New studio technology - HD
TBS’ HD and file-based capabilities
The Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) Digital Network Operations Center in Atlanta, which opened in 2003, continued its dynamic evolution in 2005 with the addition of new HD and file-based capabilities. The 198,000sq ft facility has now been upgraded with a new HD signal paths. New developments also include the implementation of control and monitoring using SNMP and replacement of video servers on the ingest side with generic ingest products from Snell & Wilcox.
More than 7000 Snell & Wilcox IQ modular units installed in 800 different frames form the key pieces of Turner’s SD networks. Now an HD signal path has been added on top of the facility’s SD layer, for which an additional 2000 Snell & Wilcox IQ modular units serve as the backbone.
Both the HD and SD equipment is controlled and monitored via the Snell & Wilcox RollCall network management system installed in the transmission operations center, where operators use a graphical infrastructure model to isolate the behavior of specific devices or even individual processing cards anywhere in the facility. Snell & Wilcox RollSNMP allows the RollMap monitoring features to be applied to other vendors’ SNMP hardware and software products, delivering a complete broadcast-centric monitoring environment encompassing video and audio signal paths, hardware enclosure status and fingertip access to control from a single location.
For each SD and HD channel, content is played out from Pinnacle MediaStream servers or Omneon Spectrum media servers under the control of two independent Pro-Bel automation systems. Content is then run through two separate Grass Valley or Quartz master control switchers in a dual-path, fully redundant routing control infrastructure. Each Turner channel has an A and B chain, and other than being locked to the same GPS satellite, the two chains are not connected in any way.
The move toward HD is made possible by the network’s five-tier, file-based central archive, or Broadcast Inventory Manager (BIM). All of Turner’s on-air video servers are tied to the BIM, which comprises 28TB of fully redundant EMC CLARiiON FC4700 arrays, along with 4TB of serial ATA CX500, two AM-1450 DVD libraries for commercial and promo backups, two StorageTek Powderhorn and two StorageTek SL8500 data tape libraries.
The BIM’s central cache holds 25,000 active commercials and 49,000 active promos, with content stored simultaneously in four different places. EMC Avalon intelligent data software enables transmission speeds of 1Gb/s among BIM components.
Immediate upstream of the storage mechanism is the Snell & Wilcox MEMPHIS HD encoder. Barco monitor walls running Hydra iStudio multi-image display processors allow operators to monitor streams.