03.01.2011 12:00 PM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Comcast Media Center
Winner of station automation

Submitted by
Comcast Media Center

Encompass Digital Media
Submitted by Encompass Digital Media

With the launch of its latest control room, Comcast Media Center (CMC) developed a new solution for multichannel program origination that improves program uptime while simultaneously reducing operator workload.

With the advance playback model, CMC staff runs the scheduled programming hours in advance of the true air time, caching the programming into delay servers, which replay the content at its scheduled time. This approach allows the operators to monitor a preview of the program signal and, should there be a deviation from scheduled programming or a system failure resulting in program interruption, the operator can mark the time of the discrepancy, recover the service and cover the discrepancy from a parallel real-time program path at the true air time.

Through a synchronizing feature, the Titan system allows the operator to edit the advance playlist and have changes automatically update the real-time playlist, saving edit time. The advance playback control room also employs a live event management pod, which contains a dedicated live event operator that can manage dynamic live events autonomous of the main master control operator.

The Heads Up Display (HUD) was added to ensure master control operators focus on the quality of the programming and performance of the technical systems, and reduce reliance on the traditional automation display to exception handling. A custom software application developed in-house, the HUD system reads the Titan schedule data in real time and presents on-air events, plus a “look ahead” for other primary events and secondary events, to the operator in a rundown. The system presents only the most critical elements of the automation playlist, essentially decluttering the schedule information compared with the traditional automation display.

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