Tag Archives: master control

ABS Installs Native HD Infrastructure for KHSL

SEATAC, WA — Professional video and audio systems integration firm Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS) today announced it designed and installed a new HD-SDI infrastructure with embedded audio for KHSL, the CBS affiliate serving the Chico-Redding, Calif. market (DMA #132). The native HD upgrade included new master control and production control rooms, plus new studio and ENG cameras, NLE systems, and the adoption of a tapeless workflow.

Owned by GOCOM Media of Northern California, KHSL shares operations with KNVN, the local NBC affiliate owned by K4 Media, as part of a joint facilityOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA arrangement. Aaron “Mike” Roberts, director of engineering, said the ABS project provided a technological fresh start for the facility, which had previously transitioned from analog to digital SD, then to an HD/SD hybrid infrastructure. The facility had layers of cables that could not be organized or removed until after the new infrastructure was operational.

ABS completed the project in November 2013, and the facility began using its native HD system in January. The new HD-SDI infrastructure includes embedded audio, which significantly reduced cable runs. In fact, more than four racks of system routing equipment were replaced by a 4 RU 128×128 Utah Scientific router. Other master control upgrades include Harmonic Omneon video servers controlled through NVerizon automation.

Built around a Ross Carbonite production switcher, the new production control room features a Miranda Kaleido multi-viewer, Panasonic LCD monitors, Ross XPression CG, BlackStorm playout server, Yamaha LS9 audio board, Clear-Com intercom system and custom furniture from Martin & Ziegler. All newsroom edit systems were also upgraded to Adobe Premiere CS6 and are connected to an 18 TB SAN system.

For field production, ABS replaced an aging group of tape-based camcorders with eight JVC GY-HM600 ProHD handheld camcorders with built-in 23x Fujinon lenses. Part of KHSL’s new tapeless workflow, the cameras record HD footage to SDHC or SXHC media cards. Roberts said the new cameras were particularly effective shooting low-light footage, which was beneficial at the site of a local April 10 accident between a FedEx truck and school bus that gained national attention.

Rather than traditional studio cameras, ABS installed five Panasonic AW-HE120 robotic PTZ HD cameras, each with a custom 13-inch LCD prompter system mounted on top that maintains the eye line of the news anchors. According to Roberts, the system works very well and was “an innovative, inexpensive way” to update the studio.

During the project, ABS personnel utilized a vacant space on the second floor of the facility to relocate the analog news production. The space formally used by news production was then used to assemble new racks and equipment. Once the HD infrastructure was in place, ABS created the new master control for KHSL and KNVN, and its three multicast channels.

The facility’s original location for master control was designed to support a single station, so master control had been moved several years ago during an upgrade to accommodate multiple channels. However, technological innovations allowed ABS to return master control back in its original location. The new HD news production equipment was then installed in the space previously occupied by master control.

“KHSL was the biggest ‘little’ project we’ve ever done,” explained Mark Siegel, president of ABS. “Coordination was critical. We needed to build and install an HD-SDI with embedded audio infrastructure without interfering with existing operations. It was definitely a challenge, but the end result is a much cleaner and more consolidated operation with a lot less cable.”

“It was a logistical nightmare,” added Roberts. “They handled it like pros, but it was a very complicated move. We had three layers of build-out, and it all had to be worked around. We had to keep it running, yet build this new layer of digital, which ABS did beautifully. Overall, the project went great.”

About ABS:

Based in SeaTac, WA, ABS (Advanced Broadcast Solutions) delivers customized, technologically superior solutions for broadcast, corporate, house of worship, entertainment, government, and educational facilities – from design and integration to installation and support services. Since 1982, its experienced technical staff has installed more than 700 systems for clients including GOCOM Media, Cowles California Media, Cisco Systems, Meredith, and Time Warner Communications. For more information, call 206-870-0244 or visit www.advancedbroadcastsolutions.com.

