For the past six year, Formula One host broadcaster RTL has leveraged the Riedel RiLink Global Fiber Service to provide bidirectional links between the race circuits and the broadcast station in Cologne, Germany. Riedel's Artist and MediorNet platforms are also used for communications and signal acquisition and distribution at the various race venues around the world.
RTL transfers the international programme video signal and additional signals from its electronic newsgathering teams on location at each of the race venues to its playout centre in Cologne. During off-peak hours when there is no signal transmission, RTL uses the additional capacity for other purposes such as file transfers to its archive in Cologne.
RiLink's bidirectional links between the race circuits and Cologne allow the transport of 3G/HD/SD-SDI broadcast signals, as well as the return video feeds, full-duplex communications, VoIP telephony, and IP data. RiLink provides higher bandwidth connections than regular satellite links, the company claims, which directly translates into better video quality.
"When it comes to broadcasting a first-class event such as Formula One, a strong and reliable partnership is an absolute must," said Fritz Behringer, technical operations manager at Cologne Broadcasting Center, a part of RTL Media Group. "We have been working with Riedel's RiLink for many years. As soon as the fibre cable is connected to our production unit, all systems wake up, connect to their hosts instantaneously, and start sending files or messages. Riedel is connecting the two worlds for us: broadcast and IT."
Riedel has been supplying communication systems to motor sports events for more than 25 years, and today serves all Formula One races worldwide.