Planning a satellite event will put your decision-making skills to the test and, with its lexicon of industry-specific buzz words, may send your head spinning. Here's a glossary to help you on your way.
AV (Audiovisual): This is the broad term for the equipment used to deliver the program to an audience, including screens, projectors, and audio systems.
Downlinker: A downlinker is the person at each viewing site who runs and monitors the satellite dish (downlink). Sometimes, the downlinker also sets up and monitors the AV equipment.
Encryption: Depending on the sensitivity of your information, you may want to encrypt the broadcast so that unauthorized viewers can't pick up your signal. Encryption is done at the origination site, and your receive sites need equipment designed and authorized to unscramble the signal.
Interactivity: When your satellite event vendor talks about interactivity, ask for specifics. He or she is probably talking about one of two things. First, there are question-and-answer sessions that allow audience members to interact with a presenter in real time over a standard telephone line. The audience at each viewing site can hear the Q&A interaction simultaneously. Another interactive tool is an audience-polling keypad that allows the audience at a single site, or across multiple sites, to register answers to multiple-choice questions. Responses are tabulated and displayed within seconds. Polling allows you to gauge interest and retention levels during your broadcast.
Origination Site: This is the name for the facility from which you deliver the program. Your presenters need to be here during a live satellite event. There is no limit to the venues that can be used, including studios, hotel ballrooms, corporate conference rooms, even hospital operating rooms.
Production: This term refers to the process of creating and capturing the video program. The key elements are script development, pre-taped segments, set design, rehearsal, and media training, as well as the "lights, camera, action" stage.
Rebroadcast: A satellite event that is initially delivered in a live format, videotaped, and then retransmitted is known as a rebroadcast. Rebroadcasts are generally required when the satellite event is delivered across multiple time zones.
Receive Site: A receive site is any location that you authorize to view your satellite event. There are no limitations to the number of receive sites allowed per satellite event, and, as with origination sites, there are no limits to the types of venues you can use.
Redundancy: To minimize the risk of transmission interference or equipment failure, you may want to order backup services, also known as redundancy, for key elements such as the uplink, downlinks, and projectors. At a minimum, the live broadcast should be videotaped in case duplicates are requested.
Satellite Time: An aerial satellite will be used to receive and deliver your program's audio and video. Satellite time is billed in 15-minute increments. Rates vary among the types of satellites and upon whether your broadcast is domestic or international.
Translation Services: If you are planning a global event, you may need satellite translation services, which convert your live audio to the languages you designate and deliver the correct audio to each viewing site. There are no limits to the number of languages that can be accommodated. Another option is to provide an on-site translator at a receive site.
Uplink: An uplink is a satellite dish at or near your origination site that transmits your content to the satellite. Once your program hits the satellite, receive sites pick it up with their satellite dishes. Uplink service can be rented by the hour or the day.