Level 3 delivers uncompressed HD signals from NFL game in Denver to CBS broadcast studios in NYC

Uncompressed HD video feeds are being cost-effectively backhauled from the game.
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Looking to increase the quality of contribution-level transmission for sports production, Level 3 Communications is delivering Denver Broncos home games from Invesco Field in Denver to the game’s live broadcaster (CBS Sports) using an uncompressed HD video feed.

The signal is being delivered this season entirely on the company’s Vyvx national fiber-optic network. Level 3 is one of the first to enable end-to-end delivery of uncompressed HD video.

By leveraging its IP network — and the fiber-optic connection into Invesco Field that Level 3 installed to deliver the 2008 Democratic National Convention — the company is delivering an uncompressed 1.5Gb/s feed from Denver to the broadcast studio of the network carrying the game.

Typically, broadcasters take the feed from the cameras at a given sporting event and send it to a production truck; from there, the feed is compressed and delivered to the broadcast studio.

CBS, rights holder of the American Football Conference, has five Bronco home games on its broadcast schedule this season. The network has agreed to participate in Level 3’s test by backhauling the uncompressed feeds to the CBS Broadcast Center in New York. Reports said CBS was pleased with the initial results.

Level 3 was a key participant in creating the HBRAV-IP standard that is driving the delivery of uncompressed HD. The standard is being developed by the Video Services Forum, an international association composed of service providers, users and manufacturers dedicated to interoperability, quality metrics and education for video networking technologies.

According to the company, when video signals are compressed and uncompressed, the quality becomes degraded, if only slightly. However, an uncompressed video feed maintains the integrity of the original signal and allows broadcasters to deliver the highest-quality picture possible.