12.01.2003 12:00 PM
Turner Entertainment's network operations center


Turner Entertainment Group, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, built an expansive new 198,000-square-foot broadcast facility at its Atlanta headquarters. The facility houses 20 Turner-owned domestic and Latin American television networks that occupy 11 control rooms, or broadcast operations centers (BOCs), centralized on the first floor. The 11 BOCs are divided among four separate “pods.” Each pod features a centralized, glass-walled supervisor's area for overseeing operations and altering playlists. Each BOC features an A chain and a B chain of master control equipment for every feed. If the A chain fails, a push of a button switches to the B chain and its duplicate complement of equipment.

The transmission operations center (TOC), divided into two sections, is also on the first floor. The incoming TOC has four quality control stations for live incoming signals and embeds the audio, using Snell & Wilcox audio embedding equipment, into the video.

The outgoing TOC features large BARCO screens along the front wall. This area provides operators with a final look at a signal before it leaves the building. A Snell & Wilcox RollCall network monitoring and control system is instrumental to this room. The facility's main RollCall terminal is installed here to monitor equipment and pinpoint signal loss quickly. With 500 racks throughout the facility, the system minimizes failure effects.

The central equipment room (CER) comprises one half of the second floor and is laid out in network groups (TNT, TBS, etc.). Two redundant Cisco IP data routers connect to every source in the building for file distribution. A central cache area, broadcast inventory management, delivers ingested air material to a network playout server as a file when called upon by an automation system.

Snell & Wilcox IQ modular equipment occupies rack space in CER. A facilitywide installation of more than 5000 modules in 3RU enclosures handle a variety of applications.



Included in the IQ modular applications are analog and digital audio and video distribution, analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion, video decoding and encoding, frame synchronization, audio conversion, sub-frame remapping, digital “proc amp” control, gamut legalization, and standards conversion for international program exchange. Most feature 10 or fewer populated slots; up to 16 slots are available in each 3RU enclosure.

The other half of the facility features a high-density storage library and the media operations center (MOC), which houses short-form and automated long-form ingest rooms; a central tape area with a variety of VTRs for dubbing between formats; and “Guard Source VTRs” to provide a third level of automation-controlled redundancy for the BOCs.

The MOC is where the media operations control center is located. Here operators can monitor everything, connect to sources in every control room and alter playlists. Snell & Wilcox audio shuffling modules are featured in the MOC, as well as other unique products that reconfigure audio tracks of various languages associated with a program.



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