Fiber-optic technology for HDTV

Kritische Infrastrukturen


Critical Infrastructures


LWL-Sachsenkabel GmbH
Phone: +49 3721/3988-0
info [at]

Passive network infrastructure of the MDR refreshed without interruption to broadcasting operations

The TV station MDR wanted to modernize its passive network infrastructure completely in order to enable optimized production and transmission of HDTV. euromicron implemented fiber-optic cabling that increased the bandwidth for internal data transfer five-fold without interruption to operations.

HDTV in high-definition picture and sound quality is increasingly expected by viewers as standard. In Germany, for example, the number of persons who have an HD-capable TV set almost doubled between 2013 and 2014 (from 17.7 to 30.86 million). As a logical consequence, almost all the main TV stations now offer HDTV. The Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR), one of the nine state TV stations amalgamated in the ARD, has broadcast its programs in HD quality since December 2013.

To accomplish ideal conversion to HDTV, the MDR decided to modernize its passive network infrastructure and implement its internal information and communications networks on the basis of cutting-edge fiber-optic cabling. The reason: The production and transmission of HDTV results in a far higher data volume than the now outdated standard SD resolution. Whereas the conventional PAL format in still image mode has a resolution of 414,720 pixels, for instance, HDTV has up to 2,073,600 pixels in the same mode.

MDR: Glasfasertechnik für HDTV

The new cabling related to the in-house data center. In addition, the studio technology – right down to the workstations of the cutters and graphics designers – had to be made HD-ready. However, the greatest challenge was to accomplish the planned conversion during ongoing operations: In accordance with the German Ministry of the Interior’s KRITIS strategy (National Strategy for the Protection of Critical Infrastructures), impairment to the ability of public TV stations to broadcast must be strictly avoided. It was therefore clear from the outset that the responsible task of conversion to HDTV could only be entrusted to an experienced and reliable partner.

The MDR’s logical choice: euromicron. As a fiber-optic network specialist with decades of experience and proven expertise in modernizing critical infrastructures, the listed company was the ideal partner to achieve the required innovations rapidly and reliably. The public broadcaster also benefited from the fact that euromicron is a full-line solution provider that was able to deliver all the services from a single source. Consequently, the initial planning and final implementation of the new fiber-optic infrastructure was undertaken by the system house company euromicron Deutschland. The required cabling components were supplied by euromicron’s subsidiary LWL-Sachsenkabel. The MDR always had a central contact person on hand while the project was being conducted. As a result, any questions that cropped up could be clarified quickly and easily, an aspect that went down extremely positively with the persons in charge at MDR.

Passive Netzwerkinfrastruktur

euromicron replaced the infrastructure components while operations continued by means of a parallel installation: Whereas regular broadcasting operations were carried over the old copper cabling, the new fiber-optic links were set up in parallel to it. Moreover, the measurement, splicing and laying work was always coordinated so that the TV company’s operational processes were not impaired at any time. After installation was completed, the existing network was then relocated piece by piece to the new sections.

MDR rated the results of modernization as persuasive in every respect. Thanks to the new fiber-optic infrastructure, the broadcaster has been able to increase the bandwidth of its internal data transmission five-fold. Since all workplaces are also connected to the new fiber-optic network, the MDR is the only public TV station that is HD-capable without restriction across all its production steps.

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