So I’m currently sat in a Outside Broadcast truck, for those of you who don’t know what one is, think of a articulated lorry with expanding sides that holds a television production suite, vision engineering areas, sound areas and edit bays…
Theres monitors everywhere, and more fancy buttons and doodads than a space shuttle, all of the video signals go into and out of a master routing matrix.
Now these are powerful beasts, capable of taking up to 256 different video signals in and connecting them to any of 256 lines out..
Bearing in mind that the broadcast standard of video is completely uncompressed, is a serial connection and can contain up to 16 channels of audio on each line, there is a lot of data wizzing about.
More than a lot… Each signal is 1.485Gb/s……

Throughout the truck run bundles of bnc cables about as thick as your arm, I always like to imagine the sheer amount of bits flipping up and down in all of those cables, its astounding really.

The cameras themselves are connected by fibre optic cables, the core of which is only 9 micrometres wide, which is thinner than a human hair, and signals down these glass hairs can happily travel 30km.
Once the show has been edited together live, it usually passes to a satellite uplink truck, which has the mother of all dishes on the roof, from where the program is modulated onto a carrier somewhare around 10GHz, then beamed around 26000 miles into space, bounced off a satellite to travel 26000 miles back again..

All this magical engineering just so someone can get drunk and scream at the tv when their team loses…..


About frazzledbadger

I'm an Electronics Engineer who's fascinated with taking things apart to see how they work... I work in the Broadcast Industry, basically this means I spend most of my time drinking tea in cold car parks... My main interests are hardware, I'd love to eventually build a robot, killy lasers are a must..

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