Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Telecast Fiber Systems CopperHead earns patent
Telecast Fiber Systems’ CopperHead fiber-optic multiplexing system has been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, recognizing the unique utility of the camera-mountable transceiver able to combine all of a camcorder's output and input signals onto a single lightweight cable.
The CopperHead fiber-optic system mounts directly onto any portable camera, delivering both digital (SD/SDI or uncompressed HD/SDI) and analog video to a remote base station up to 20mi away — and it does this over a single fiber cable that is one-tenth the weight of ordinary coaxial or triax cable. The CopperHead system also transports all of the bidirectional audio, return video, sync, intercom, data and control signals required for remote broadcasts.
Jim Hurwitz, Telecast's product manager for camera systems, said the patent award is the culmination of 10 years of engineering innovation in developing the miniature revolutionary fiber-optic technology that gives ENG-style camcorders the ability to be converted easily to “hard” cameras, able to work in single- and multicamera environments.
While the CopperHead was developed primarily for broadcast applications in which equipment setup times are a key concern, the system has been adopted in a wide range of other applications, including sports stadiums and entertainment venues.
The CopperHead is the second Telecast product to receive a patent, joining the company's Cobra system, which permits triax camera systems to be extended over lightweight fiber-optic cable.
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