Media&Broadcast, a T-Systems subsidiary, provided national and international broadcasting stations with reliable, state-of-the-art broadcast technology at the recent G8 summit. Fibre-optic networks, high-speed connections and OB vans with direct satellite connection were all deployed to ensure nothing got missed by the world's assembled journalists.
Forty-three TV connections alone linked the conference rooms in Heiligendamm, Germany with the neighbouring town of K_hlungsborn where, among others, the media representatives, the global broadcasting office and the radio stations were based. The high-speed connections were all set up redundantly, ie. if one device were to fail, the system would automatically switch to a functioning device.
"Our professional project management and extensive expertise is in high demand at events of this size. With flexible services, state-of-the-art technology and highly qualified experts, we're the specialists for mega events," explained Walter Zornek, who is responsible for the TV business unit. "We've realised that our fibre-optic based services are a big hit with customers. On the one hand, we provide our customers with perfect package offers for feeding their signals into our network; on the other hand, we offer global services that are especially oriented toward the transmission of TV signals," the manager explains.
Thirty-three media IT and TC Media&Broadcast specialists were working 24/7 in Heiligendamm. "Our employees not only had to deal with a large number of broadcasts at different locations, but also had to take individual requests from numerous contacts into account," Zornek stresses. They did a fantastic job because the preparatory tasks for the summit were all completed on schedule and sufficient reserves were set up for unforeseen connections.
If journalist teams did not have access to the on-location network, a fleet of SNG (satellite news gathering) broadcasting vans were present to ensure the necessary mobility. Some of the OB vans were equipped with HDTV broadcasting modules and supported the digital TV standard MPEG-2, which compresses moving images such as videos and TV images. This enables the standard to efficiently facilitate broadcasting capacity.
First, the van-supported SNG systems transmit image and sound via satellite to the teleport base station in Usingen. Then, the satellite transponder station sends the data, for example, via Eutelsat, Intelsat and SES/Astra, out into the world. At the G 8 summit, a total of six SNGs fed 19 transponders located at four different satellite stations.
Major events such as the G8 summit in Heiligendamm are mega media events that place high technological demands on security, availability, technology, project management and international connections. This is why Media&Broadcast implemented the connection and transponder capacities in close cooperation with the main customer, the German Federal Press Office, the host broadcaster ARD, ZDF, EBU and Fox News. In addition to the satellite transmissions, 72 terrestrial lines with a bandwidth of 13Gbps were permanently activated for the event. A total of 91 permanent direct television connections transmitted images of the G8 summit to the entire world.