Telemundo Preps HD Newscast

October launch of new control room is major step toward tapeless workflow 9/20/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

Telemundo recently put the finishing
touches on a new HD-capable
control room in its Hialeah, Fla., facilities.
The move will serve two important purposes.
It allows the network to begin producing its
daily newsmagazine show, Al Rojo Vivo, in highdefinition on Oct. 4. And after that, Telemundo
plans to go hi-def with its nightly newscast, Noticiero
, sometime in the fourth quarter,
hopefully before the midterm elections.

But the importance of the upgrade goes far
beyond the technical completion of the control
room. Over the next several months, Telemundo
will be adding a second HD studio for sports
programming. It will also be deploying a new
digital content management system that will allow
the Hispanic broadcaster to move from tape
to a file-based workflow. This will make it much
easier for the news division to deliver content
to the online and mobile platforms that are so
heavily used by Hispanics to communicate with
friends and relatives all over the Americas.

Laying the groundwork

“From a technology standpoint, I would say
our first HD control room is more than just the
launch of one control room,” notes Ken Wilkey,
Telemundo’s senior VP of network broadcast operations.
“It is really the start of an HD revolution
in our infrastructure [that lays the groundwork]
for a content management system that is going
to be very helpful for news, sports and digital
operations because it will finally put everyone
on one platform, from editing to archives.”

Key equipment for the HD control room includes
a switcher from Ross Video, graphics from
Chyron, terminal gear from Miranda Technologies,
audio equipment from Euphonix, studio
cameras from Sony, lenses from Canon and servers
from Omneon. Telemundo is also upgrading
its satellite facilities to handle HD feeds.

Telemundo has decided that the second HD
control room for its sports department will mirror
the control room just completed for news
and use the same vendors. The broadcaster has
not, however, selected a supplier for the content
asset management system, which it hopes to install
by the end of the year.

“We are about to wrap up the evaluation
process and make a commitment to a vendor,”
Wilkey notes. “It is a big undertaking and a huge
leap for us because today we are still running
tapes down the hallway.”

The control room design helps instantly by
providing producers with a great deal more flexibility.
Among other features, a large video wall
allows the producer to customize where the various camera feeds and video inputs will appear.

“The Miranda multiviewer [that controls the
video wall] lets them lay out their sources on
those walls in a way that works best for the
show,” notes Derek Bond, Telemundo’s senior
executive VP of studios and broadcast. “If
you wanted certain cameras or video sources
displayed on the wall in different places than
they were in the previous show, you can easily
change the layout. In the old days, people built
the control room custom for the show, but now
we’re building rooms so they are more flexible
and [the show’s crew] can easily customize the
room to their needs.”

That flexibility will be further enhanced in
upcoming months, as Telemundo moves to a
file-based workflow and potentially automates
parts of the news operation. Automation was a
major reason for using the Ross Video equipment,
according to Wilkey.

“When we looked at our control room, we
knew we needed the flexibility to run a manual
operation as we do today, but that at some
point we wanted to be able to add that automated
element,” he explains. “Ross allowed us
to easily do that.”