The New Showplaces
How systems integrators are making TV facilities mesh with new technology
By Ken Kerschbaumer -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/8/2004 8:00:00 PM
1 WABC Masters New Infrastucture
WABC New York turned to Azcar when it was ready to build a new master-control infrastructure and new SD and 720p HD origination facilities. The project was headed up by Azcar Vice President for Engineering Karl Paulsen, while Bill Beam, director of engineering for WABC, and Kurt Hansen, WABC chief engineer, contributed from the station side. Azcar Lead Engineer Greg Abel oversaw the installation of Thomson Grass Valley 7500 wide- and narrow-band routing, Saturn SD and HD master-control switchers, Pinnacle servers, Storagetek archive, and Encoda automation.
2 Turner Turns On New Servers
Turner Entertainment Networks contracted Azcar to retrofit its existing infrastructure with extremely flexible, wideband video and audio systems to support all of Turner's networks originating from Atlanta, as well live feeds for WTBS and Turner Studios. Turner's "TNT in HD" was first to be launched from this new all-server-based system. Completed in May, the facility uses Quartz QMC master-control switchers, Thomson Trinix and Apex routing, Pinnacle servers, Snell and Wilcox terminal gear, Chyron ClipServers, and redundant Probel automation. Patrick Popham and Jack Gary were Turner's project manager and principal engineer, respectively, with Lead Engineer Tom McDonough and Project Manager Matthew Brown from Azcar.
3 Integrator to the Starz
When Starz Encore was redesigning its plant, it worked with Beck Associates to draw up plans for the new Denver facility. The technical plant can be seen as two separate but cooperative facilities: production operations and air operations. Production operations include 18 digital editorial suites, 10 graphic suites, and three audio post-production suites. Air operations handle 30 separate program streams and are constantly monitored in a two-tiered master-control room. Automated stream-monitoring systems keep tabs on signal quality. Only two operators and a supervisor are needed to oversee the daily master-control operations.
4 A Wealthy New Home
The recently launched WealthTV cable network, which is available only in HD, turned to A.F. Associates and Ascent Media to design and build its San Diego-based facility. The 40,000-square-foot facility hit the air June 1, with a 1080-line–interlace facility based on Sony equipment. An MVS 8000 production switcher, Sony routers and monitors, and a DMXR100 audio mixer help deliver the images to viewers. The channel's 48- x 47-foot studio has three Sony HDC 930 cameras with Vinten tripods and pan/tilt heads to capture the action. Harris master-control software and Pinnacle video servers are also used; editing functions are handled by the Discreet Logic Smoke nonlinear editor. Apple Final Cut Pro editing software is also on hand.
5 Peach of a Place
Fulton County Government Television (FGTV) recently tapped DST to redesign and integrate a digital-TV facility to make FGTV among the best government broadcast facilities in Georgia. FGTV's new facility centers on a multifunction production-control room that runs seven cameras in two locations: three in a 20- x 30-foot studio for local production and four cameras in a nearby assembly hall.
Also included are two separate 12- x 12-foot Avid nonlinear editing suites, a voice-over room, and a machine room with equipment racks divided into tape-duplication, playback, server-playout, quality-control, and terminal-gear sections. New equipment includes a Ross production switcher, Leitch router and Sony cameras.
6 Boston Spruces Up
Fox-owned WFXT Boston teamed up with Beck Associates to revamp its station. A new master control, production control, news facility, and an addition to its current building were part of the plan. The new facilities include two studios, two production-control and audio rooms, a live-feed room, a tape-operations room, and a master-control room. The changes produced added automation capability, a large-scale routing system, and more than a dozen news and promotions editorial suites.
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