Telefónica OBs upgraded with BroaMan signal conversion technology

Spanish broadband and telecommunication company Telefónica, S.A has become the latest broadcast multinational to invest in BroaMan’s scalable signal conversion technology over fiber.

The company’s subsidiary, Telefónica Broadcast Service, provides services for other companies (as well as themselves), handling production, transport and management of all TV content. Their department also handles outside production of TV events, in particular sports and other news related programs, for which they operate a fleet of OB vans. These include a 16-cam truck with six EVS, and two 15-camera trucks with four EVS each. Their flagship HD van handles Spanish UEFA Champions League.

Technical manager of the production department is Carlos Rojo, and it was he who authorised the investment after seeing BroaMan’s product portfolio at IBC 2017 in Amsterdam.

“We were looking for an inexpensive, easy and reliable way to transport multi SDI 1.5G video through just two optical fibers,” he said. “We were looking to add facilities to our trucks in order to speed up the time preparing our productions. We used to have six hours in which to go live with basketball and handball, and we have to ensure a complete absence of errors.”

The beauty of BroaMan’s solutions, Carlos said, is that they only pay for what they need. “The price and flexibility to be able to configure the system the way we needed was a huge benefit. It means we don’t have any features that we won’t use.”

Before committing to the purchase they took a demo system of the Repeat48 WDM-12 for evaluation — and to ensure it fulfilled the requirement. “We were concerned about CWDM technology over our field fibers and the possibility of video jitter,” admits Rojo. ”On many occasions we connected very long BNC cables to the device and it passed all our tests without problem.”

As a consequence, Telefónica ordered three identical sets — each running point-to-point — based on BroaMan’s Repeat48WDM 12-channel device. The Repeat48 at one end is configured with 8-In, 4-Out, and on the other end 4-In, 8-Out — and each device pair is connected via just one duplex single-mode cable. “This is now used to broadcast ACB Spanish National Basketball League,” confirms Carlos Rojo. “It was for this that we principally needed the solution.”

In operation, three Minicam, two fill, key graphic signals and a clock cam are sent to the OB truck and in the other direction two program returns and a clock signal from the field. “Sometimes we will need to use existing fixed installations because some stadiums are pre-cabled, and as we don’t have many fibers available we will use the Repeat48 fiber tunnel to send an audio Dante channel.”

In other words, via two fibers Telefónica can transmit the 12 video channels and 64 audio channels in a very elegant and simple way. “Previously we would have been unable to send so many signals with just two fibers,” notes the Telefónica man.  “This also enables us to save time and problems with connections.”

The new BroaMan upgrade will provide Telefónica with enormous flexibility. In addition to the ACB Spanish National Basketball League they can also broadcast Handball Spanish National League; Football Spanish National League; Football UEFA Champions League; Basketball Euroligue and Bullfighting.

Summing up, Carlos Rojo said: “The great advantage [with the Repeat48] is that the ability to send so many signals through a single fiber means not only that we have many more spare fibers, but we also reduce the set-up time by more than half. In certain situations we just have one or two fibers available but we can send everything we need.

“It is also important and reassuring to know that this works reliably, meaning that we can focus our attention on other areas. There is no doubt that CWDM technology offers us an extremely reliable way of sending so much info and data.

“The investment is certainly not high when you compare it with other technologies, and the advantages that it offers more than warrants the investment.”

Finally, he says, while the device was easy to set up and use, they valued the support and advice provided by Maciek Janiszewski, BroaMan’s applications engineering manager.

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