Telecast Fiber Systems

Sep 10, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Founded: 1991
Key executives: Richard Cerny, president.
What they do: Telecast Fiber Systems is the only manufacturer of portable and fixed fiber-optic systems for television broadcast production. “That’s what’s different about us,” Mr. Cerny said. “There are several fiber-optic companies that are transport companies. They send it across the nation or around the world using telephone infrastructure. Our goal is to make it easy to use fiber optics in the television broadcast production itself. So rather than having one completed signal that we transport to New York, we’re involved with all the camera signals, microphone signals, server signals-all the communications that take place in a production environment-and we handle the fiber optics instead of copper.”
Where they do it: “Much of our business has been in the high-end sports, high-end entertainment events-the Academy Awards, the Super Bowl, the Olympics,” Mr. Cerny said. “Some of the things we send are webcasts, most of what we send are high-definition television or regular television.”
Why it’s important: “Our core business is replacing all the heavy copper cables in television production with one lightweight fiber cable,” Mr. Cerny said. “The advantage of that is we have 10 times the distance but one-tenth of the weight. So we save days and days of setup-it’s a huge cost savings. It’s a clearer picture; there’s no grounding problems, no hum bars in the picture, no static-just no interference.”
Key benefits to broadcast companies: “The efficiency is No. 1,” Mr. Cerny said. “It’s the ability to get more productions with fewer resources. It’s being able to handle them quicker with more mobility so we can get more content created with the same number of people.”
The future: “We need more digital signals over fewer and fewer fiber strands, over less infrastructure,” Mr. Cerny said. “What that means is more multiplexing capability, just to drive the bandwidths higher so we can put more signals on any one given cable. So we are working on not only electronic multiplexing techniques but also optical multiplexing techniques called dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM). There’s DWDM out there now for the Internet and for telephone, but the packaging hasn’t been appropriate for television. So we’re busy doing some packaging on that right now.”