NBCU partnered with Diversified to bring its TV stations, cable news channel and regional sports network together under one roof, requiring cabling and connectivity to support the unique needs of each network in a single-story building
As a leading technology solutions provider serving Fortune 500 clients around the world, Diversified operates from more than 55 offices across the globe. With its specialized teams of technical experts, the company designs and delivers digital experiences that help clients meet their strategic business objectives, enhancing operations and increasing productivity. NBC Universal (NBCU) Boston recently partnered with Diversified to bring its NBC and Telemundo TV stations, cable news channel and regional sports network together under one roof.
Previously in multiple locations throughout the Boston area, NBCU brought all local business units under one roof and built a multi-million-dollar, state-of-the-art, 160,000-square-foot facility: the largest media-company investment ever in Boston. Part of Needham Crossing Business Park, NBCU Boston Media Center is home to six production studios, six broadcast control rooms and a podcast studio.
The task of bringing four separate properties together was going to require cabling and connectivity infrastructure that could support the unique needs of each network – especially in a single-story building.
“In a facility of that size, distance is a concern for baseband copper cabling when it comes to not only data, but also video and audio”
Brian Reitmeyer, senior design engineer at Diversified
In addition to looking for a solution that would maintain excellent performance across long runs, NBCU Boston was also looking for cabling that would support the future of its networks as they create broadcast, cable, digital and OTT content.
“Diversified and Belden have worked together on quite a few projects around the globe. We come together with Belden on nearly every NBC Universal project.”
Thomas Ramsay, senior project manager for Diversified
After learning about Belden’s DCX System for the first time at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show a few years ago, Diversified knew that this fiber management system – combined with Belden’s commitment to customer support – would give NBCU Boston what it needed for its new Media Center.
Extremely long fiber runs were created from the central equipment room out to IDF rooms and other distribution points throughout the facility. “We used a mixture of fiber and copper cabling from those distribution points to open workspaces, offices, conference rooms and other technical spaces to not only minimize long copper runs, but also provide a future upgrade path as technologies evolve,” says Reitmeyer. “Our longest run of fiber was just under 1,000 feet, which is generally more than three times the maximum length allowed for copper cabling. Almost everything was pre-planned, pre-measured and pre-terminated, including patch cords, which allowed us to save substantially on installation time and labor.”
Contributing even more to labor savings was the use of Belden’s REVConnect® Connectivity System, which features a fast, simple termination process that limits rework and testing – and applies to any Category 5e, 6 or 6A component.
NBCU Boston Media Center also includes more than 180 custom ganged Belden racks for problem- free, multiple-rack installation to support high density.
A complete Belden fiber infrastructure package solved the distance and bandwidth issues that Reitmeyer and his engineering team were initially concerned about.
The end-to-end Belden system has prepared NBC Universal to bring the studios, offices and production facilities for WBTS/NBC 10 Boston, WNEU, 24-hour cable network NECN, NBC Sports Boston and all associated digital operations into one ultra-modern facility with technology and headroom that will allow them to grow and try innovative new ways to deliver content to audiences.
“What we typically hear from our broadcast clients – NBC included – is, ‘Belden is a brand we have experience with and we can rely on,’ It’s something they know and trust. It ends up making everybody very happy.”
Thomas Ramsay, senior project manager for Diversified.