Leading Cable Manufacturer Comes Through in the Clutch
Gepco Steps Up to the Plate for YES Network
Against Tight Deadline
Walking out of the tunnel underneath a clear azure sky, enveloped in steep history and tradition, your breath is taken away by the simple beauty of America's pastime played at the home of the most successful team in sports history, the New York Yankees. For those unable to make it out to beautiful Yankee Stadium, the sights and sounds of Yankees' baseball were once again successfully delivered to homes across the country by the top-notch production team of the YES Network. This year, viewers of games telecast on YES were closer to the action, thanks in part to the quick and concise work of Gepco International.
With Alex Rodriguez, one of Major League Baseball's premiere players, joining the Bronx Bombers at third base for the 2004 season, the YES Network wanted to ensure that viewers would be able to fully appreciate his exceptional fielding abilities, so they needed to add extra camera locations. Additionally, the network wanted to upgrade its internal facilities to High Definition, so they turned to Eos Technology Group, consultants and distributors of broadcast equipment, for assistance. Rich Ziesig, vice president of Eos, received a list of the broadcast cable products needed for the installation and a tight deadline for delivery. Having worked closely with Gepco for many years, Ziesig was aware of Gepco's ability to provide a quick turnaround on the custom-sized cable.
"What we needed were custom lengths of triax, coax, data and audio cable for the existing camera locations, as well as seven new camera locations that YES was adding within the confines of Yankee Stadium," Ziesig stated. "YES added several low, high and mid-range cameras on both the first and third base sides, in order to give viewers better angles of A-Rod. In addition, the network added cameras in the outfield, behind home plate and in the field press box locations to handle the expected increase in media attention due to the acquisitions of A-Rod and Gary Sheffield. We were given six weeks to provide this equipment with precision-cut length tolerances, and Gepco not only met the deadline, but they nailed the lengths on the button. I speak to the senior engineer for YES several times a week, and the Gepco products performed without a hitch for the entire season."
Along with the cable, Eos provided YES with 30 units of the Gepco HDR Hybrid Electrical and Fiber Component Distribution Rack. This was a necessary item with YES' decision to upgrade to High Definition capability, as it provided a practical solution to field installing the hybrid fiber infrastructure wiring required between the HD camera and CCU.
Before Gepco's HDR distribution rack system, permanent installation of Lemo SMPTE hybrid fiber connectors required on-site termination of the connectors. In addition to being more time consuming, field-terminating connectors requires costly and specialized equipment, and the connectors do not allow for quick field reparability.
Gepco's HDR distribution rack improves and streamlines the interconnect system by breaking out Lemo hybrid fiber SMPTE connectors to industry standard ST fiber and five-pin electrical connectors. These connector types can be readily terminated in the field by installers with experience in traditional fiber optic and electrical connectors.
"The Gepco HDR rack distribution system is an extremely effective solution to field installing High Definition camera to CCU infrastructure wiring," stated Scott Fehl, Gepco's Products Development Manager. "It significantly reduces the installation time and allows almost any installer to supply a turnkey interconnect system. In addition, the HDR system also saves time by allowing for quick fiber contact replacement - contacts can be quickly replaced with internal jumpers. This is especially important to broadcasters, since they do not have the luxury of extended down times."
The Gepco HDR distribution racks are built to last. All optical components feature machine polished ceramic ferules and ceramic sleeves for superior optical alignment and low loss. Other features include durable metal connector bodies, dust caps that are permanently attached, and a rugged, three-inch-deep, powder-coated steel chassis.
For the digital video copper cabling, Gepco's High Definition VSD2001 coax was specified. VSD2001, the leading cable standard for HD video coax, is the workhorse for HD broadcast interconnects. It provides exceptionally low attenuation and precision electrical and mechanical specifications, in a size that can be run over long distances with out being too large to manage in patchbays.
"The high precision and low attenuation of VSD2001 achieve a 3GHz bandwidth, thereby ensuring reliable transmission of 1.485 Gb/s uncompressed HD digital video," Fehl said. "Our extensive R&D, multi-stage testing, and quality assurance allow Gepco to manufacture VSD2001 to specifications that meet and exceed industry and SMPTE specifications for High Definition cable interconnects."
Gepco products used during the installation conducted by Yankee Stadium electricians included: 100,000 feet of VSD2001 video cable; 20,000 feet of GA61812 audio cable; 10,000 feet of LVT618 triax cable; and 10,000 feet of data cable.