UPC Nederland has started using QAM256 as the modulation technique for its digital television service. At the moment, two transport streams are using QAM256 instead of the hitherto customary QAM64, reports digitalekabeltelevisie.nl.
Using QAM256 modulation gives better usage of the available bandwidth, with 12.6 Mbps more data per transport stream. This amounts to 50.6 Mbps instead of 38 Mbps. Spokesperson Ronald Sutmuller said it is planned that 15 television transport streams will transfer to QAM256 modulation. Not all transports streams will as yet switch, as some minor parts of the networks are not yet capable of handling the faster streams.
A disadvantage of using QAM256 could be a higher fault sensitivity, but UPC hopes to counter this by increasing the signal of the QAM256 streams with 5dB higher. Sutmuller added: “Signal quality is guaranteed. The use of 256 QAM has not led to more calls to the help desk. ”
By using QAM256, UPC can quickly create more room for digital television. Kabel Noord, one of tyhe smaller operators in the country, as already completely switched to QUAM256 modulation.