USC film school and MRV build HDTV-capable optical net

FEBRUARY 6, 2007 -- USC's School of Cinematic Arts has selected optical digital video transport technology from MRV Communications for research in high-definition television (HDTV) networking.

FEBRUARY 6, 2007 -- USC's School of Cinematic Arts has selected optical digital video transport technology from MRV Communications (search for MRV) for research in high-definition television (HDTV) networking.

The network is based on MRV's digital video SFPs transceivers, which the company says are the only devices that enable HDTV signals to be transported across an enterprise backbone network. The mile-long network connects the School of Cinematic Arts to the off-campus Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts, allowing uncompressed HD to be transmitted between buildings and enabling some new uses of HD technology. For example, the school is experimenting with a distributed production method combining images from HD sources in different locations across the fiber-optic network.

The network can be used to instantly shoot "green screen" shots, in which one camera shoots an actor in front of a green screen while another shoots a backdrop in another location, and those images can be composited together in real time.

"We're seeing an increased interest in HD student productions, and being able to transmit multiple uncompressed HD signals over optical fiber with extremely low latency will extend the reach of our production and communication capacity," said Richard Weinberg, USC research associate professor. "MRV provided us with an entire solution complete with an HD signal transport system via WDM that enables us to send and receive up to four HD optical signals."

"The USC film school continues to push the limits of digital and HD video capabilities, and in so doing, requires increasingly complex and cost-effective technology," said Noam Lotan, president and CEO of MRV. "We are equipped with products to provide solutions versatile and advanced enough to meet its needs for HD production and transport."

MRV's Digital Video SFPs use a patent-pending encoding algorithm based on the EG-34 industry standard to overcome the "pathological" signal types that are common with HDTV signals and that can't be interpreted by enterprise-class optical networking equipment. They can enable transport of uncompressed SDI (SMPTE 259M and 344M) and HD-SDI (SMPTE 292M) data over an optical network using off the shelf optics.

The MRV digital video SFPs can be installed in fiber-optic systems from a wide variety of manufacturers, including optical crossconnects and wave-division multiplexers, which have adopted this MSA transceiver standard.

By combining the transceiver with MRV's Fiber Driver or Lambda Driver WDM systems and optical crossconnect, production facilities can create a wide range of HD networking systems.

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