Court TV Verdict: Telecast Viper Fiber-Optics System

December 28, 2007
There’s no appealing it: Court TV—soon to be re-named truTV—is using the Telecast Ethernet portable fiber optics broadcast production system for high-quality digital video transmission of court proceedings.

Court TV has used the Viper for live on-site coverage of numerous civil and criminal trials, including such recent high-profile cases as last month’s O.J. Simpson pre-trial hearings in Las Vegas and the Duke University lacrosse case, overruling the objections of the variations in equipment, networking configurations, and physical layout found in different courtrooms.

Both of Court TV’s SNG trucks are equipped with Viper systems with Ethernet support, giving remote production crews the ability to create fiber networks on the fly.

Over a single cable, Court TV can transport numerous feeds from inside the courtroom, including cameras, audio, and A/V equipment such as projectors, out to the SNG vehicle for transmission. Likewise, the Viper system can bring communications feeds for equipment such as headsets into the courtroom via fiber.

“Flexibility is a huge factor when doing live coverage of court proceedings. No two courthouses are alike, and there’s no standard configuration for broadcasting and A/V equipment,” said David Foote, supervisor of SNG services for Court TV Networks. “With the Telecast Viper system, we don’t have to figure out how to get big bundles of copper wire through fireproof doors and other physical barriers—instead, we’re able to drop a single thin fiber line to handle all of the audio and video feeds from the courtroom. And with fiber, there is no degradation in signal quality even over long distances.”

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