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Col TV’s diet high in fiber-optic

In a move that continues to underscore the wide-ranging impact of the fiber-optic highway, Columbia Pictures Television is currently using the digital technology to allow executives in Los Angeles to view dailies from “Fortune Hunter,” one of the studio’s pilots being filmed in Florida, via a VYVX fiber-optic network.

The digital linkup, which runs from various locations in Florida to the Los Angeles-based Pacific Television Center located adjacent to the Sony Pictures lot, marks the first time that TV dailies have been sent to a studio from a location on the VYVX network.

According to Columbia Pictures Television executives, utilization of the fiber-optic lines laid out by VYVX is advantageous for a number of reasons, most notably cost and picture quality. Traditionally, TV dailies shot on location are usually filmed, transferred to tape and then either shipped to the studio by overnight express or sent by satellite.

“It turns out to be cheaper and easier and a better picture,” said Columbia TriStar Television senior executive VP Andy Kaplan, who notes this is a first for the studio. “It’s also more convenient and we can watch the dailies as they come in off the network.”

VYVX executive John Peoples said that the cost for the fiber-optic technology is about $ 400 anhour compared to an hourly fee of about $ 2,000 for satellite transmission. Additionally, the signal is far superior to that broadcast by satellite.

Another advantage of the VYVX system is that the fiber-optic lines are completely secure, while satellite transmissions can be pirated unless users spend hefty fees for encryption.

VYVX is currently tied to a number of production houses in 31 cities throughout the country, including San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and New York.

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