01.10.2006 01:40 PM
TBS’ digital broadcast hub

New studio technology - network



TBS’ digital broadcast hub



After years of considerable expansion, Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) had outgrown the broadcast facility on its 33-acre Atlanta campus. It broke ground on a new, 198,000sq ft building in 2000.

The intent was to develop a broadcast hub that would house TBS’ numerous networks, accommodate ongoing business growth and have the capacity to support emerging broadcast technologies and distribution channels.

Today, the facility accommodates 35 outgoing feeds and has the ability to ingest 74 simultaneous feeds. It houses a 300ft central equipment room with more than 400 racks of equipment and servers. Fifteen control rooms are currently employed, with the capacity for 28 total.

Using an innovative design, the facility is sectioned into pods, which contain four control rooms and one or more networks each. Control rooms feature at least a pair of redundant systems, with multiple sets of servers, switches and graphics processing equipment. The design creates isolation between the pods; system malfunctions in one pod can’t affect network operations in other pods. It also creates redundancy within them; each pod has its own backup systems.

Test and monitoring equipment is an essential component to the new facility. A variety of Tektronix instruments — including a WVR7100, WFM700 and MTM400 — are used in each pod to monitor broadcasts, keep track of the various channels being transmitted and automatically send alerts when broadcast errors occur. Tektronix instruments are also used routinely throughout the building for quality testing and optimization.

The facility’s advanced testing, monitoring and backup capabilities ensure the company’s broadcasts are overwhelmingly stable and error-free. The entire facility is digital, employing a file transfer infrastructure. All of the company’s content is stored, transferred, distributed and repurposed digitally using a fiber-optic cable network.

The file transfer infrastructure saves incalculable cost, space and time in the storage and distribution of content. In addition, it provides the ability to easily change the format and resolution of files digitally for quick and inexpensive reuse of content or redistribution to alternate channels. TBS is already reaping the benefits of this file-based system, seamlessly repurposing and feeding content to cell phones service providers and VOD broadband carriers.

The content files are contained in a five-tier storage system, which includes Pinnacle and Omneon play-to-air servers; a central cache for advertisements and short-term storage (EMC CLARiiON arrays); longer-term storage by serial ATA drives; an Asaca DVD Jukebox short-term storage system to backup the central cache; and StorageTek robots for longer data tape files. TBS is also experimenting with InPhase holographic discs for the storage of large HD files and other lengthy content.

TBS’ new facility is now three times bigger and supports emerging technologies and distribution channels.

Design Team Technology at Work
TBS: Pro-Bel Sextant 4 and Morpheus automation
Clyde Smith, sr. VP, broad. eng. Pinnacle Media Stream and Palladium Store 1000 servers
Ron Tarasoff, VP broadcast tech. and eng. Tektronix WVR7100 rasterizers and T&M equipment
Naveed Aslam, sr. dir.eng. Quartz QMC HD switchers
Jim Bernier, eng. proj. mgr. Snell & Wilcox Memphis HD
Rick Ackermans, dir. acquisitions and transmissions Chyron Clyps HD and Duet HD Graphics Units
Michael Cody, proj. mgr. Linear Acoustics OCTiMAX 5.1 and upMAX 2251 audio processors
AZCAR:
Tony DuBois, eng. proj. mgr.
Mcsi:
David Priester, eng. proj. mgr.

Previous article New studio technology - HD nominees


Comments
Post New Comment
If you are already a member, or would like to receive email alerts as new comments are
made, please login or register.

Enter the code shown above:

(Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above
image, reload the page to generate a new one.)

No Comments Found




Thursday 10:05 AM
NAB Requests Expedited Review of Spectrum Auction Lawsuit
“Broadcasters assigned to new channels following the auction could be forced to accept reductions in their coverage area and population served, with no practical remedy.” ~NAB


 
Featured Articles
Research & Standards
Discover TV Technology