The 90th Academy Awards was held on March 4, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. (Photo credit: Scott Diussa/A.M.P.A.S)

Bexel lays fibre foundation for Oscars broadcast

Fibre network connects multiple locations, providing telecast and full media coverage to worldwide viewing audience of over one billion

At the 90th Academy Awards, Bexel, an NEP Broadcast Services Company, collaborated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to deliver a host of solutions for the Oscars broadcast.

In its 90th edition, the Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, was held on March 4 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA. The star-studded award ceremony was broadcast globally to more than one billion viewing audience.

Bexel worked with AMPAS to implement a customised fibre infrastructure, supported by more than 40 Bexel fibre engineers and support technicians on-site. Connecting multiple production locations beyond the Dolby Theatre, the fibre network linked the Hollywood and Highland Centre, the Red Carpet on Hollywood Boulevard, the Loews Hollywood Hotel, and the domestic and international TV compounds located more than a block away behind the El Capitan Theatre.

Besides serving as the main production conduit for the Oscars, the fibre infrastructure also enabled point-to-point connections for more than 50 different media entities to ensure live, simultaneous broadcasts of all of the Red Carpet pre-shows, backstage media and photo rooms, pre- and post-show programmes such as The Oscars: All Access (formerly The Oscars Backstage), and the official Governors Ball.

Craig Schiller, vice-president of engineering and operations, Bexel, said: “Each time we support the Oscars, our fibre network grows larger and more comprehensive. It’s really critical to our ability to support such a large number of broadcast customers over such a widely distributed venue.”

Having worked with AMPAS since 2001, Bexel installed a fibre network that includes four miles of multi-strand cables from the Hollywood and Highland and Dolby Theatre complexes, as well as underneath Hollywood Boulevard.

To meet the show’s evolving technical requirements, Bexel enhanced the underlying backbone annually, and the fibre infrastructure has now quadrupled in size.

Additionally, over 20 miles of temporary fibres were deployed to transport the amounts of HD video, audio, data, and communications signals, as well as digital images for the photographers covering every aspect of the star-studded event.

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