Telecast Fiber Systems’ CopperHead 3200 and Python II Make First HD Broadcast of ‘The X Factor’ Sing

Share Article

Highly Versatile Camera-Mounted Fiber Optic Transceivers and Bi-Directional HD Video Systems Enable Effortless Shooting

News Image
The portable solution that HotCam provided is not only cost-effective, but extremely versatile – and the Telecast equipment has enabled us to leverage all of the advantages of fiber for shooting on location in a variety of outside venues

Telecast Fiber Systems’ CopperHead™ 3200 camera-mounted fiber optic transceivers are playing a starring role in the first high-definition (HD) broadcast of the popular UK-based television series, “The X Factor.” Working in tandem with Telecast Fiber’s Python II™ bi-directional transmit/receive systems, the CopperHead 3200 units have enabled “The X Factor” producers to leverage the portability and low cost of fiber for on-location shooting at a variety of outside broadcast locations.

“The X Factor” is an entertainment talent show originated by Fremantle Media and carried by the British network ITV on its ITV1 and ITV1 HD channels. In early October, the show entered its live studio phase after several weeks of on-location, remote production at various audition, “boot camp,” and “judge’s house” sites around the U.K and the rest of the world. To facilitate the remote HD productions as cost-effectively and effortlessly as possible, show producers Talkback Thames and Simon Cowell’s SYCOtv enlisted the services of HotCam, a broadcast equipment rental company based in the U.K. and U.S. HotCam supplied the production with fiber-optic-based flypack production packages that included 15 Sony XDCam PDW F800 camcorders, each equipped with a CopperHead 3200 HD transceiver. In addition, HotCam provided portable vision mixing and lighting packages that could be delivered in flight cases and easily installed to provide temporary “video villages” in venues including Wembley Arena, Manchester Central, and the Cardiff International Arena.

“For a production of this type, which requires a real ‘documentary’ feel, we’ve always resisted deploying mobile broadcast trucks,” said “The X Factor” Executive Producer Andrew Llinares. “The portable solution that HotCam provided is not only cost-effective, but extremely versatile – and the Telecast equipment has enabled us to leverage all of the advantages of fiber for shooting on location in a variety of outside venues.”

The CopperHead 3200 systems provided a robust fiber optic link between the camcorders and the temporary video village positions, transporting HD camera feeds as well as two-way signals such as camera control, data, tally/call, and intercom over a single fiber connection. In addition, HotCam provided two eight-channel and four 16-channel Python II systems to transport bi-directional video signals to the monitor stacks.

“The X Factor is a prime example of our clients who are shooting in large venues that require massive cable runs – and they’ve discovered they just can’t get the job done with heavy copper cable,” said Trevor Hotz, CEO of HotCam. “With the Telecast gear, these productions can carry all of the signals they need over a single, lightweight fiber cable. That’s why we chose the CopperHead 3200 and Python II systems as the basis for a fast-turnaround, tapeless broadcast operation that can be rapidly rigged and de-rigged. It’s really ideal for productions such as “The X Factor” that are constantly on the go, moving around the country to shoot at various location venues such as theaters, stadiums and studios.”

About HotCam.
Based in London and New York, HotCam is a broadcast equipment rental and crewing company supplying the broadcast industry, commercials, and corporate clients with high-definition, standard-definition, PAL, and NTSC broadcast cameras, audio, and lighting equipment. HotCam was founded in 1999 by BAFTA Award-winning sound recordist Trevor Hotz and Director of Photography Alistair Cameron. In 2005, Trevor Hotz and Production Manager Ali Grapes opened HotCam USA. Their collective years of expertise, experience, and credentials in the television and film industries make them an invaluable asset to their clients. HotCam is passionate about maintaining quality and providing a unique boutique service, which often includes collaborating with clients at the pre-production stage and offering technical consultation and planning services. HotCam UK is based in a West London location ideal for its UK and foreign clients. HotCam NY is based in New York. For more information, visit

About Telecast Fiber Systems, Inc.
Telecast Fiber Systems, Inc. is the company known for its portable and fixed fiber optic systems for television broadcast production. Telecast's video, audio, and communications systems are used worldwide by TV networks, teleproduction companies, sports venues, and various private, educational, and government and military organizations to extend range, simplify cabling, and reduce labor costs and set-up time. Telecast systems have helped usher in the age of HD television production, and the company now is active in the development of 3D HD TV production. Telecast Fiber Systems is a subsidiary of Belden (NYSE: BDC), a leader in comprehensive signal transmission solutions for fiber, cable, wireless signal, and industrial networking applications.

More information about Telecast Fiber Systems can be found at


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Steve DeFrancesco

Susan Warren
Visit website