CBS to Take Level 3’s Uncompressed HD Backhaul for Super Bowl XLIV

MIAMI, FLA.: Level 3 Communications said today it will deliver uncompressed high-definition, video from the Super Bowl in Miami directly to CBS studios in New York. Level 3 said it added Miami’s Sun Life Stadium to its national fiber-optic network this year.

“For the first time ever, instead of sending the feed to a production truck for compression and delivery to the broadcast studio, an uncompressed 1.5 gigabit-per-second feed will be sent from Miami to CBS studio headquarters in New York via Level 3’s fiber-optic network,” the Broomfield, Colo., company said. “In total, over 2,800 hours of video content will be acquired, encoded and transported across the Level 3 Vyvx services platform for overall Super Bowl coverage.”

CBS has been working with Level 3 to test fiber-optic backhaul of uncompressed HD video at 1.5 Gbps versus satellite backhaul compressed at around 270 Mbps. CBS conducted fiber backhaul trials from Denver Broncos’ stadium, Invesco Field, last fall. Level 3 first fibered the Field for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Level 3 said it delivered 5,600 pro football feeds via fiber during 2009.

“This year, we worked with Level 3 to test uncompressed HD feeds in the delivery of various NFL games and have been impressed with the results,” said Bob Mincieli, director of broadcast operations at CBS.

The Super Bowl XLIV broadcast will air on CBS on Feb. 7. -- Deborah D. McAdams