The baseline—the SIS brand incorporates SIS Betting, one of the world’s leading suppliers of content, programming, facilities and technology to the betting industries, and SIS Live, Europe’s largest satellite uplink supplier, provide broadcast connectivity solutions via satellite and media fiber.
Supplying the live racing that bookmakers’ customers see, the audio commentaries they hear and the betting information on the screens upon which they rely, SIS Betting aims to make the betting process fast, accurate and seamless. From horse racing and greyhound racing in the U.K. and Ireland, to international racing and football in South Africa, France and UAE, more than 45,000 betting opportunities are available through the SIS Betting system.
Meanwhile, SIS Live is the only company to design, build, operate and support uplink and production vehicles in-house, providing a complete bespoke service. The company holds Satellite News Gathering (SNG) contracts with leading broadcasters that include the BBC, ITN and SKY. The company delivers 80 percent of the U.K.’s live news contribution feeds and offers service levels in excess of 99.8 percent uplink availability. During the latest project, SIS Live was tasked to provide a fleet of 18 HD vehicles to ITV, with delivery of the Ka-band vehicles completed earlier this year.
The company, which has two bases in Milton Keynes and at MediaCityUK, Salford, owns and operates an impressive inventory of facilities including two teleports and Master Control Rooms; a national and international media fiber network; a satellite Internet department; and the largest mobile satellite uplink fleet in Europe.
In July of 2012, SIS announced the development of a brand new teleport at MediaCityUK, Salford. As the largest broadcast teleport ever built in the north of the U.K., the state-of-the-art facility includes nine satellite dishes; two 3.8m, two 4.8m, two 6.3m, two 8.1m and one 9m, as well as a handful of smaller dishes. Making use of optimized viewing angles of at least 45 degrees East to 45 degrees West, and via careful placement and separation, the dishes are able to see most satellites in use in the U.K.
In addition to the teleport, the SIS base at Salford also offers new broadcast facilities that include a master control room, production galleries, studios, voice-over booths, edit suites and data control centers. These core technical and production facilities are critical to the broadcast of tailor-made programming which bookmakers rely on and SIS Betting not only has to transmit live footage from on-site to the betting shops but in many cases also provide specific graphics on top of the content.
Meanwhile, when a major news story breaks, the U.K.’s available satellite uplink fleet congregates from all corners of the country. As Europe’s largest uplink supplier, SIS Live is also the only company with multiple regional bases throughout the U.K. and Europe—the odds are highly likely that one of SIS Live’s uplinks will be among the first on the scene to deliver the story through the Salford teleport.
Due to the nature of the content broadcast, it is essential that SIS delivers high quality and reliable broadcasts and, as such, the teleport and master control room have been fitted out to a high specification ETL Systems, an experienced global designer and manufacturer of RF distribution equipment, had already provided products for the Milton Keynes base and was again brought in by SIS to provide their Enigma transmit and receive matrix distribution system.
Designed to route high quality and dependable 24/7 signals, the system forms the backbone of SIS’ Salford operations.
ETL also provided combiners and splitters from its LD series for fixed satellite feeds and also Alto Amplifiers to allow input signal levels to be controllable and balanced.
The established and evolving Enigma Matrix range has been designed with reliability and resilience in mind. Through use of this product, SIS Live is delivering broadcasts of the highest quality to its customers, with a focus on high linearity and enhanced flatness.
The high performance solution has been developed for busy satellite teleports and allows for frequent signal routing changes, as well as offering a touch screen and full remote control for monitoring and control.
By selecting ETL Systems, SIS has ensured the efficient delivery of the U.K.’s live news contribution feed along with bespoke television to thousands of betting shops across the country. The Enigma matrix system is also expandable to allow future upgrades as SIS continues to grow.