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SIS Live select Enigma Matrix Switch to handle live broadcast feeds at new UK teleport

"After 10 years of working with ETL Systems, I would choose their equipment time and time again. With ETL the broadcast is high quality, it's quiet, it's clean and you don't get any unwanted noise. Furthermore, the equipment is extremely well-built, hard-wearing and durable."
Martin Bartram, RF Systems Specialist, SIS Live.

The Situation

The SIS brand incorporates SIS Betting, one of the world's leading suppliers of content, programming, facilities and technology to the betting industries, and SIS LIVE, Europe's largest satellite uplink supplier, which provides broadcast connectivity solutions via satellite and media fibre.

Supplying the live racing, the audio commentaries, and the betting information on the screens, SIS Betting aims to make the betting process fast, accurate and seamless. From horse racing and greyhound racing in the UK and Ireland to international racing and football in South Africa, France and UAE, more than 45,000 betting opportunities are available through the SIS Betting system.

Meanwhile, SIS LIVE is the only company to design, build, operate and support uplink and production vehicles in-house, providing a complete bespoke service. The company holds Satellite News Gathering (SNG) contracts with leading broadcasters, including BBC, ITN and SKY, delivering 80% of the UK's live news contribution feeds and offering service levels in excess of 99.8% uplink availability.

During its latest project, SIS LIVE was tasked to provide a fleet of 18 HD vehicles to ITV, with delivery of the Ka-band vehicles completed earlier this year. The company, which has two bases in Milton Keynes and at MediaCityUK, Salford, owns and operates an impressive inventory of facilities including two teleports and Master Control Rooms; a national and international media fibre network; a satellite Internet department; and the largest mobile satellite uplink fleet in Europe.

The Task

In July 2012, SIS announced it would develop a brand new teleport at MediaCityUK, Salford. As the largest broadcast teleport ever built in the north of the UK, the state of the art facility includes nine satellite dishes; two 3.8m, two 4.8m, two 6.3m, two 8.1m and one 9m, as well as a handful of smaller dishes.

Making use of optimised viewing angles of at least 45°East to 45°West, and via careful placement and separation, the dishes are able to see most satellites in use in the UK.

As well as the teleport, the SIS base at Salford also includes new broadcast facilities including a master control room, production galleries, studios, voice-over booths, edit suites and data control centres. These core technical and production facilities are critical to the broadcast of tailor-made programming which bookmakers rely on and SIS Betting not only has to transmit live footage from on-site to the betting shops but in many cases also provide specific graphics on top of the content.

When a major news story breaks, the UK's available satellite uplink fleet congregates from all corners of the country. As Europe's largest uplink supplier, SIS LIVE is also the only company with multiple regional bases throughout the UK and Europe making it very likely that one of SIS LIVE's uplinks will be the first on the scene to deliver the story through the Salford teleport.

SIS Live Dish Farm

The Solution

Due to the nature of the content broadcast, it is essential that SIS delivers high quality and reliable broadcasts and as such the teleport and master control room have been fitted out to a very high specification.

ETL Systems had already provided products for the Milton Keynes base and was again brought in by SIS to provide its Enigma transmit and receive matrix distribution system. Designed to route high quality and dependable 24/7 signals, the system forms the backbone of SIS' Salford operations.

ETL also provided combiners and splitters from its LD series for fixed satellite feeds and also Alto Amplifiers to allow input signal levels to be controllable and balanced.

SIS Live M&C Room

The Result

The established and evolving Enigma Matrix range has been designed with reliability and resilience in mind. It ensures SIS LIVE is delivering broadcasts of the highest quality to its customers, with a focus on high linearity and enhanced flatness.

The high performance solution has been developed for busy satellite teleports and allows for frequent signal routing changes, as well as offering a touch screen and full remote control for monitoring and control.

By choosing ETL Systems, SIS has ensured the efficient delivery of the UK's live news contribution feed, along with bespoke television to thousands of betting shops across the country. The Enigma matrix system is also expandable to allow future upgrades as SIS continues to grow.

"We have been working with SIS for nearly ten years and it is extremely pleasing to see our equipment play such a vital role in their day-to-day operations."

Andrew Bond, Sales and Marketing Director, ETL Systems.

Salford Media City