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20/08/2004

Telecast provide official Euro 2004 broadcast feeds

Telecast Fiber Systems’ Viper, Adder, and DiamondBack video and audio multiplexers were successfully deployed by London-based Gearhouse Broadcast to facilitate broadcast of the 2004 European Football Championship.
Gearhouse Broadcast are specialists in providing technical infrastructure and production facilities for major televisual events and were awarded the contract by host broadcasters Euro Broadcast Services (EBS) earlier this year based on their solid experience in world sports events.
The Telecast equipment was used to transmit and receive analogue audio along with SDI and analogue video signals of each UEFA Euro 2004 match from a Technical Operations Centre (TOC) to a Commentary Control Room (CCR), where Gearhouse Broadcast distributed the exclusive signals to broadcasters for airing worldwide.
With games staged in 10 stadia across host country Portugal, Gearhouse Broadcast needed to provide a TOC for every venue. Imperviousness to distance limitations made fiber optics a natural fit for transmitting the signals, often over distances as great as 1500 meters between a TOC and CCR. Three of the TOCs were equipped with 64x64 video and audio routing matrixes that incorporated four Telecast Viper units for distributing SDI video signals, four Adders to transmit and receive analogue audio signals, and a DiamondBack for analogue video signals. Cambridge-based Mi Broadcast, Telecast’s UK and Ireland distributor, supplied the Telecast equipment to Gearhouse.
“Telecast has been tried and tested, and our client, EBS, was happy to use the equipment,” said Kevin Moorhouse, technical director at Gearhouse Broadcast. “We’ve used it on other projects, and it’s the most widely used fiber product in the industry.”
That global presence of Telecast, plus the flexibility of its products, helped Gearhouse Broadcast build the perfect system for their needs.
“Each Telecast system is made up of little modules so you can change configuration with ease, and most engineers are familiar with it because they’ve worked with it on other jobs as well,” added Moorhouse.
With data from only 12 of the 52 television markets collected, the audience of Euro 2004 reached over 70 million, and does not include people watching the games in pubs and bars. It peaked with 20.3 million viewers watching coverage of the England-France game, the third-largest figure of any football game on broadcast network ITV.
(GB)
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