Making teamwork a snap in the broadcast booth

The Dayton Dragons are the very successful Single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, and currently hold the longest sell-out streak in all of North American professional sports. They were even voted one of the top ten hottest tickets to get in all of professional sports in 2007 by Sports Illustrated. Owned and operated by Mandalay Baseball Properties, the team continues to produce high-quality, family-friendly entertainment and provide unsurpassed customer service to a large, loyal fan base. Mandalay Creative Services, a division of Mandalay Baseball, helps meet that goal by providing in-house system design, technical integration, and production services.

The Dragons’ commitment to creating an unmatched fan experience led them to upgrade their video, audio, and control systems prior to the start of the 2014 season. The team is unique in that they produce two separate productions—an in-house and a broadcast feed—with two separate crews sharing core system components. The caveat was that the crews and components were split between two rooms: one space for each production.

Mandalay Creative’s first key goal was to enable the two small but efficient teams to work across multiple systems, producing shows that would normally require big-league budgets and staffing. Their high standards also demanded no sacrifice in video quality, maximum uptime, and enterprise-grade reliability.

Mandalay BaseballAlso vital, the Dragons required a solution that would grow with them, providing easy and cost effective ways to add additional servers and users to the matrix routing system. Continue reading

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The two biggest causes of fiber light loss and how to fix them

By Fluke Networks

Fiber optic cabling carries pulses of light between transmitters and receivers. These pulses represent the data being sent across the cable. In order for the data to be transmitted successfully, the light must arrive at the far end of the cable with enough power to be measured. Light loss between the ends of a fiber link comes from multiple sources, such as the attenuation of the fiber itself, fusion splices, macro bends, and loss through adapter couplings where end-faces meet.

Among key sources of loss that can bring a fiber network down, dirty and damaged end-faces are the most underestimated threat. Dirty end-faces are a leading cause of fiber link failure for both installers and private network owners. Contaminated end-faces were the cause of fiber links failing 85% of the time. It’s easy to prevent, but there continues to be a lack of appreciation for this crucial issue and lots of misinformation about proper techniques.

There are two types of problems that will cause loss as light leaves one end-face and enters another inside an adapter: contamination and damage.

Visual Inspection Probe

Dig up the dirt on your endfaces with this Visual Inspection Probe.

Contamination

Contamination comes in many forms, from dust to oils to buffer gel. Simply touching the ferrule will immediately deposit an unacceptable amount of body oil on the end-face. Dust and small static-charged particles float through the air and can land on any exposed termination. This can be especially true in facilities undergoing construction or renovation. In new installations, buffer gel and pulling lube can easily find its way onto an end-face. Continue reading