Premier League and IBC Debuts for BT M&B’s Links Unit

The Premier League football season gets under way this weekend (Saturday, 13 August) with newly promoted Hull City taking on current title holder Leicester City. Links for the match will be provided for television by BT Media and Broadcast’s new hybrid fibre/satellite Ultra HD comms truck, which will also be making an appearance among the OB exhibits at IBC 2016.

The vehicle, known as TES52, was systems integrated for BT Media and Broadcast's outside broadcast division, BT TVOB, by Megahertz. It is being promoted as the first UK links truck that can handle both HD and UHD/4k transmissions over fibre and satellite at the same time.

This capability will be demonstrated during IBC. Prior to that TES52 will be engaged on various productions before making the trip to Amsterdam. Its debut on the opening day of the 2016-17 Premier League season will involve dealing with 14 simultaneous outgoing HD feeds, both 1080i and 1080p. Future jobs will see it working in UHD/4k, laying on three UHD visions circuits through fibre and one over satellite.

Megahertz delivered a UHD truck, TES51, to BT TVOB in 2014. TES52 builds on that with a higher degree of encoding power, plus two 750W amplifiers. Based on a 7T Iveco Daily van chassis, the new unit houses a 4k Miranda multiviewer for monitoring multiple incoming signals on a Sony 4k screen. Two Marshall 4k/UHD monitors provide extra qualitative signal monitoring, while a HD Phabrix analyser is used for checking and testing signal generation.

BT TVOB's TES52

BT TVOB's TES52

A Ku-band satellite antenna is mounted on the roof of the vehicle, which is able to connect to BT's fibre network. TES52 can work with a total of 16 HD fibre links or three 4k/UHD and four HD circuits. This is made possible through the IVNP intelligent video networking platform working in conjunction with BT's MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) network. A 192-port Snell (SAM) router is able to deal with 4k, 3Gb/s and HD base band signals plus ASI transport streams.

Commenting on the newest addition to the BT TVOB fleet, Neil Huggins, senior product manager for BT Media and Broadcast, said, "We're incredibly proud to be at the forefront of UHD and 4K live events broadcasting in Europe. The capability that TES52 has to deliver in HD and UHD/4k via both fibre and satellite could not have been achieved so lucidly without our solid partnership with Megahertz. They consistently deliver flexible, rugged and timely solutions that truly address our customers' current and future requirements."

TES52 will be part of Megahertz's exhibit during IBC 2016.

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