Article Overview

Sony selects Belden® cables to meet SKY Italia's HD needs

Sky Italia site in Milano Santa Giulia

More than 1.2 million meters of Belden® high performance cables were used for the new headquarters of SKY Italia during the world’s largest new installation in broadcasting, where the key focus is on High Definition (HD).

Belden wire & cable products are designed specifically for the broadcast industry where they have established a strong reputation for absolute signal integrity, and no system downtime.So when Sky Italia wanted to centralize all its activities in one single location to support and reinforce its strong growth, more than 1.2 million meters of Belden high performance cables were used for the installation.

Sky Italia selected a greenfield site in Milano Santa Giulia, Italy, for a new and prestigious building. The new headquarters were to combine the company’s extensive studio complex, transmission facilities and administrative offices. In addition to ensuring that the new facilities meet today’s specifications for HD programming, the entire installation needed to be future proofed, as the industry’s output improves and/or customer requirements and expectations rise. Another key technical challenge was that throughout all relocation and installation processes, Sky programming would need to continue as normal, without any interruptions to services.


Sky Italia selected Sony to manage the installation throughout the entire complex. As one of the world's leading installation companies, Sony has an impressive track record both in terms of quality and scheduling. Sony's proven ability to run a project of this size was key to the decision.

Having been asked to ensure that all new cable systems could meet Sky Italia’s more extensive demands for the future, Sony was looking to work directly with a wire & cable manufacturer for an optimized relationship on technical, operational and commercial levels, to offer them access to an extended portfolio and provide them with the most cost effective and the highest quality solutions.

After assessing the various options available for Sky Italia, Sony chose to work with Belden to accommodate all cabling needs of this huge project. This choice was made for a number of reasons, with quality and reliability being the leading factors. Tests carried out on cables – especially on HD coaxial cables delivered excellent results.

Belden's HD designed coaxial cables can support high frequencies, are physically robust and require simple connectivity. Considering Sky Italia's HD needs and the large scope of this project, Sony decided to deploy, among other Belden cabling products, the following coaxial cables for excellent picture quality: 1855ENH VideoFlex® Snake Cable with recommended HD distance of 100 m featuring solid copper center conductor for low attenuation and easier termination; 1694ANH Brilliance® Banana Peel Precision Video Snake Cables with recommended HD distance of 140m providing excellent digital video performance using multiple coaxes in a single pull; and 7731ANH coaxial cables with recommended HD distance of 230 m for extended transmission distances. As the first cable manufacturer to increase its sweep testing from 3 GHz to 4.5 GHz for all coaxes, Belden performed 100% sweep testing to 4.5 GHz on every reel of HD cable and provided certification to assure unequalled levels of cable signal integrity and reliability, with lower Return Loss at higher frequencies.Belden's ability to offer constant support through samples and tests was seen as a significant benefit in providing Sony with technical and commercial support at high levels.


In addition to its excellent service track record, Belden was also able to offer an extended product portfolio, including broadcast, industrial and networking cables and end to end structured cabling solutions. Non-halogenated (NH) cable offering for many types was also very important as NH was mandatory for all cable products to be deployed in Sky Italia headquarters.

According to Marco De Maldé from Sony, Belden was able to offer more than just the right materials: “Thanks to their extensive international experience in major events and installations, we found that the Belden team was very well qualified to deliver practical solutions, saving measurable time and money whilst ensuring the highest possible performance.”

Mr. De Maldé concludes that Belden broadcast cables met all the necessary requirements for the Sky Italia installation: “Belden cables are designed for maximum bandwidth, minimum Return Loss and minimum attenuation loss. They deliver top performance, and meet extended international and European standards."

About Sky Italia

SKY Italia is a fast growing broadcaster with a leading market position. The company is owned by News Corporation, and provides a wide range of programs, with a strong emphasis on sports broadcasting. The total SKY digital platform includes more than 185 television, audio, interactive and pay-per-view channels. More than 4.8 million SKY subscribers enjoy an unprecedented choice of national and international programs including movies, sports, news, entertainment, and music. SKY Italia’s digital service provides viewers with high quality pictures and sound through satellite, IPTV and mobile TV – with a growing emphasis on High Definition (HD) television.


About Belden

Belden designs, manufactures and markets signal transmission solutions, including cables, connectors and I/O modules, wireless network systems as well as network devices and control, load sensing and load moment limitation systems designed for safety-critical applications ranging from industrial automation to data centers, broadcast studios and the aviation and aerospace industry. The company focuses on segments of the worldwide cable and automation markets that require both highly specialized and readily available products. With manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia, Belden has recorded a total revenue of USD 1.45 billion for the fiscal year 2009.
Together with its brands Hirschmann™, Lumberg Automation™ and Trapeze Networks™, Belden offers an extensive and highly specialized product portfolio covering the full range of data communications – from the information and control levels down to the field level. The company has more than 15 offices throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with manufacturing facilities in Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, UK, Denmark, Italy and Hungary.