ARCTEK HD Streamlines Remote Ops with Live-Link Jr.

ARCTEK HD, a Minneapolis-based company fielding four remote satellite trucks covering more than 500 events each year, recently acquired a Studio Technologies Live-Link Jr. Remote Camera Interface System to streamline the setup and operation of its remote cameras. The system transports one SDI video signal in each direction over fiber, supporting SD-, HD- and 3G-SDI signals, with all production audio, comms, IFB and support signals transported between the camera- and truck-end units as embedded SDI data.

“Our first field experience with the Live-Link Jr. system was our coverage of the NFL draft party for the Minnesota Vikings and the NFL Network, and the unit performed flawlessly,” says Brian Stanley, owner and vice president of sales and operation for ARCTEK HD. “We pulled up to the Metrodome in one of our satellite trucks and from this point on the Live-Link Jr. system really proved its worth. In the past, we had to pull fiber and copper from the truck to the stadium floor, with a 1,000 foot run of each cable type. Using the Live-Link Jr., we were able to provide all of the two-way communication as well as the high definition video and audio to get the live shot off without a hitch—all over just one small fiber assembly. What an incredible time saver for setup.”

ARCTEK HD covers major sports events for NBC, CBS, ESPN, ABC, TSN, Sky Sports, and RDS, including the Super Bowl for Sky Sports in London and the Stanley Cup playoffs for TSN and RDS. The company provides either digital or analog services for everything from a simple video news release feed to multi-camera productions, communication and transmission for sports backhauls, sports split feeds, satellite media tours, video conferences, breaking news, or planned media events. Two OB vans are KU-band capable, two are C-band capable, and all offer high definition services. The four satellite trucks are based on the Freightliner Sprinter chassis, making them a bit smaller than the average satellite truck, so space is at a premium.

“The truck side of the Live-Link Jr. system is a one-rack space mountable unit that has the capability to replace up to four dedicated units for video, comms, and the like, which saves precious space,” continues Stanley. “We put a fiber input on the side of one of our trucks and then wired a short jumper into the Live-Link Jr. truck unit inside, so the only thing we have to bring down to the field is the camera side unit and fiber cable. Studio Technologies’ Live-Link Jr. will pay for itself within a year from setup costs alone, thanks to its time savings and ease of operation. Right out of the box, the system worked from the start, delivering great-sounding audio and reliable performance. When doing live events, reliability is of paramount importance, and the Live-Link Jr. system is rock solid. We have plans to expand our inventory of Live-Link Jr. systems.”

Carrying on the successful tradition set by the original Live-Link system, Live-Link Jr. offers a generous feature set coupled with excellent audio quality and a compact form factor optimized for ENG and uplink vehicle applications. Providing everything needed for a single-camera live event, Live-Link Jr. delivers performance flexibility, ease of use and support for high-quality on-air (program), talent cue (IFB), and intercom audio applications. Live-Link Jr. is the quintessential video, audio, communications, and control data link between a camera operator in the field and a production vehicle (or fixed installation). Linked using just two single-mode optical fibers, Live-Link Jr. delivers excellent operational performance regardless of the distance between the camera end and truck end units, whether they are hundreds of feet or miles apart.