ESPN and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Network expect to carry more than 1,000 SEC football, basketball, baseball and other sporting events annually, getting into 60 million+ homes nationwide.
SEC schools are producing more content locally as a result of the new SEC Network launched by ESPN. The conference will bring college basketball, baseball, football and soccer to a wider viewership. SEC games are now showing on the SEC Network as well as ESPNís family of networks. In order to provide 24/7 coverage of the nationís most elite conference, ESPN established guidelines for SEC colleges contributing live action sporting coverage and content. These new rules meant the schools needed to deliver 1080p high definition uncompressed video to the ESPN Outside-Broadcast-Trucks. The Universities did not have available fiber plant on campus to support dedicated video links. Nor did they have the budget to pull new fiber to the facilities.
Distance, bandwidth and cost issues limiting the practical use of copper triax/coax cable for high-bandwidth multimedia use. And the Fiber Plant was already occupied for other services. So, Universities are opting to implement fiber optic multiplexing as a practical infrastructure solution. The FiberPlex WDMs provide them with the ability to transport all of their voice, data, audio and video utilizing existing single-mode fiber optic cables that were already in place.
Instead of installing new Fiber Plant, the University of Kentucky and Vanderbilt University leveraged FiberPlex WDM Multiplexers and Light Viper optical audio transport systems. The solution enabled the transport of the new HD Video and enabling the bi-directional transport of 24 channels of audio, 8 channels of intercom, and 4 3G-SDI video feeds on one pair of singlemode fiber.
A single fiber optic connection from ESPN broadcast trucks to sports venues provides all audio and video connectivity with practically zero setup time. High quality, video optimized optics provide ultrareliable content transport eliminating pathological errors and jitter.
The solution using the FiberPlex WDMs is plug-and-play, hot-swappable, and modular, allowing for various configuration options in the field utilizing electrical and optical components. The modularity and upgradeable kit is also capable of supporting future higher bandwidth requirements such as 4K, 8K, 10 Gbps, etc.
Since FiberPlex devices are transparent, the same devices utilized for audio and video, are also capable of transporting data of various types, therefore allowing other university departments to utilize the same solution.
Patton is happy that ESPN has extended its coverage of University sporting events and proud to have delivered the connectivity solution for the Southeast Conference Schools.