As live streaming and subscriber platforms become ever popular, network operators must urgently address the challenges linked to the growing demand for high-quality broadcast. To thrive, the industry must adopt systems that enable faster networks and larger bandwidth – both of which are essential for the rapid transmission of large digital files across a range of distances, without compromising on the quality of the signal.
This was the message delivered today by HUBER+SUHNER as the virtual NAB Show Express gets underway. Dominik Ruckstuhl, Program Manager Solutions, Projects and Technologies at HUBER+SUHNER, highlighted that a shift away from traditional systems is needed to keep the sector competitive and able to keep up with this worldwide growth in demand.
“As viewing attitudes continue to change, a range of different video resolutions are needed from standard HD to 4K, 8K and beyond,” Ruckstuhl added. “This trend and an industry push towards the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) 2110 standard, that describes how to send digital video over an IP network, is driving a real need for fast, reliable fiber connectivity.”
This high level of connectivity is imperative to prevent delays or downtime – with total reliability being absolutely crucial when it comes to live and on-demand content. These requirements have caused a real need for upgradeable, future-proof fiber optic infrastructure that can manage large amounts of fiber connectivity quickly and easily to transfer signals between various locations and equipment as and when required.
“The broadcast industry is facing unprecedented challenges as consumers expect high-quality broadcast content no matter where they are and on which device,” said Jeff Lineweaver, Key Account Manager for HUBER+SUHNER Broadcast Fiber Optics. “As a result, broadcasters need more than just the conventional tools of the past. To manage these ever-expanding volumes of data, there needs to be a higher density of fiber and a network that can be expanded quickly as demands grow.”
Lineweaver explained that the maintenance, management, and operation of such a high-speed network, as well as the need to be able to deploy infrastructure quickly and efficiently to allow for outside broadcasting or the access to remote locations, is key. As broadcasting has evolved, operators can no longer rely on traditional infrastructure and instead need to utilise a wide range of fiber connectivity solutions that cover high density equipment rooms, as well as remote outdoor and harsh environments too.
HUBER+SUHNER offers an extensive broadcast portfolio which can be tailored specifically to fit a customer’s individual needs – whether it is outdoor broadcasting of live sporting events to remote newsgathering or high-bandwidth editing from the news desks. The company’s RF-over-Fiber and GPS-over-Fiber solutions are utilised by many large broadcasters for their ability to carry large amounts of data to a number of locations simultaneously.
“With ever-increasing frame rates and growing demands for live TV production, broadcasters rely on very accurate sources of timing,” continued Lineweaver. “Quite often the studios are a long distance from the source of a GPS signal so innovative solutions are necessary to route that signal through to the studio equipment and distribute timing for synchronisation.”
According to Nick Parsons, Senior Vice President Engineering & Technology at HUBER+SUHNER Polatis, as data rates for contribution-quality video continue to accelerate, traditional electronic routers are beginning to reach the limits of their capacity. The Polatis Optical Switches from HUBER+SUHNER can automatically patch high bandwidth fiber optic signals from remote camera locations and editing suites. Routing the data through transparent Polatis fiber switches makes the network simpler to operate, offers lower latency and also future proofs the infrastructure as standards progress and line rates increase.
Designed to meet the ever-changing requirements of broadcasters, HUBER+SUHNER has a comprehensive portfolio of fiber optic and radio frequency products that offer flexible, scalable and robust solutions for the different environments that broadcasters operate within. The solutions are used by some of the world’s leading media organisations, enabling high-quality, reliable and durable broadcasting every time. BCS Bureau