group (SMG) and the Swedish Modern Times Group (MTG). It competes with NTV Plus Ukraine and Poverkhnost which broadcast on the Eutelsat system.

The service was launched April 21, 2008 using DVB-S & DVB-S2 transponders on the Astra 4A, Hot Bird and AMOS satellites to broadcast channels compressed with MPEG-2 & MPEG-4 AVC codecs.

ZAP (satellite television)

ZAP is a digital satellite television provider mainly for Portuguese-speaking countries in sub-Saharan Africa. ZAP launched in Angola in 2010, providing a subscription based TV service covering the sub-Saharan countries to south of Angola. ZAP operates from the Eutelsat W7 satellite, placed over Africa at 36,0 degrees East, broadcasting in DVB-S2 in five Ku band transponders with MPEG-4 compression and Nagravision encryption.ZAP provides an unprecedented number of Portuguese-language channels for a region where Portuguese-speaking African countries account for more than 40 million people.In order to subscribe to ZAP's television service a subscriber can use either one of the two available decoders. The "HD+" decodes the encrypted signal, provides an electronic programming guide, high definition image and 5.1 stereo sound. The "HD+DVR" decoder provides the additional functionality of digital video recorder.


ČT HD was the high-definition TV channel from Česká televize. ČT HD broadcast programming from ČT1, ČT2 and ČT4, via IPTV, digital terrestrial (in several areas only) and satellite (via Astra 1E – DVB-S standard, since spring 2010 via the new Astra 3B – DVB-S2 standard).

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