Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Medcom’s new facility brings six operations under one roof

New studio technology - network

Medcom’s new facility brings six operations under one roof

Medcom is one of the Republic of Panama’s largest and oldest broadcasters. It is also the county’s rating and share leader, enjoying up to a 70 percent market share. The operation includes two national TV networks (RPC and Telemetro), one local TV station (Televiete), one national FM radio network (RPCRadio FM), one national AM Radio network (RPCRadio AM) and one local FM radio station (Caliente). Medcom has more than 30 transmitter sites and two microwave networks to cover the country.

With its completion, the new facility brings all Medcom operations under one roof. This new digital facility allows Medcom to take full advantage of sharing materials and resources to a degree previously not possible. To assist them in achieving their business and broadcast goals, the operation selected AZCAR as its value engineering system consultants, designers and integrators and to provide complete equipment procurement services.

The primary goals were to consolidate and expand the television and radio broadcast interests into one facility and common infrastructure; integrate digital technology and shared storage architectures to produce substantial operating efficiencies and expansion opportunities.

There were two major design challenges. The first was to have the technical systems make the maximum use of shared elements while fully supporting the separate, independent and different radio and TV operations requirements. The second was to engineer the solutions to meet tight capital budgets.

The facility incorporates a shared, 100-plus rack central equipment room for both radio and television systems, including a Quartz 256x256 SDI and AES routing switcher with control and time code layers. There is one common TV master control area for the three program streams. The operation includes six studios, three for production and three for news, controlled from three video and audio production control rooms with a centralized camera control area that allows any studio to be operated from any of the control rooms. The operation required two fully separate systems. The large program production schedule required 18 NLEs and the integration of 34 existing edit suits of various manufacturers and vintages.

The radio plant boasts two fully independent production studios with associated control rooms and two on-air announce booths. The 96x96 AES router system and reference systems are shared with the television core systems.

Design Team Technology at Work
Medcom: ClearCom 128x128 intercom matrix
Ivan Mirones, radio engineering Evertz MVP monitor walls
AZCAR: Florical automation
Lawrence St-Onge, lead eng. Leitch Newsflash and NLE systems
John Chyurlia, design eng. Miranda PresMaster MC system with four streams
Hakim Kharbut, design eng. Quartz 256 x 256 SDI/AES with control and time code routing switcher
Carlos Arancibia, design eng. Ross Synergy production switchers
Doug Waldron, installation supervisor Wheatstone consoles

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