When a TV station in the Eastern U.S. planned to add HD video services, the station’s engineering team found that it couldn’t move the higher-resolution video to its affiliate over its existing 1G station-to-affiliate link, an SDI/ASI over fiber and Gigabit Ethernet hybrid network built on Artel base fiber infrastructure. The team tried to solve this issue by using higher-speed links but found that dispersion was both a difficult and expensive hurdle to overcome. To keep costs manageable, the station instead sought out a way to leverage as much of this existing infrastructure as possible to improve bandwidth efficiency.
The broadcaster had already begun its migration to IP using its existing Artel 1G infrastructure, a 70-km fiber to EDFA (optical repeater device) to 70-km fiber link that carried SD video from the station to the affiliate. Rather than invest in building out further network capacity to support HD over IP, the station added Artel’s SMART J2K encoder, which not only compresses HD video below 1G but also frees up additional bandwidth for other video and data transport needs.
The Artel SMART J2K encoder allows the broadcaster to leverage its existing Artel 1G infrastructure to compress four HD-SDI video feeds into a 150 Mb/s per video streams for transport. Bringing transport under 1G, the broadcaster has been able to limit network delay and dispersion issuing that result from higher network speeds.
Because of COVID restrictions, which prevented outside vendors from entering the facility in person, engineers at the station configured the SMART platform themselves. In under an hour, and with minimal remote support from Artel, station engineers were able to get the new SMART Platform J2K units running and passing four compressed HD-SDI video feeds over their network.
As broadcast technology has evolved from analog video, SDI video, ethernet, and now J2K, Artel has helped customers transform their networks to meet changing format and bandwidth requirements. Artel’s history with this station goes back 25 years, and over this time Artel has supported the station and its engineering team in adopting new technologies and in maintaining the station’s equipment and network for live on-air event coverage.
In this most recent deployment, Artel provided an economical solution that supports delivery of HD content to an affiliate station and its viewers while also freeing up bandwidth for data transport. Going forward, the station can add or upgrade the functionality of the SMART platform for 4K using the genlock function through simple software download. As the station’s network continues to evolve, flexible functionality on the SMART platform will allow for seamless adaptation to new technical requirements.