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Parliament gets its House in order ahead of digital deadline

Critical infrastucture protection Parliament House
Canberra, ACT - As Australian households prepare to make the switch, BAE Systems has completed Parliament House’s digital upgrade ahead of the analogue network closing on 31 December 2013.

Out-dated analogue technology has been replaced with modern digital equipment throughout Parliament House. The new, user-friendly system utilises advanced technology to enable high definition TV and multi-view services and is capable of distributing in-house, subscription and free-to-air television and radio content to several hundred users simultaneously throughout Parliament House.

“It was a privilege to deliver a world-class digital broadcast system within this national icon,” said Kim Scott, Director, Land & Integrated Systems.

“We are happy with the performance of the new system and the way the installation was managed, as well as the fact that the installation, design and implementation were sensitive to the building’s original architectural design principles and heritage,” said Department of Parliamentary Services Secretary, Carol Mills. “Detailed planning meant that we were able to seamlessly move to the digital broadcast technology while minimising disruption to the existing analogue broadcast system during the Federal election period, when demand for media monitoring was at its greatest,” Ms Mills added.

BAE Systems’ use of Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) technology allows users to view live and recorded footage from internal sources, such as video from the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as over 41 free-to-air and satellite TV channels. The system seamlessly distributes content from 79 television channels and 43 DAB+, FM, and AM radio channels to many hundreds of screens throughout the building. The project also included the installation of new antennas on the roof of Parliament House, and an upgrade to the optical-fibre system that distributes signals throughout the building.

Additional features of the upgrade include support for Electronic Program Guides and radio distribution over the DVB channels which will be implemented in 2014. The new advanced signal testing and system monitoring equipment improves operators’ ability to optimise system performance.

BAE Systems has now started a five-year contract with the Department of Parliamentary Services to support the new system. It has been designed to allow for significant future expansion of video and audio channels.