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SNG Broadcast Services Announces The UK's First Independent Fixed Receive Network For COFDM Wireless Cameras

SNG Broadcast Services looks to shake up newsgathering in London by opening the UK's first independent fixed receive network for wireless cameras.
SNG is using camera-back transmitters and antennas supplied by Link Research.
This ground-breaking new facility is now up and running. Broadcasters' producers and camera crews can operate wireless cameras live in the capital without the need to bring in a satellite uplink or a radio link vehicle and engineering crew.
Broadcasters and news agencies will be able to bring Link wireless camera systems into central London and cover news and live events immediately.
Ken Suckling, of SNG, said: "They will be able to operate into our dedicated receive hub and fibre inject point centred on one of London's tallest buildings in Waterloo. We are providing fibre inject points and the COFDM Receive Hubs which will allow live camera connectivity for broadcasters without the need to invest in any infrastructure. We see this facility being used for live news gathering, corporate communications, entertainment events and sports broadcasts."
The Link COFDM wireless hub has an all-round coverage from this key position overlooking central and south London.
Extensive tests by SNG proved that Link wireless cameras would operate reliably, on the ground, in an area that covers Westminster, the London Eye, Vauxhall, Canada Gate, Leicester Square, Tower Bridge, the Bank of England and parts of the Square Mile in the city.
In the tests, cameras were fitted with standard Link XP 100mW camera transmitters operating at 2GHz. Reception is also possible from outside the central area using the 1 and 5 watt Link amplifiers. These locations will be confirmed at a later date.
The new London receive hub also provides a helicopter camera receiving site. Link's experience has been that helicopters can typically operate in a range of more than 100km/70 miles, with a 5 watt amplifier in the helicopter and the built-in diversity tracking the aircraft. The helicopter would normally be able to stay "on station" for between two and three hours depending upon flying time to and from the location.
The local camera feed and helicopter signal, is connected to the SNG Broadcast Services, South London, Network Control Centre (NCC). From there it can be transmitted to European and Transatlantic satellites, Genesis Networks international fibre facility or London Telecom Tower, depending upon the broadcaster's requirement.
Link Research pioneered the concept of Cellular Diversity for wireless cameras in city centres in 2005 and predicted that this would revolutionise live news-gathering in built-up areas. Link called the technique "Cellular Diversity" because cameramen can move around receive stations just as people walk around with mobile phones, moving around the masts that carry cellular signals.
Since then, Link Research has won the Peter Wayne Award for its work with Cellular Diversity and wireless camera systems and sites have been built in: Helsinki, Berlin, Brussels, Antwerp, Ljubljana, Stockholm and Washington. All of these are owned by broadcasters except for the Helsinki site which, like the new London site, is independent, belonging to the Finnish network provider, Gigita Oy.
The BBC has a number of cellular sites in city centres throughout its Regions and ITN uses a similar approach in London.
John Mulcahy, Managing Director of Link Research, said: "This fixed receive network is a very exciting development for international broadcasters and news agencies. They won't need to rig and re-rig receive stations for each event. The broadcasters that use will reap the real benefits of wireless camera technology."
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