Optical data link overcomes Manhattan microwave obstacle

When New York City’s heavy RF environment made point-to-point microwave impossible, Wexler Video turned to an optical transmission alternative
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Manhattan’s infamous microwave paths recently proved to be an insurmountable challenge requiring ingenuity and some new thinking to establish a full-bandwidth, bi-directional video transmission.

Wexler Video demonstrated the efficacy of non-traditional approaches when a reliable point-to-point microwave couldn’t be established for the producers of the new CBS reality series “The Cut.”

Turning to Canon’s Canobeam DT-50/SDI Free Space Optics digital video transmission system, Wexler’s Technical Engineering and Design (TED) department transmitted a video feed from a contestant’s house to the production office more than a block away in midtown Manhattan.

While the distance wasn’t far, microwave was not an option because of the unique challenges of transmitting via microwave in Manhattan’s dense RF environment.

Canon’s digital video transmission system can provide full-bandwidth, bi-directional wireless transmission for a wide variety of video signals at distances of up to 1.24mi.

Because Canobeam uses a beam of light to transmit video it doesn’t require radio frequency allocation or licensing, which can be difficult in RF-heavy urban environments such as New York City. Canobeams can be set up quickly. Transmitted data is secure and can't be intercepted. Vibration from traffic and wind is compensated for with a proprietary Auto-Tracking function.

TED integrated a pair of Canobeam DT-50/SDI units into an innovative solution that allowed digital transmission of multiple camera feeds — tied with synchronized digital audio and time-code — from building to building.

For more information, visit www.canobeam and www.wexler.com.

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