Unlocking faster content creation, distribution and viewing with optical circuit switching  


Written by 

Chris O'Conor 

Regional VP Service Provider, Sales and Business Development

In today’s fast-paced digital age, the availability of reliable, ultra-high-speed connectivity has become an essential component of modern broadcast networks. With the increasing demand for flexibility in the creation, editing, distribution and broadcasting of content, comes the expectation of instant availability across any network type and the termination on a wide variety of platforms.


In the past, broadcasters only needed to produce and deliver content in standard definition (SD). However, with the emergence of High Definition (HD) and Ultra High Definition (UHD) broadcast standards, broadcasters now need to create three versions of the same content with varied formats, further increasing the complexity of the broadcast process. Combining these three video formats with the associated audio and data streams means it has become a priority for broadcasters and content providers to find a solution to these challenges. As a result, they are moving away from niche, less flexible legacy products, to align more closely with flexible and ubiquitous telecom standards. 


FIBER FOR TODAY AND BEYOND


Based on the speed and bandwidth requirements needed to keep pace with the consumer’s appetite for new data, today’s content creation and delivery networks are fiber optic. This enables transmission over a much greater distance than coax with much lower cross talk and signal distortion, and at much lower cost. This transformation to deploying standard optical transmission equipment means a more flexible and efficient architecture can be created with the use of agnostic, physical layer optical circuit switching.


OPTICAL SWITCHES AS THE SOLUTION


Optical circuit switches switch data between different network connections while preserving it in optical form, which allows for faster more reliable communication. It enables broadcasters to handle large amounts of data at high speeds without the signal degradation that can occur in traditional switching methods. Additionally, optical switches can help reduce network latency and improve overall network performance, ensuring that broadcast content is delivered to viewers quickly and reliably. Being software-controlled, these switches can easily be integrated into various broadcast management systems and operated remotely, eliminating human error from manual patching.


Overall, optical circuit switching has revolutionised the way content is created, distributed and viewed. The technology is transforming the broadcast industry and enabling content creators and broadcasters to meet the growing demand for high-quality, high-definition content.