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Blackmagic Design’s Optical Fiber Takes Gold in Berlin!

Mini Converter Optical Fiber keeps broadcasting on track at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics Berlin 2009 

Cheshire, UK, 11 September 2009 - Higher, further, faster – challenges set to broadcast engineers and athletes alike during the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics Berlin 2009™! When Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt smashed the 100m World Record, live feeds of the race were being distributed for miles in an instant thanks to optical fibre.

Several miles of broadcast cabling, 120 cameras, 40 Blackmagic Design Optical Fiber Mini Converters and Blackmagic Design’s Studio Videohub were among equipment put through their paces last month, during the live HD broadcast of the Championships to 203 countries!

German media service provider Incast were tasked with supplying live video feeds to 3,500 journalists in the press gallery, main media centre, and International Broadcast Centre, to the host broadcaster BERTA and the Berlin Olympic Stadium. Incast also provided connection for the giant LCD screens inside the Olympic Stadium, and also at the Brandenburg Gate for the Berlin Marathon staged on 20th September.

Managing Director of Incast Andreas Wolf explains, “All live feeds went into the main control room of the host broadcasters’ International Broadcast Centre, which was 400 metres away from the stadium. With 12 SD-SDI and 2 HD-SDI signals running at such long distances, we decided to use optical fibre cabling, as it enables much longer distances and is more affordable than conventional SDI cabling.”

Incast opted to use Blackmagic Design Optical Fiber Mini Converters to convert between SDI and optical fibre signals. From the optical fibre converters, the SDI signals went directly into the Blackmagic Design Studio Videohub. “This slim router provided an elegant solution,” enthuses Wolf. Digital signals were converted to analog feeds for Cable TV, to the digital encoding and to the giant LCD screens to provide an unforgettable live viewing experience for the 6,000 spectators in the Olympic Stadium and to thousands more around the Brandenburg Gate for the Berlin Marathon.

“The Blackmagic Design Optical Fiber Mini Converters offered three major advantages”, describes Wolf. “Firstly, SD and HD signals can be converted with the same unit and without manual switching. Secondly, the possibility to convert in both directions, optical fiber to SDI and SDI to optical fibre, provided the additional flexibility that we needed. Finally, we consider the 40 converters we used as an investment in our future as they are fully 3Gb/s compatible.”

Commenting on Incast’s success Blackmagic Design’s Simon Westland, Sales Manager EMEA, said, “This was a hugely important and high profile project, and a demanding test of these products. For our Optical Fiber Mini Converters to be used at an event of this magnitude is really exciting as it demonstrates how optical fibre is a practical and affordable solution today”.

About Incast

Incast (Internet & Broadcast) Broadcast Engineering is specialised in providing and processing signals at major events and is working in broadcast planning as well as in production.

Latest major projects include:

  • Sonnenklar TV technical supervision
  • EURO2008™ signal delivery and production of Media TV and Stadium TV in all eight stadiums
  • FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa signal delivery and production of Media TV and Stadium TV in all four stadiums
  • 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics Berlin 2009