Peer Review - Cabletime Mediastar Pro

Reviewed by: Peter Fell, Managing Director, Feltech, specialists in AV systems, broadcast technology, digital signage and IP.

The Product

Cabletime MediaStar Pro multi-channel audio and video delivery solution for Cat5/5e/6.

What we use it for

Delivery of broadcast signals ranging from off-air TV channels to news feeds and from internal briefings to digital signage in a range of applications from conference centres to sports stadium press rooms.

What we like about it

We are often involved in installations with huge numbers of TV screens or Plasma displays, so we need to be sure that the distribution system is scalable, totally stable and that it can deliver a wide variety of channels, both internal and external in real time. MediaStar Pro is designed for use over Cat-5 and Cat-6 cables without impacting on the network, and it will deliver services up to 6400 users. It also has an impressive software management suite, which we can set up to suit the needs of individual customers. But, probably the most impressive feature of MediaStar Pro is how robust it is in almost any situation, so we are always sure that it will perform to the very highest quality.

What we would change

The MediaStar Pro has been around for many years and over this period we have grown to know and love the product. There is nothing about the existing product that I would change. Having said that, the core technology in the product is based around analogue TV signals. With the increasing proliferation of digital TV services I look forward to seeing a digital version of this product.

Where we recently used it

Most recently we installed a MediaStar Pro Hub at the last minute in the Press Room at the new Emirates Stadium. We needed to ensure that live footage relayed by the outside broadcaster would be delivered in real-time to the screens without a second of play being missed. The Hub receives the modulated feed from the outside broadcaster plug-in point and sends it to the RF input of the Pro Hub which provides the live service to up to 120 journalists. MediaStar Pro Micro TV Settop Receiver Units connect directly to the tabletop LCD, and to the front panel RJ45 sockets on the MediaStar Pro Hub via the stadium’s data cabling. MediaStar is the only system we would consider for an application like this. We also used it to provide TV broadcasts to 150 screens at the G8 Summit at Gleneagles, and we were able to package it into a flight-cased system, which was ideal because the project was temporary.

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