Court TV uses Telecast Ethernet Viper for Simpson, Duke lacrosse case coverage

Sports-related cases are at the center of technology deployments by criminal justice
network Court TV, to be re-named truTV effective Jan. 1, 2008. The network is using
the Telecast Ethernet Viper portable fiber optics broadcast production
system for high-quality digital video transmission of court
proceedings. With the Viper system, Court TV has been able to leverage
the high performance, superior signal quality, and easy installation of
fiber for live on-site coverage of numerous civil and criminal trials,
including such recent high-profile cases as last month’s O.J. Simpson
pre-trial hearings in Las Vegas and the Duke University lacrosse case.

Both of Court TV’s satellite news gathering (SNG) trucks are equipped with Telecast Viper systems with Ethernet support, giving remote production crews the ability to create fiber networks on the fly that can easily adapt to the variations in equipment, networking configurations, and physical layout found in different courtrooms. Over a single cable, Court TV can transport numerous feeds from inside the courtroom, including cameras, audio, and A/V equipment such as projectors, out to the SNG vehicle for transmission. Likewise, the Viper system can bring communications feeds for equipment such as headsets into the courtroom via fiber. In addition, Viper’s Ethernet support gives Court TV the ability to deploy high-speed Internet via fiber to on-site production crews, a critical communications requirement for cases that might last weeks or even months.

“Flexibility is a huge factor when doing live coverage of court proceedings. No two courthouses are alike, and there’s no standard configuration for broadcasting and A/V equipment,” said David Foote, supervisor of SNG services for Court TV Networks™. “With the Telecast Viper system, we don’t have to figure out how to get big bundles of copper wire through fireproof doors and other physical barriers — instead, we’re able to drop a single thin fiber line to handle all of the audio and video feeds from the courtroom. And with fiber, there is no degradation in signal quality even over long distances.”

“With Court TV’s implementation, it is easy to see why Viper is the most widely used fiber optics system for mobile television broadcast production,” said Richard Cerny, president of Telecast Fiber Systems. “Viper makes it easy for production crews to go into a new, unknown site and configure a temporary network for live coverage of an event with the highest available transmission quality and without the restrictions of traditional copper wire.”

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