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Connecting Cameras And CCUs

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An End-to-End Optical Infrastructure From Bluebell Opticom. By Paul McCann, Managing Director, Bluebell Opticom.

For more than 20 years, Bluebell has supplied fibre optic systems that deliver mission-critical broadcast signals, especially for major sporting events or 24/7 transmission centres. During that time, we've built a reputation as experts in system design and infrastructure.

In the past two decades, the relentless march of technology has changed the face of broadcasting. System designers need easier, more affordable ways to accommodate a seemingly endless number of fibre interfaces and topographies as video-distribution systems grow more complex. Bluebell offers the ideal solution — a mix of cards that serve as the foundation of a versatile, scalable infrastructure, along with alternative connector systems that let broadcasters reap the benefits of dark fibre networks.

Bluebell's fibre interface cards are the building blocks for scalable networks of any size and degree of complexity – from simple point-to-point links to large-scale fibre infrastructures. The cards are designed to mix with difference Bluebell components, such as switches, splitters, and distribution amplifiers, while swappable SFP modules make it easy to accommodate various interfaces. System designers can create different topographies that change the size and capabilities of the network simply by adding different cards, components, and SFP modules.

Bluebell's BC Series cards are compact, rack-mountable multiformat converters that support a wide array of broadcast signals. Each card serves as both a high-quality converter for any fixed installation and a toolkit for systems engineers, thanks to functions ranging from distribution and format conversion to monitoring and wavelength management (including CWDM).

Such a broad range of functionality enables flexibility in both system design and on-site reconfiguration. So whether a rental house needs to design a system for a specific customer application, or an OB crew needs to compensate for a lost fibre core upon arrival at a high-profile event, users can mix and match Bluebell's multiformat converter cards with other Bluebell components to accommodate an almost unlimited number of scenarios.

For example, BC363, BC364, and BC368 cards can work together with Bluebell splitters, optical switches, and distribution amplifiers to create a monitoring and distribution solution with diverse routing and switching capabilities. The distribution amplifier automatically senses the incoming signal and equalizes it before driving it into five available outputs, while optical switches sense the light levels of the inputs and automatically switch from a main to a backup path if the signal is lost. Such capabilities are critical for failover in the event of a breakdown in the transmission path.

To complement the BC Series cards, Bluebell also offers the Shax and ShaxX ranges of ruggedized solutions that serve as alternatives to SMPTE hybrid cables. These alternative connectors link broadcast cameras and CCUs over standard single-mode fibre. As a result, outside broadcasters can take advantage of preinstalled fibre networks — such as dark fibre within a stadium environment or a metropolitan area — for remote production.

By combining Shax or ShaxX products with BC Series cards, remote-broadcast crews can connect multiple cameras and CCUs together over fibre.

In this way, Bluebell offers a complete, end-to-end fibre solution for getting signals from the camera to the CCU, and ultimately to the viewer.

This article is also available to read at BFV online here.

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