The content markets division of Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) and its Vyvx predecessor have been delivering the Superbowl video feed from the venue to the broadcast studio for over two decades now. In the past that meant delivering the raw feeds to a production truck outside the stadium, compressing it, and then sending on the smaller, more easily managed feed from there. This year, however, they will be skipping the truck and delivering raw 1.5Gbps HD feeds via fiber from the stadium in Miami to CBS's broadcast studio in New York City. From there they will also deliver the game to the league offices, other broadcast networks and satellite teleport sites for global distribution.
Overall that will be some 2800 hours of video content to deliver, whereas during the whole regular season they delivered 5600 hours of raw feeds. Now, 1.5Gbps might not seem like that big a deal when we are now seeing 100Gbps links rolled out commercially, but when it comes to live HD video there is far less room for error and there is lots of processing going on at the studio that simply can't abide by transmission glitches of any kind. With its huge live viewership and wall to wall coverage, the Superbowl is always a showcase for the latest bandwidth burning capabilities and of course Level 3, CBS, and the NFL are right use it as such. Hopefully the game will be worthy of the effort!
If you haven't already, please take our Reader Survey! Just 3 questions to help us better understand who is reading Telecom Ramblings so we can serve you better!Categories: Content Distribution · Internet Backbones · Video