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ITV Connects Studio and Master Control With SMPTE Cable Substitute From Bluebell Opticom

Bluebell Opticom Ltd., provider of innovative fibre optic solutions for fixed and remote applications, today announced that U.K. broadcaster ITV has installed a ShaxX Lite SMPTE hybrid alternative connector kit as part of a studio upgrade and relocation. The ShaxX Lite allows ITV to share the refurbished studio with an existing master control room in another part of the building.

“Thanks to Bluebell’s ShaxX Lite, we didn’t need to design and build a new cable bridge between buildings to reach the gallery from the studio,” said Steve Usher, project manager, ITV. “Eliminating those steps saved us time and money.”

The refurbished studio, which is used for live broadcasts of “This Morning” five mornings a week, has been relocated a long distance away from the master control room, and the ducting was too congested to run SMPTE hybrid cable between them. Thanks to the ShaxX Lite, ITV can use a 6.5-millimeter multicore fibre cable in place of SMPTE hybrid cable to carry six camera channels, including all associated audio and data, with no difference in performance or operation.

ShaxX Lite provides full bidirectional signalling and power for broadcast cameras fitted with standard SMPTE 304M hybrid connectors. The unit allows crews to forgo SMPTE hybrid cables and take advantage of fibre in order to position cameras freely wherever they are needed, regardless of the distance between the cameras and control. Users simply connect the ShaxX Lite unit to the camera with a SMPTE hybrid jumper cable. The ShaxX Lite, which is connected to mains power on the camera end, powers the camera. At the same time, the ShaxX Lite is also connected to fibre in order to carry signals from the camera to the control room and vice versa. When used in combination with Bluebell’s BC series modular fibre interface cards, the ShaxX Lite can multiplex several camera links over a single fibre.

“When ITV, one of the U.K.’s flagship broadcasters, asked us for a SMPTE cable substitute on a very short timescale, we jumped at the request. We had a product that fit their situation perfectly,” said Paul Felix McCann, managing director, Bluebell Opticom. “Not only is ITV saving time and money by taking advantage of all the benefits fibre has to offer, but the whole ShaxX Lite system is invisible to the control and camera operators.”

Further information about Bluebell and the company’s products is available at


See Bluebell at the 2016 Broadcast Asia Show, Stand 4D3-06

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