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In many countries, good radio and TV coverage is
provided via broadband cable, especially in densely
populated areas
Cable exhibits a much better signal/noise ratio than in
satellite transmission and there are not many problems
with reflections which permits digital modulation
methods of higher quality to be used, from 64QAM
(coax) to 256QAM (optical fiber).
A broadband cable network consists of the cable head
end, of the cable distribution links consisting of coaxial
cables and cable amplifiers

The DVB-C Standard

in the DVB-C modulator, the MPEG-2 transport stream
passes through almost the same stages of conditioning
as in the DVB-S satellite standard
the last stage of convolutional coding which is missing
it is simply not needed because the medium of
propagation is so much more robust.
This is followed by the 16, 32, 64, 128 or 256QAM
quadrature amplitude modulation.
In coax cable systems, 64QAM is used
In optical fibre networks 256QAM is used

A conventional coax system with a channel

spacing of
8 MHz normally uses a 64QAM-modulated
carrier signal with a symbol rate of 6.9 MS/s.
The symbol rate must be lower than the
system bandwidth of 8 MHz in the present
Given 6.9 MS/s and 64 QAM (6 bits/symbol), a
gross data rate of 41.4 Mbit/s

In DVB-C, only Reed-Solomon error protection is

used which is the same as in DVB-S, RS(188,204).
Thus, an MPEG-2 transport stream packet of 188
bytes length is provided with 16 bytes of error
protection, resulting in a total packet length of
204 bytes during the transmission.
The resultant net data rate is 38.15 Mbit/s;
the DVB-C channel has a much better signal/noise
ratio (S/N) with about >30 dB compared with
about 10 dB in the case of DVB-S.

DVB-C Modulator

Interference Effects on the DVB-C

An ideal, completely undistorted constellation diagram

would show only a single constellation point per
decision field in the exact center of the fields
However, such a constellation diagram can only be
generated in a simulation.

If the correct signal is present at the test receiver and all

settings at the receiver have been selected so that it can
correctly lock to the QAM signal, a constellation diagram
with constellation points of varying size and the
appearance of noise clouds is obtained.
The size of the constellation points depends on the
magnitude of the interference effects. The smaller the
constellation points, the better the signal quality.

If there is simply no signal in the selected RF channel,

the constellation analyzer of the test receiver will
display a completely noisy constellation diagram
which exhibits no regular features whatever.
It appears like a giant constellation point in the center
of the display, but without sharp contours.

If accidentally an analogue channel has been selected

instead of DVB-C channel, constellation diagrams like
Lissajou figures are produced which change continuously
depending on the current content of the analogue TV
If, however, there is a QAM signal in the selected channel
but some of the receiver parameters have been selected
wrongly (RF not exactly right, maybe the wrong symbol rate,
wrong QAM level etc), a giant constellation point with much
sharper contours appears.

If all parameters have been selected correctly

and only the carrier frequency is still
divergent, the constellation diagram will
rotate. It is then possible to see concentric

Additive White Gaussian Noise

Additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) is a basic noise
model used in Information theory to mimic the effect
of many random processes that occur in nature. The
modifiers denote specific characteristics:
'Additive' because it is added to any noise that might
be intrinsic to the information system.
'White' refers to idea that it has uniform power across
the frequency band for the information system. It is an
analogy to the color white which has uniform
emissions at all frequencies in the visible spectrum.
'Gaussian' because it has a normal distribution in the
time domain with an average time domain value of

If these hits or counts within a constellation field were to

be displayed multi-dimensionally, a two-dimensional bell-shaped
Gaussian curve would be obtained

This two-dimensional distribution will then be found

similarly in every constellation field

Phase Jitter
Phase jitter or phase noise in the QAM signal
is caused by converters in the transmission
path or by the I/Q modulator itself.
In the constellation diagram, phase jitter
produces smear distortion of greater or lesser
The constellation diagram totters in rotation
around the centre point.

An ideal oscillator would

generate a pure sine wave. In
the frequency domain, this
would be represented as a
single pair of Dirac delta
functions (positive and
negative conjugates) at the
oscillator's frequency, i.e., all
the signal's power is at a
single frequency..
All real oscillators have phase
modulated noise components. The phase noise
components spread the power of a signal to adjacent
frequencies, resulting in noise sidebands

Sinusoidal Interferer
A sinusoidal interferer produces circular
distortions of the constellation points.
These circles are the result of the interference
vector rotating around the centre of the
constellation point.
The diameter of the circles corresponds to the
amplitude of the sinusoidal interferer.