Skip to main content

Replacing satellite links with dark fiber

Broadcasters are always looking for more efficient and cost-effective ways to transport live HD content. Conventional satellite services are expensive and limited; satellite uplink/downlink delays can cause unnatural pauses and “talk-over” that impede live interviews; poor weather conditions can impair satellite feeds; and scheduling transponder time is inconvenient and inefficient.

A company in Linthicum, MD, called Ciena has developed a new optical service delivery platform that allows broadcasters to reduce content distribution costs and increase signal path availability by replacing satellite links with dark fiber or managed wavelengths.

With the CN 4200 HD Video Card, broadcasters can improve service quality and reliability, while producers can replace tape distribution with file-based delivery over optical networks. The company said its CN 4200 optical service delivery platform lets users send and receive uncompressed HD video over metro and regional distances without losing signal quality.

The CN 4200 card is part of Ciena’s CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform and allows broadcasters to transport native SD-SDI, HD-SDI and DVB-ASI video signals over standard fiber-optic networks. The video card delivers HD video in its raw, uncompressed format, over metro and regional distances with no bit errors, and includes jitter/wander/drift control for optimal video quality.

In broadcast applications, the HD Video Card is used to transport video from venue to studio, studio/live broadcast center to studio/live broadcast center or studio/live broadcast center to a video headend or satellite distribution point.

The company said the CN 4200 HD Video Card features video SFP transceivers that support multiple video types, formats and rates to simplify product ordering, configuration and sparing. It also supports automatic video speed detection to eliminate manual configuration mistakes and hassles, and uses SFP push-on connectors for easy installation.

The CN 4200 enables a variety of applications in a single platform. For example, a production services company can use the CN 4200 to transport HD and SD video plus Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and Fibre Channel connectivity — all over the same wavelength. It can be deployed in conjunction with other Ciena platforms such as the CoreDirector FS Multiservice Optical Switch. This brings advanced switching and protection features and carrier-class service availability to privately managed networks. Ciena’s ON-Center Network and Service Management Suite provides unified management for the company’s entire optical product portfolio.