CTV rings Bluebell for outside broadcast

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 15 June 2015

European mobile broadcasting company CTV Outside Broadcasts has installed a customised fibre multiplexing system designed by Bluebell into one of its outside broadcast (OB) vans.

The new system makes it possible for CTV to increase its use of the pre-existing fibre infrastructure at an event location and decrease the amount of fibre it has to lay. CTV can also add to or reconfigure the system as needed for different applications, and the ability to recover a signal should the on-site fibre core fail.

"We wanted to increase our utilisation of dark fibre cores - particularly when we're running low on fibres or when faults appear - whilst reducing the number of cores we have to rig for a production. We already own a lot of Bluebell equipment and have a valued history of working with them to create fibre solutions that overcome our many challenges, so I had complete trust that Bluebell would deliver just what we needed," said Hamish Greig, technical director at CTV. "We're currently using Bluebell's custom solution for golf, and it has proven so successful that we'll be purchasing at least one more system. Eventually we plan to use it across our complete range of productions - sport, entertainment, and reality - wherever we use dark fibres."

CTV's compact, customised Bluebell solution consists of eight BC364 cards inside two BC160 frames. The cards are configured to serve as an optical multiplexer that lets CTV run four cameras down two cores of fibre instead of the eight fibres that are usually required. The system can be expanded to link 16 cameras and also provide remote signal-status monitoring. In addition, the system allows for wavelength remapping in the event of the failure or loss of a fibre core at the venue - an especially important capability in live sports broadcasting.

CTV first used the system in March at the Hassan II Golf Trophy tournament in Morocco.