Fox Sports plugs in sports venues with Juniper switches

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Fox Sports plugs in sports venues with Juniper switches

Gigabit switches tour Australia's sports stadiums.

Sports broadcaster Premier Media Group has invested in 24 Juniper switches and two routers to deliver high definition video coverage to broadcasters from sports stadiums around the nation at gigabit speeds.

Premier, owner of Fox Sports, has deployed two MX240 routers at its operations centre in Sydney, and is deploying two dozen EX2400 switches to mobile broadcast vans that travel between Australia's sports stadiums during broadcast events.

The investment in Juniper switches is the final piece of a network puzzle that also saw Premier invest in 1Gbps network links that connect the sports stadiums with Nextgen Networks' inter-capital long-haul fibre network to feed traffic to Premier's video production facility in Pyrmont.

Tony Scanlan, chief technology officer at Premier Media Group told iTnews that the EX2400 switches will be used as "flyaway kit" - transported in ruggedised transit cases inside the broadcast vans that travel to each sports stadium.

From there theyare plugged into optical connectors that permanently sit within a bulkhead located on-premise at each sports stadium - from where the Nextgen 1Gbps network links terminate.

Each van will carry two EX2400 switches deployed in a "virtual chassis configuration" - which means that from a management software perspective, the two switches will appear as one device.

Scanlan explained that this modular configuration was usually set-up to provide a greater number of ports from a single point in the network.

But in Premier's case the concern was more around redundancy during broadcast - each of the discrete physical switches comes with dual power suppliers and 1GB uplink interfaces, but they can be managed from a single pane of glass.

The combination of the Nextgen network and ruggedised transport of Juniper switches enables Premier to provide high quality broadcast at short notice, with minimal set-up cost.

"The technicians plug the fibre connection into the switch, power up the box and within four or five minutes, they are ready to go," Scanlan said.

The links can handle gigabit speeds - most HD broadcasts to date have registered 600 Mbps.

The 3D broadcast of the Socceroos vs the All Whites clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground upped that to 800 Mbps, with four terabytes of data sent over the link.

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