San Jose Mine, Chile - Having been chosen by the Government to broadcast the live rescue of the
trapped coal miners, BG Television of Santiago, Chile faces the worry that their equipment could fail at
the critical moment of the world-wide broadcast.
Satellite equipment is reliable, but back-up is always needed. BG Television needed a fully redundant satellite broadcast system, but the manufacturers of antennas and amplifiers have a three month delivery schedule. Way too long, because everybody hopes that the miners will be safely at home before the manufacturers can ship.
The TV broadcaster had only one option – to quickly purchase used, reliable equipment, and work around the clock to integrate it into a complete satellite up-link package and then rush the completed system to the mine site.
New Era Systems of Pompano Beach Florida, a specialist in used satellite equipment was tasked by BG Television to find an automatic antenna, a high power amplifier and a video encoder that taken all together will receive input from the news cameras and broadcast the images to the world.
Phil Thomas of New Era explains that the search for suitable equipment became a top priority. The AVL antenna was the same type that you see on most of the news trucks and as luckily it was available right here in Florida. The encoder belonged to a friend in Sarasota who runs news gathering truck called Yellow Bird Live, when he heard of the problems he willingly sacrificed his spare Tiernan HE4000 leaving himself without a backup for a couple of weeks.
To get the ETM 750 Watt power amplifier we had to go as far as Ontario, Canada and goad the Canadian national satellite operator to move quickly and release an unused amplifier.
At the end of the first week in October all of the equipment was in route to Chile with all of the components scheduled to arrive by October 8th, then comes the hard work of assembling the parts into a complete broadcast package.
Phil Thomas says "I hope that they can make it on time, because we have all busted our butts to make it happen"
New Era Systems has been selling new and used satellite equipment since 2000 and specializes in cheap, and quick delivery of spare parts to teleports, broadcasters and end users.