Multiple Channels Per Carrier

What Does Multiple Channels Per Carrier Mean?

Multiple channels per carrier (MCPC) is a satellite transmission platform used with very small aperture terminal (VSAT) systems. Digital audio, video and other broadcast carrier signals are multiplexed into a single digital data stream, which results in reduced satellite transponder usage and lower transmission costs per channel.


Techopedia Explains Multiple Channels Per Carrier

Analog signals, such as those used by satellite TV and terrestrial microwave-relay communications, depend on subcarriers. MCPC technology modulates analog signals as signals with higher frequencies and bandwidth. Subcarriers are transmitted with video carrier signals on a satellite transponder at frequencies of 5.8 MHz, 6.2 MHz or 6.8 MHz with extra audio at 7 MHz or 8 MHz, as needed. These are the MCPC transmissions, and the satellites involved are known as MCPC satellites.

By 2011, MCPC technology was largely replaced by digital TV, which multiplexes audio and video data as a single Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) transport stream. This process involves streaming multiple video signals from film, sports and news broadcasts, as well as multiplexing data as a single transport stream, which is directed to a large antenna. This antenna broadcasts the stream to a TV with an Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) tuner that receives and decodes signals for screen display.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…