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Reducing The Carbon Footprint Of Outside Broadcast

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As many readers will already be aware, earlier this year the BBC announced that measurement of carbon footprint using the internationally recognised Albert carbon calculator would become mandatory for large parts of its programming schedule whether produced by independent production companies or BBC studios.

So, whilst the carbon footprint of your Outside Broadcast Unit may not be the first thing you consider when preparing for a shoot, reducing power usage, can do more than just benefit the environment.

In addition to contributing to air pollution, the use of generators to power Outside Broadcast Units, irrespective of the fuel source can contribute unwanted noise, vibration, weight and cost to your production environment.

It's no wonder that eliminating unnecessary power usage on location is popular with everyone from the Production Accountant to the Broadcast Engineer and the Director.

Perhaps one of the simplest and cheapest ways to start to reduce your broadcast carbon footprint is to make full use, where available, of passive equipment. Such equipment, as the name suggests, unlike active equipment operates without the need for a power supply, both maximising its environmental credentials as well as its reliability in operation.

Crewe, England-based manufacturer of signal enhancement products, LEN Limited have extensive experience of supplying passive equipment to a wide range of UK and international broadcasters for use in a wide variety of challenging broadcast environments.

For example, LEN's 3G HD SDI Galvanic video ground path isolators prevent signal interference, enabling access to high quality video across an extremely wide area and by avoiding the need for a separate or dedicated power supply, are lightweight, whilst also eliminating the unnecessary power draw of active solutions.

When you consider that a typical televised Golf championship may utilise ~100 Galvanic video ground path isolators alone, the reduced power draw (and accompanying reduction in carbon footprint), as well as the simplified rigging and derigging process associated with Passive equipment can present an attractive technical, financial and environmental benefit to any production company.

LEN can be contacted on +44 (0) 1270 886157, whilst full details of their range of passive signal enhancement products including relays, splitters and galvanic isolators may be found on their web site at

This article also features in the October edition of Broadcast Film & Video.

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