What Is a Feed Line?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 September 2019
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Also known as a transmission line, a feed line is a type of communication approach that makes it possible to carry a signal or transmission that can then be picked up by multiple recipients. This type of line is commonly used in a number of scenarios that involve the use of antennas, and is even a strategy sometimes used in audio conference calls. While the equipment involved will vary, the main function of the feed line remains the same; provide a transmission that can be received and relayed by multiple parties without fail.

When it comes to the broadcasting of audio and video data, the feed line is often in the form of a coaxial cable. The cable allows for the efficient transmission of data from a transmitter to a receiver, and may even allow for two-way communication with the use of transceivers. There are also wireless solutions that make use of radio frequencies set aside for those transmissions, allowing a point of origin to transmit or even establish a two-way communication with points of termination that have the proper type of receiving and sending equipment.


In terms of use in teleconferencing, a feed line is a strategy that is often used in special types of conference calls. One strategy that is often used successfully is to create a conference that is composed of a feed line that serves as the transmitter of a radio broadcast. Essentially, the station providing the programming is designated as the feed, while other radio stations dial into or are manually connected to the conference itself. The feed line is placed into what is known as full conference mode, meaning that the program can be heard in the conference itself. To avoid distortion, all of the other stations connected with the conference call are placed into a mute or listen only mode. A setup of this type is not unusual for smaller colleges that wish to share their broadcasting of local sports events with stations over a wider geographical range.

Another application of the feed line in teleconferencing is the ability to link multiple conference bridges for conference calls involving thousands of attendees. In this scenario, one conference bridge establishes a conference that the other bridges can then dial into. The originator and main speakers also call into or are manually connected to the primary bridge that serves as the feed. A strategy of this type makes it possible for a conference call bureau to manage unusually large calls for customers, by making the most efficient use of their own facilities and possibly even partnering with another conference call bureau to provide the total number of lines needed to successfully execute the call.

While a feed line application will differ depending on the setting, the underlying concept remains the same. A point of origin transmits data that can then be received by multiple points of termination. At times, the transmission is one way, although some applications will allow for two-way communication between the parties involved. With each application, the use of this approach helps to ensure that data is transmitted quickly and efficiently, with a minimum of interference.


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