As part of a plan to offer broadcasters and clients a simplified and more cost-effective way to move to 3 Gigabits per second and high-definition routing, Miranda Technologies has expanded its support for such legacy routers as the GVG SMS7000 and the Philips Jupiter.
The move means that facilities with older routers can simply add one of Miranda’s NVISION Enterprise Class 3-Gbps routers and be able to control the new and existing routing infrastructure from existing older controllers and panels, according to router control product manager Mark Nelsen.
“The idea is to make it much easier to carry out a phased transition to 3Gbps or HD routing from existing infrastructures,” Nelsen said. “Many facilities have control systems that are basically going to be obsolete.
“The SMS7000, for instance, has a huge installed base, but there is not a direct replacement for the SMS7000 and the service is going away on it. All of those people need to find a way to get to HD or 3Gbps or even add some fiber.”
Only a few relatively new facilities, such as ESPN’s Los Angeles operation that opened in the spring of 2009, have completely gone to the 3-Gbps infrastructure needed to handle the highest quality 1080p high-definition content or the potential 3-D content that may be available in the future.
But many broadcasters and programmers are looking for cost-effective means to transition their operations to 3 Gbps in upcoming years and want to make sure that anything they add now will be 3-Gbps-compatible.
As a result, vendors are increasingly offering ways to make that transition and Miranda’s move to support legacy routers is part of that trend.
“The goal is to help our customer preserve their capital investment for as long as possible,” Nelsen said. “We want to give them multiple budget cycles that they can work through to make the transition because frankly budgets have gotten so much smaller than in the past.”
Nelsen noted that Miranda now offers several ways for customers to integrate newer 3-Gbps products with legacy routers and control systems.
In the first option, clients can install one of the NVISION Enterprise Class routers and have it work with existing control systems, making the initial 3Gbps investment “relatively low,” Nelsen said.
In the second phase, a facility could add “some more advanced system control functionality” but keep a number of their existing panels, he said. “This makes the transition a lot easier for operators. As important as the budget savings are, the operational transition is awfully important.”
Finally, Nelson said that customers could add their NVISION 9000 Router Control system to the mix. “This allows you to keep all the legacy routers, etc., and have them work with the new control system,” he notes.
In the run-up to the International Broadcasting Convention in September, Nelson noted that demand for 3 Gbps-capable products and infrastructure seems as strong in Europe as in the U.S. and he also points to a growing demand for equipment that is capable of easily handling fiber connections.
“I wouldn’t call it mainstream yet,” he said. “But people want an infrastructure that will last 10 to 15 years. What people want to hear right now is that this router can support fiber even if they have no plans to use that from day one.”