Europe: EBU Goes Fiber Optic for HD MC

The European Broadcasting Union has contracted with Bluebell Opticom to supply fiber-optic links to convert the union's Eurovision portable master control system to an HD operation. The new technical scheme, among other things, will cover the main sports events in which the EBU serves.

The Buckinghamshire, U.K.-based firm has supplied optical on-air links for nearly 15 years, with a dramatic increase in recent years specifically targeted for HD carriage, according to Bluebell Opticom.

The EBU system will require about sixty BC340T single-mode fiber interfaces to provide electrical-to-optical conversion supporting all the SMPTE 292M signals up to 1.485 GB, and SMPTE 259M standards (143 MB - 360 MB). Bluebell said each card will auto-equalize the incoming signal prior to optical conversion (which is provided via an SC/PC connection to EBU members).

Up to eighteen BC340R optical-to-reclocking electrical converters will also be supplied with similar characteristics. The cards are housed in six BC100 3 RU frames each housing 15 modules.

The EBU has 74 active members in 54 countries of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. It negotiates broadcasting rights for its European members for major sports events, and operates the Eurovision and Euroradio networks.