The Evertz QMC -DCP control panel
Viacom/MTVN's Network Operations Center (NOC) originates more than 72 cable channels, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Spike TV, VH1 and CMT.
When we started planning our conversion to high definition, we took the opportunity to re-evaluate workflows and streamline production steps. In selecting a new master control switcher, we looked for one that was feature-rich, flexible, reliable and scalable. Based upon our previous experience with Evertz, we again turned to them to help meet these requirements.
We installed a total of 32 Evertz QMC-2 master control and channel branding systems across multiple control and equipment rooms. Each flagship network is assigned to a control room that allows an operator to select, monitor, and control up to eight channels associated with the network. In addition, we created a backup control room that can assume control of any of the 32 channels if needed. Evertz' MC-DCP control panels allow simplified selection and operation of each switcher, permitting easy access to all critical functions through a fully user-programmable interface.
Each QMC-2 switcher includes a two-channel DVE and internal logo store. This allows us to create dynamic on-air promotions and interstitials in real-time, reducing the requirement for post-production of individual program elements. We worked with Evertz to develop several mission-critical features, including the ability to de-embed voiceover audio from the switcher key and fill inputs. In addition, DVE moves are scripted as macros and can execute on-air transitions under automation control. The switchers, in conjunction with our main graphics system, play an essential role in creating our on-air look.
The QMC-2s feature a single-board design and 3RU form factor which provides a compact, easily-serviceable package and minimizes downtime. The use of flash memory storage for all on-board configurations provides extremely fast boot-up, and has eliminated interruptions due to switcher hard-disk failure.
In addition to the switchers, the QMC server software platform provides us with a complete multichannel control system that interfaces with Evertz' MVP multiviewer displays, triggering display layout changes, tally indication, under-monitor source displays, and audio/video routes for monitoring. This is one of the main reasons why we chose the QMC-2. The Linux-based operating system offers enterprise-class reliability and outstanding uptime, and provided a platform for Evertz engineers to customize our installation through simple text file changes. A browser-based user interface allows status monitoring of all services, and clustered servers provide automatic failover redundancy.
SERVICE ABOVE AND BEYOND
As with any system this large and complex, deployment wasn't without its challenges. We found that we needed to expand the capabilities of the switcher's configuration memory to meet the requirements of our large system. The Evertz team responded by developing the necessary hardware and dedicating engineering expertise to ultimately deliver a system that not only met our requirements, but also makes this available to other customers as well. As a technology-driven company, Evertz has provided MTV Networks with a state-of-the-art solution which will continue to serve us well as we grow and expand our service offerings.
Mike McMackin is director of engineering and project management for the Viacom/MTVN Network Operations Center in New York, and is a 23-year veteran of the broadcasting industry. He may be contacted at email@example.com.
For additional information, contact Evertz at 877-995-3700 or visit www.evertz.com.