ETL – RF Components selected for Timeline TV’s first uplink vehicle

“It’s been a very pleasant experience working with ETL Systems from the start. Timeline is a very dynamic and innovative company and I am sure it won’t be too long before we work with ETL again.” – Lee Wright, Senior Broadcast Engineer, Timeline Television


Timeline Television is a market-leading provider of broadcast technology and services as well as managed services and system integration. Its portfolio includes Outside Broadcasts, RF and Satellite as well as Post-production facilities in Soho, Ealing Studios, Here East and MediaCityUK. Timeline Television is trusted by some of the biggest brands in the UK and international television market – including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and BT Sport – and delivers technical and creative facilities for programmes as diverse as live music and awards shows, political conferences, global and domestic sporting competitions, light entertainment and current affairs.

Timeline Television’s Production Truck

With its services in high demand, Timeline Television decided to build its first uplink vehicle, designated “RF1”, a six camera UHD production truck that is also able to operate as a comms vehicle with six radio cameras and four talkback channels. The vehicle – which was designed fully in-house – has two powerful independent transmission paths with dual chain redundancy on both; with a built-in 2.4m KU band system and a 2.4m towable trailer-based dish for the second path, if required. RF1 also has a 1.2m KA system for IP services.


Timeline Television needed to build an RF tray to handle the routing of various L-Band signals around the transmission paths, and needed an equipment manufacturer to provide the required solutions to make this possible. Timeline Television ultimately selected ETL Systems because of the expertise, experience and custom solutions offered by the ETL RF components team.


After understanding what exactly Timeline Television needed, ETL engineers designed and manufactured products specific to Timeline Television’s requirements, which included L-Band splitters and combiners for the RF tray. This allowed Timeline Television to correctly route all signals around the two dishes easily.
Of course, as with any project, there were challenges along the way. As the project progressed, Timeline Television had to adapt and sometimes completely change designs from the initial drafts and change the order to better suit the direction the project was heading in. Since Timeline Television’s designs were changed, ETL had to follow suit and change the order.
ETL was able to get the various requirements changed immediately and still managed to deliver the items by the original agreed shipment date.


Timeline Television’s RF tray

The project was an outright success, with the vehicle built and on the road by the end of December 2016. The vehicle has been very busy since operating up and down the country and has completed work for both BT Sport and the BBC.

“Taking a consultative approach, we were able to offer Timeline Television a tailored solution from ETL’s wide components product range, ensuring it was a suitable solution for their UHD production truck and delivered on time to meet their schedule. It was a great experience working with Timeline Television and we are delighted that the project was a great success.” – Dominic Overton, Components Sales Manager, ETL System