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Focus... The First Line Of Defense...
author: Angie Champsaur, Encompass Digital Media

angie_intro_g1_msm091010 Encompass Digital Media, which operates two of the largest, independent transmission facilities in the U.S. in Los Angeles and Atlanta, has built a reputation among military and civilian clients for its reliable performance during emergency response operations.

With extensive connectivity, to ever-expanding fiber networks and multiple satellite footprints, the company offers a variety of turnkey disaster recovery solutions for SATCOM, including single channel per carrier (SCPC), digital video broadcasting (DVB), and hub solutions.

Encompass has also partnered with the DoD, NASA, NOAA and the CDC, as well as major broadcasters, to support and restore communications during unexpected events. From the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Haitian and Pakistan earthquakes, the tsunami in Southeast Asia to the recent BP oil rig explosion, the company has been called on by its clients to supply a wide range of transmission services.

The company’s integrated solutions have included the provisioning of remote equipment such as mobile units (C-, Ku-band and hybrid); flyaway systems; occasional-use and full-time temporary satellite capacity; and Teleport services.

When the story broke regarding the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Encompass immediately responded with logistical support and positioned its satellite uplink trucks to facilitate broadcast needs within the region. As the demand for coverage increased, the company created an on-site broadcast solution which cut costs and added stability for clients requiring full-time temporary uplink services and production.


“You never know when a disaster is going to strike, and it’s imperative that we as a company are always at-the-ready,” said Encompass’ VP of Transportables and Production Services, Greg Jennings. “We take a very proactive approach to strategically placing our assets for quick and easy deployment.”

Encompass stationed engineers in Gulf Shores, Alabama, to oversee and initiate remote services which included Internet access, work space, live shots and technical support. The company used one of its Ku-band trucks for Internet and four simultaneous transmissions, plus one HD path for international video distribution. This unit was situated at Encompass’ fixed, beachfront location with HD/SD cameras for live shots. Encompass used another Ku-band unit as a roving platform for transmission and hot spot access.


“Our setup allowed us to be ready at a moment’s notice for anyone that came through the door,” said Jennings. “We held client meetings on a daily basis which gave us instant feedback, so we could tailor our services down to the hour. This was a global story that had global impact, and our approach to the situation strengthened our relationship with our clients.”

Encompass’ full-time temporary uplink services are also used for Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) requirements. The company’s 24/7/365 scheduling and operations staffs are able to acquire and access both occasional-use and full-time temporary satellite capacity, fiber connectivity and ground services immediately and with very little lead time.

Booking windows, as small as 15 minutes, can be accessed on a global basis. Encompass serves as a data and video network hub, enabling transmissions from remote locations back to the States.

“With our data trailers, we can establish media or baseline communications rapidly — whether it’s a television network capturing footage or government agencies securing communication lines such as phone or Internet,” said Encompass National Account Manager, Robyn Godfrey.

Governmental SATCOM continues to be a huge focus for Encompass through its DVIDS (Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System) project that provides a reliable connection between global media and the U.S. military. The joint operation between Encompass and the military has supported more than 700 public affairs teams from all branches of the Armed Services, fulfilling more than 80,000 media requests worldwide in 2009.

angie_dvids_g4_msm091010 Through a network of portable Ku-band satellite transmitters collocated with military units, and a distribution hub at Encompass in Atlanta, DVIDS provides real-time broadcast-quality video, still images, and print products, as well as immediate interview opportunities with service members, commanders and subject matter experts.

angie_opOpenHouse_g5_msm091010 Since 2007, DVIDS has won six Telly Awards for the program In the Fight, plus three more for its website, live event coverage, and DVIDS commercial. DVIDS received of four Emmys for its participation during Freedom Week/Operation Home Base and the Minnesota Hockey Day program; WAGA-TV’s coverage of Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race; and This One’s For You broadcast on FSN Midwest. The events featured live satellite feeds from Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.

About Encompass Digital Media, Inc.
Encompass owns and operates two of the largest, independent broadcast facilities in the U.S. in Los Angeles and Atlanta. Total media solutions include network origination; cable neighborhood platforms (G-13, G-17, G-23, AMC-10 and -18); centralcasting; disaster recovery; satellite and fiber transmissions (full time and occasional use); a fleet of satellite uplink trucks; digital media encoding services; digital file transfers via satellite, fiber and IP; emergency communications; governmental SATCOM; production studios; and video production services.

The company is also a service provider to major networks and broadcasters as well as sports leagues and general entertainment cable channels including ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC Universal; DIRECTV Sports Networks, ESPN, GolTV, MLB, NASCAR Media Group, NBA, NFL Network, Tennis Channel and Universal Sports Network; Hallmark, Game Show Network, MGM HD, Sony HD/3D and TV Guide. In addition, Encompass performs international services for Alterna’TV, Fox Latin American Channels, Latin American Pay Television (LAPTV), MGM Networks Latin America and SkyVision as well as disaster recovery for BET, Discovery Communications, Scripps Networks and The Weather Channel.

For additional information, visit http://www.encompass-m.com.