The Central Equipment Room (CER), sometimes referred to as the Central Apparatus Room (CAR), can be seen as the heart of a broadcast facility. All digital services run via the central equipment room, which makes it of vital importance to a broadcast content provider.
Originally, the broadcast industry was highly copper driven. However, as customer behaviour and expectations have changed in step with new technologies, broadcast operators have been forced to look into alternative, less copper-driven ways of meeting these demands. It is hardly surprising that structured fiber optic cabling solutions have emerged as an ideal solution for the central equipment room infrastructure.
To optimise network performance, minimise risks and meet safety requirements, all broadcast operators are strongly advised to adhere to industry standards, such as those issued by the European Broadcast Union (EBU), Video Service Forum (VSF) and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), as well as the grouping of these three: the Joint Task Force on Network Media (JT-NM).
Since some broadcast providers have huge central equipment rooms, or even multiple rooms, the fiber optic solution needs to be as flexible and modular as possible, while also taking into account data center cabling standards (e. g. TIA-942 and IEC 11801-5). HUBER+SUHNER recommends the definition of different zones and areas within the central equipment room to allow the seamless implementation of fiber optic cabling solutions. The areas should be called:
- main distribution area
- intermediate distribution area
- zone distribution area
Depending on the size of the central equipment room, it may make sense to implement additional distribution points and interfaces.
Compared to traditional copper cabling design, central equipment rooms need new ducting systems and new rack layouts. A decision must be made about whether to deploy single-mode or multimode, and this has a direct influence on the number of fibers and the topology of the fiber network. HUBER+SUHNER recommends a fiber optic backbone
with an Optipack cable system and a cross-connect fiber management solution, such as the LISA fiber management system. For in-rack cabling, IANOS® high-density cable management can be used to easily connect any IP routers and other active equipment in the central equipment room.
Of course, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution: each central equipment room is unique and therefore brings its own challenges. Following the standards and implementing a structured cabling solution for the CER helps to overcome these challenges and allows a broadcast content provider to operate a future-proof and aesthetic facility that can handle the latest technologies.
HUBER+SUHNER specialises in the design of central equipment rooms and has in-house design capabilities to support customers in their transition from copper to a fiber-optic-based CER.