FOX updates its broadcast affiliate network with Cisco technology

Looking to streamline the process of handling and sharing programming and advertising as digital files, and get all of its stations on the air with a digital signal, the FOX Broadcasting Company is updating its national broadcast affiliate network with Cisco MPEG stream processors and networking software.

FOX is in the midst of deploying Cisco Digital Content Manager (DCM) MPEG processors at its broadcast center in Los Angeles location and at approximately 200 FOX affiliate stations across the United States as well. The system design includes a primary and backup 1RU DCM at each FOX affiliate site for redundancy. Once completed early next year, the improved digital delivery system will facilitate fast and easy communication and content delivery between the network and its affiliates.

Andrew Setos, president of engineering for the FOX group, said the new digital delivery platform is key to serving the group’s local communities with vital emergency information.

The Cisco DCM series MPEG processors will help FOX stations meet FCC-mandated service requirements that include Emergency Alert System services and Program and System Information Protocol (PSIP) to support the affiliates’ transition to digital broadcasting by June 12. The processors also provide graphic overlay capabilities, such as animated logos, text crawls and weather updates.

The Cisco ROSA Network Management and Element Manager systems combined with the DCM units will facilitate virtually automatic MPEG video stream splicing between local and national program feeds. The remote diagnostics functions of the Cisco systems will help the affiliates monitor and troubleshoot broadcast service delivery issues.

Brian Morris, vice president of global business development for digital media networks business unit at Cisco, said his company’s technology helps stations simplify operations and evolve their networks into “medianets,” taking advantage of scalable bandwidth capabilities equipped to accommodate future growth.