LightPointe Introduces FlightStrata HD Optical Wireless Link

LightPointe, a designer and manufacturer of high-speed outdoor wireless products, has introduced the FlightStrata HD, a high-bandwidth, easily deployable wireless solution for meeting High-Definition Television (HDTV) requirements, including the delivery of real-time, remote HDTV-quality broadcast video and audio feeds. The license-free FlightStrata HD is designed specifically to support bandwidth-intensive HDTV point-to-point wireless communications while surpassing fiber-optic cable and low-speed radio frequency (RF) connectivity in terms of capacity, ease of use, portability and cost.

The FlightStrata HD transmits uncompressed HDTV signals wirelessly at full-duplex throughput of 1.485 Gbps, making it ideally suited for remote cameras covering news, sporting events and live entertainment. An optical wireless product based on free space optics (FSO) technology, the FlightStrata HD uses beams of light for sending high quality, realtime HDTV video streams at recommended distances up to 750 meters between a remote HDTV camera and production studio facility or remote satellite truck. FlightStrata HD offers the true throughput of fiber-optics transmission without the time-consuming, cumbersome and costly process of installing permanent or temporary cabling. Additionally, FlightStrata HD eliminates the spectrum licensing and compression concerns typically associated with lower-speed RF solutions.

LightPointe's FlightStrata HD is fully compatible with the HDTV Serial Digital Interface (HD-SDI) transmission industry standard (SMPTE-292M). The system also incorporates multi-beam transmission, auto tracking, Optical Beam Shaping (OBS) and Automatic Power Control (APC) to ensure the highest levels of reliable communications.

According to Bob Preston, chief marketing officer at LightPointe, optical wireless meets the growing demand for high capacity, easy-to-install network links to transmit live or taped outdoor HDTV broadcast segments. "Optical wireless already has made major inroads in enterprise and carrier networks around the world as a proven and reliable method for delivering secure, high-speed communications," he says. "With FlightStrata HD, we're giving broadcasters the transmission quality of fiber-optic cable combined with the ease and portability of point-to-point wireless communications."

For 3G Wireless, a Severn, Md.-based provider of wireless video and audio coverage for all areas of television and film, LightPointe's FlightStrata HD lowers the substantial business barriers to deploying HDTV-quality camera shoots in the field. "FlightStrata HD has all the pluses of fiber without the need to pull any permanent or temporary cabling," says Adam Nepp, director of marketing for 3G Wireless. "Moreover, 'plug and play' FlightStrata HD deployments can be operational within minutes instead of days, saving us up to 50 percent of the equipment and engineering expenses involved in traditional solutions."

A primary advantage of the FlightStrata HD is its ability to send uncompressed video transmissions without frame delays. The ability to send a full stream of raw video offers broadcasters many post-production options for taped segments while also ensuring high-quality live remote transmissions.

Recently, 3G Wireless implemented LightPointe's FlightStrata HD on behalf of a major U.S. television network that required transmission of live outdoor HDTV coverage for a popular news program. Only the FlightStrata HD provided the necessary bandwidth and portability required for rapid deployment each day by a cameraman at a remote location. Another LightPointe product, the FlightStrata 155E, which delivers bandwidth speeds of 155 Mbps, has been deployed to support standard-definition television broadcast coverage of live or taped outdoor segments.

In February, President Bush signed legislation into law mandating that broadcasters transition to all-digital content by February 17, 2009. As HDTV momentum intensifies, LightPointe's FlightStrata HD is well positioned to provide HDTV bandwidth—which is almost 10 times that of standard definition TV—without the installation difficulties and delays, compression concerns, technical training requirements and expenses associated with other connectivity alternatives.

Available now at manufacturer's suggested pricing of less than $65,000 (USD) for a complete point-to-point system, FlightStrata HD can be purchased through LightPointe's global network of authorized distributors, value-added resellers and systems integrators.