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NCP deploys Nevion Flashlink to link mobile production units for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011
Nevion, the leading provider of managed video services for broadcasters, service providers and government entities worldwide, has provided Flashlink solutions to New Century Productions (NCP), a leading provider of mobile teleproduction services for live sports and entertainment. NCP has deployed Flashlink fiber transport and multiplexing equipment to link two mobile production units (OB trucks) to expand ESPN’s live HD coverage of the 2011 Major League Baseball season.
To help boost ratings of its 2011 MLB coverage, ESPN decided to significantly expand its onsite production team. As ESPN’s services provider, NCP was faced with the challenge of dramatically upgrading the number of video signals linking together the two mobile production units used for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball telecast. The upgrade would require more than 250 video links between the two trucks. NCP turned to Nevion’s optical video transport expertise for a cost-effective solution. 
“The idea of using copper to interface the trucks was just too horrible to consider,” said Mike Mundt, director of engineering for NCP. “We’d have ended up with a heap of cable three-feet high. We needed a more elegant solution.”
NCP is using Nevion’s Flashlink video transport solutions to convert almost 300 electrical HD-SDI circuits to optical and then multiplex them down to just a few fibers for transport through Flashlink 18-channel CWDM transmitters.
“Nevion presented an affordable, compact solution for linking the two trucks over CWDM fiber,” said Mundt. “The Flashlink products are small, light-weight, scalable and consume very little power – which are all critical in a mobile production environment. Additionally, we were on an extremely tight deadline but Nevion delivered all the equipment very quickly.”
The solution consisted of several products from Nevion’s Flashlink video transport family:
  • CWDM1-18 optical CWDM multiplexers/demultiplexers, which multiplex up to 18 CWDM sources on a single optical fiber
  • FC-3G-EO-28 compact 28-channel electrical-to-optical converters with options for 14 dual hot pluggable SFP receivers, and FC-3G-OE-28 converters for high-density optical-to-electrical conversion
  • FR-2RU-10-2-EF 2RU frames, each with capacity for 10 Flashlink modules and 2 power supplies
  • SFP-3G-EO-2-13T optical video transmitters and SFP-3G-OE-2 receivers
Nevion also provided full onsite installation and training support to NCP. “We encountered some challenges with the initial installation due to some third-party equipment, but Nevion quickly identified and resolved the problem,” said Mundt. “We were very impressed by their optical networking expertise as well as their willingness to go the extra mile.”
“NCP is at the forefront of technology when it comes to providing HD coverage of live events,” said Thomas Heinzer, CTO, Nevion. “This unique application demonstrates how broadcasters can increase viewing figures by expanding their mobile coverage of live events through the use of CWDM fiber.”
Since its inception more than a decade ago, the Flashlink product family has gained a reputation for providing real-world signal processing and video broadcast distribution requirements with products that are easy for broadcasters to use. Flashlink products are recognized for their high feature density with extensive control and monitoring capabilities and ultra-low power consumption, packed in attractively small form factors.