Telecast Provides 'Stratosphere'-ic Coverage

KLAS-TV Eyewitness News in Las Vegas is using Telecast Fiber Systems fiber optic equipment to operate a remote news production microwave receive and camera site on top of the Stratosphere Hotel's 1,149-foot tower.

Telecast's Viper II video, audio and data transceivers enable KLAS-TV to obtain a range of high-quality live images, including video and audio files from "dark spots" where transmission was previously not feasible. The Viper II modules use one cable to carry the video and audio signals required for remote broadcasts from KLAS-TV's news trucks and helicopter, and the RS-232 data signals required for directing the Wescam ENG controller mounted in the tower. An operator at the station uses the controller to change receive frequencies, receive horns and switch to a remote tower-mounted "Strato-Cam" when the microwave receiver isn't being used for a live shot.

The station now provides more frequent live newscasts from areas that were logistically unsuitable prior to the tower fiber installation. KLAS-TV has used the setup to provide live coverage of major local events, including the 2002 New Year's Eve celebrations.

The station uses two Viper II modules. One is on top of the Stratosphere and the other is in the station control room approximately one-half mile away. The unit measures 3 RU high in a 19-inch frame, and houses up to 16 transmitter or receiver modules to allow broadcasters to mix and match analog and digital video and audio functionality.