Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Winner of new studio technology - nonbroadcast
Communications Engineering, Inc.
Submitted by Comprehensive
When the Washington Redskins kicked off the 2010 regular season against the Dallas Cowboys, its fans were treated to a completely new stadium experience thanks to a comprehensive HD upgrade to the FedExField video control room and infrastructure by Communications Engineering, Inc. (CEI). The new system enables the event-day control room to originate HD programming and to transmit the signals to the new FedExField HD LED video displays and stadium-wide video distribution systems, and places the facility at the leading edge of NFL stadium technology.
The system features the ability to receive and record video and audio feeds from network TV production trucks, as well as video signals from the dedicated video replay system, cameras, and other external audio and video sources. CEI was responsible for project management, space planning, final design, equipment procurement, systems integration, interfacing with the new 100ft-wide Daktronics video boards and data processors, installation, testing, and training for the HD upgrade.
One of the main goals was to improve the workflow in the room, and this was accomplished with more efficient digital equipment, improved consoles and a more effective layout. The existing control room was completely gutted to accomplish that goal. A key challenge was the deadline, because the facility had to be ready in time for the start of the football season. Also, CEI's staff had to work in conjunction with contractor personnel because the space was being completely renovated at the same time.
The upgrade also included a file-based workflow system that allows easy audio and video clip storage and playback. Plus, the new control room features a multiviewer at every operator position, allowing many sources to be easily viewed and managed from anywhere in the room. The end result is a much more efficient system and a greatly enhanced experience for the fans.