 

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KHQ ADOPTS CENTRALCASTING MODEL, UPGRADES MASTER CONTROL WITH ADVANCED BROADCAST SOLUTIONS

SEATAC, WA — For about three years, KHQ in Spokane, Wash. (DMA #75), had been relying on upconversion to deliver its HD content to audiences. With the help of premier systems integration firm Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS), the station upgraded its master control earlier this year to handle full HD – and converted the operation into a centralcasting hub for two other stations, KNDO and KNDU, as well as additional multiplexed channels serving the Yakima and the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland) region in Washington (DMA #126).

The three NBC affiliates are owned by the KHQ Television Group, a subsidiary of Cowles Publishing Company. Each station also multicasts SWX Right Now, which provides local sports and weather coverage for Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. The facility also handles master control for KGPX, an ION Media Networks station that is co-located at the facility but operated separately.

According to Paul Caryl, KHQ director of engineering, planning and design for the project began last fall, and equipment installation began in February. After a month of tests, the system went live for KHQ in April, while tests began for KNDO and KNDU. The entire system went live on July 12 for all three stations.

The channels are distributed via a 100 Mbps fiber loop between the three regions, provided by Charter Cable. There is also a redundant digital microwave path in case the fiber goes down.

ABS handled most of the design work, project scheduling, equipment recommendation and procurement, and installation. “The design work they do is critical for something this big,” Caryl noted. “This was a long, very complicated project, so it was good to have the expertise that ABS brings to it. That’s why we worked with them.”

“Centralcasting was a smart business decision for KHQ,” explained Mark Siegel, president, Advanced Broadcast Solutions. “It allows them to consolidate workforces, improve efficiencies, and lower operating costs for three stations.”

The upgraded control room is built around a new Evertz VIP-X integrated routing platform and multi-image display system. Pixel Power BrandMaster master control switchers with integrated graphics for branding were installed for each of the three main channels, while Pixel Power LogoVision branding devices were added for each SWX channel.

Additional I/O ports were added to an existing Omneon server for playout, and KHQ’s Avid Titan automation system was upgraded to handle the additional traffic. Audio is handled through Linear Acoustics processing gear and TSL audio monitoring units.

ABS was able to use the existing equipment racks in the redesign, but installed a new main console from Martin & Ziegler. Caryl said the old master control area could only accommodate two operators, but the new layout has space for up to four operators.

While the project progressed smoothly, Caryl recalled an automation issue between an old Grass Valley Philips router and the new Evertz equipment. ABS worked with both companies and was able to resolve the issue, so now the equipment communicates properly.

“This is something you run into – everything has got to ‘talk’ to each other,” Caryl said. “It was good to have ABS on our side, pushing to get that done. They are a good group to work with.”

About Advanced Broadcast Solutions:
Based in SeaTac, WA, Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS) specializes in personalized broadcast services such as consulting, project budgeting, workflow analysis, feasibility studies, project management, system and architectural design and engineering, equipment specifying, procurement and installation, maintenance support and training. ABS boasts a technical staff with over a century of practical experience in television operations, automation, traffic implementation, multiple program stream management and signal distribution by fiber, microwave and satellite. ABS clients include: Fisher Communications, Cowles California Media, Real Networks, Cisco Systems, and Microsoft Studios.

For more information about ABS, call 206-870-0244 or visit our Web site at www.advancedbroadcastsolutions.com.

ADVANCED BROADCAST SOLUTIONS INSTALLS NEW MEDIA FRONT END FOR EMP MUSEUM’S SKY CHURCH

SEATAC, WA — Seattle’s EMP Museum recently renovated its Sky Church, a one-of-a-kind grand hall that features elaborate automated multimedia presentations complete with lighting, effects, live performances, and elaborate gala events. Earlier this year, premier systems integration firm Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS) upgraded the room’s master control, delivering high definition (HD) imagery, true 5.1 surround sound, and a new media front end to manage content.

