NAB 2010: Net Insight to Deliver World Cup for ESPN

Sports giant to use equipment from Swedish firm as part of global fiber network

NAB 2010: Complete Coverage From B&C
Sports giant ESPN has confirmed that it will use terminal equipment from Swedish firm Net Insight as a key part of the global fiber network it will use to backhaul coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

ESPN has been using Net Insight's Nimbra terminals domestically for the past three years. It likes them for their reliability as well as their ability to accept a number of inputs (Gigabit Ethernet, ASI and HD-SDI) and transmit any mix of uncompressed video, compressed video and data files. ESPN is now expanding their use to the private network that will link temporary studios in South Africa with its regular facilities in Bristol, Conn.; Los Angeles; New York; London; Argentina and Brazil via an OC-12 (622 Mbps) pipe.

ESPN is one of 10 international customers that will be using the Nimbra system to backhaul World Cup coverage. It will have Nimbra 680 and 360 units on-site in South Africa, and use Nimbra Vision software to monitor the network. Instead of bringing feeds into Bristol on an occasional-use basis and decoding and recompressing them there, the combination of the fiber links and Nimbra terminals allows ESPN to treat the World Cup operation as an extension of its everyday network.

"You can reach out to other locations without having to use Bristol as a hub," says Emory Strilkauskas, ESPN's lead engineer for transport and special projects. "That gives us efficiencies in terms of manpower, coordination and also maintains video quality. Once you put a couple of nodes in South Africa, it appears to every other location on the network."