07.31.2005 08:00 AM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
HDNet offers live HD coverage of successful Discovery launch

After a delay because of a faulty fuel gauge, NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery successfully lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), in Cape Canaveral, FL, July 26th. The event was captured and broadcast live by HDNet to its cable and satellite TV subscribers.

Producing a live, multi-camera, switched HD telecast of this magnitude requires extensive equipment and technical support. HDNet used HD gear from Canon, Grass Valley, Leitch and Sony to support the broadcast from temporary facilities set up inside NASA’s TV production control room on site at the KSC.

Sony HDCAM (1080i) cameras equipped with a Canon DIGI Super 86 TELExs lens, and intercut with the Grass Valley Kalypso HD switcher, followed the Shuttle Discovery at least 176,000ft, or 33mi, into the earth's atmosphere. Leitch’s X75 HD multi-path converter/synchronizer was used for frame synchronization of the live camera feeds and to downconvert some HD images for SD use.

The JVC DLA-QX1 ultra-high resolution projector was employed in the Ice/Debris Image Analysis Facility at the KSC to analyze flight shuttle data in conjunction with an SGI Onyx visualization system from Silicon Graphics. The system was installed by SGI Professional Services

HDNet, which had exclusive rights to the North American HD telecast of the launch, also used a pan-and-tilt robo head at the launch pad from Eagle Pan Tilt.

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