This year, as the penetration of HDTV has increased, Turner Studios decided to upgrade its facility, which was built in the late 90s, in order to improve their ability to produce in HD. In addition to editorial, mixing, and graphics services, it was necessary to add HDTV commercial integration for live programming, as well as convert one studio control room to full HD capabilities. New Sony HD cameras replaced SD-only cameras, and will allow production in both HD and SD. In both of the control rooms (PCR-24, a new control room for integration, and PCR-22, renovated for studio production) Thomson Grass Valley Kalypso HD production switchers were installed.
The monitor walls were installed with Evertz MVP video processors chosen to feed NEC color LCD displays. In the integration control room, eight 40in displays were used, and in the larger production control room 21 displays satisfied the needs of the varied programming produced by Turner Studios. In PCR-22, Turner used mounts that allow “columns” of displays to be turned in to face the center of the room, as well as moved forward and back on linear bearings to set the viewing distance to suit individual productions.
AZCAR was selected to both design and integrate the new control rooms. The work included increasing the size of the routing systems considerably, as well as upgrading a significant amount of infrastructure from SD-only to SD and HD capability. The routing switchers presented a considerable challenge since the operation is virtually 24/7. To accomplish the transition, they devised a plan using DAs and splitters to feed both the old and new routers simultaneously, and then migrate outputs one-at-a-time when they were not in use. The process took several weeks, but the new routing system (a Thomson Grass Valley Trinix multiformat HD/SD with Apex audio routing) was able to run in parallel on the Jupiter control system while the transition was in progress. The control system is one of the largest in existence, with 52,000 lines of custom programming, and 52 levels.
The new integration control room was first used for the NBA Western Conference Finals in May. Following the installation of the Sony HD cameras, the studio control room went online in October for the first time with NBA broadcasts.