AV Distribution for Broadcast Studios



A major broadcast studio in Los Angeles, the second largest television market in the United States, needed to rebuild and upgrade their internal video distribution system (MATV system) to digital High Definition. Like the vast majority of broadcasters today, this LA broadcaster uses their MATV system to distribute programming to the executive offices and common areas such as lobbies, break rooms and boardrooms.

The Problem

The MATV system is also used for confidence monitoring to assess production quality, programming compliancy, branding requirements, and monitoring competitor programming. Although the broadcaster had upgraded most of their TV’s and monitors to beautiful, state-of-the art HD, the MATV system remained analog and it was time to make the switch to HD.

A major challenge facing the LA broadcaster was the ability for employees to have consistent access to view and monitor programming. To remain competitive the broadcaster must have constant visibility into how programming is being done by its competitors as well as visibility into national feeds – understanding how stories are being handled is paramount to improving their own programming, ultimately driving increased ratings and revenue.

The Solution

ZeeVee’s HDbridge (HDb) Series high-performance solution was identified as the best-suited video distribution equipment to deliver the quality, reliability and flexibility required. Specifically, 30 HDb2920 iSeries and 2 HDb2840 units were installed. The HDb2920i is a two-channel HD-SDI input, RF QAM and IP output device that is being fed content from local production work ow and broadcast sources. Input is looped through the unit and re-clocked which allows the native signal to remain untouched and ready for additional postproduction work that may be required. Output is two, HD QAM channels that are modulated onto the coax network. The unit simultaneously provides the same two channels as streaming video-over-IP. The HDb2840 is a four-channel encoder/modulator that ingests four HDMI sources and outputs the same number of HD QAM channels on the coax network in resolutions up to 1080p.

The Results

By introducing streaming video-over-IP, all broadcast personnel can now view programming from a PC or laptop, providing greater flexibility to their viewing environment. Using the existing coax RF network saved tens of thousands of dollars by not having to completely rewire the facility. This video distribution solution is being replicated in broadcast stations across the United States due to its easy setup, maintenance, reliability and cost-effectiveness.

Primary Goals for Upgrading to HD

  • Leverage the existing coax infrastructure.
  • Upgrade all channels from analog to HD.
  • Introduce streaming video-over- IP distribution to expand and compliment the coax distribution.
  • Define the standards for upgrades/rebuilds to be used by other stations in their broadcast family.