Master control for Sky Church, a unique grand hall for Seattle’s EMP Museum that features elaborate automated multimedia presentations, was recently upgraded by Advanced Broadcast Solutions. (Photo by Rick Barry)


EMP Museum of Music, Science Fiction, and Pop Culture is housed in the landmark Frank O. Gehry building at the base of the Seattle Space Needle. The museum’s Sky Church is a striking space, with a 70-foot ceiling and new 33×60 foot Barco C7 LED video wall that supports better-than-HD image quality.

“Essentially, it’s a multimedia presentation room housed in a museum exhibit,” said Mark Miller, ABS sales and design specialist. “The flexibility is so vast that it can host almost any type of presentation. It’s arguably the most sophisticated venue in the northwest.”

When the museum opened in 2000, Sky Church was originally conceived as a communal place for people of all ages to gather, according to Forrest Gibson, chief technology officer at EMP. Physically, visually, and sonically, it is an awe-inspiring space with tremendous potential to create a dramatic multi-sensory experience.

In 2009, when the museum began to consider upgrades, Gibson said several design goals were set. Beyond an upgrade from SD to HD, the museum wanted the space to draw in patrons with presentations utilizing new and archived content.

During the proposal process, Gibson said the ABS team delivered more than just the most favorable pricing. He said they were very responsive and delivered extraordinary service, particularly when gathering information during the initial bid process. “They offered valuable recommendations, rather than a cookie-cutter approach,” he said.

Recently upgraded by Advanced Broadcast Solutions, the master control room for Sky Church, a unique grand hall for the EMP Museum in Seattle, supports HD imagery, true 5.1 surround sound, and a new media front end to manage content. (Photo by Rick Barry)


Previously designed to support SD video, the room can now display HD imagery from several Pacific Interactive media servers, a Green Hippo Hippotizer HD media server, Blu-ray players, digital signage, and presentation computers located in the control room. All video is run through a Vista Systems Spyder X20 video processor and routed through a PESA Cheetah router.

For audio, the Sky Church is equipped with a Linear Acoustics upmixer that converts stereo content into 5.1 surround sound. A Yamaha DM2000VCM digital production console allows the operator to mix in a true 5.1 space – and it allows any input, including live microphones, to be panned in the surround sound field. Miller said the new design allows for more interesting audio programming for the museum.

“We really transformed the space to be the heart of the museum,” Gibson said, “a shared space in a very comfortable environment for people to enjoy curated content. It’s night and day for us. It sounds fantastic, it looks fantastic, it’s what we needed.” He also said the upgrades have “amped up” production values for events.

The backbone of the new audio and video systems is built on a 3G platform, so it is ready to handle future content bandwidth demands. “We spent a lot of time up front to make it future-proof and as flexible as possible,” said Miller. “We were coming into a space where we had to develop a workflow based around new technologies that haven’t really been put together before.”

ABS was able to complete the master control project in about three weeks, so it was ready for the opening of EMP’s Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses exhibition in April. Sky Church is currently showing custom content supporting its AVATAR exhibition, which opened in June.

“What we found with ABS was that they were truly a partner,” Gibson added. “They were eager to understand what our needs really were. Their design was fantastic and the installation was very clean and top notch.”

About Advanced Broadcast Solutions:
Based in SeaTac, WA, Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS) specializes in personalized broadcast services such as consulting, project budgeting, workflow analysis, feasibility studies, project management, system and architectural design and engineering, equipment specifying, procurement and installation, maintenance support and training. ABS boasts a technical staff with over a century of practical experience in television operations, automation, traffic implementation, multiple program stream management and signal distribution by fiber, microwave and satellite. ABS clients include: Fisher Communications, Cowles California Media, Real Networks, Cisco Systems, and Microsoft Studios.

For more information about ABS, call 206-870-0244 or visit our Web site at www.advancedbroadcastsolutions.com.