| When the founders of WealthTV listed goals, they had a few specific demands: It had to broadcast in HD, be equipped with the highest quality and launch in late Q2 2004. |
WealthTV selected A. F. Associates (AFA) and Ascent Media’s Systems & Technology Services (S&TS) to provide an all-encompassing end-to-end solution — from production to playout through satellite systems. The start-up cable network and satellite facility, located in San Diego, was designed, built and launched in HD on June 1, weeks ahead of schedule. It was the first project to be built in AFA’s new West Coast facility.
Handing over the technical portions of the project to a systems integrator allowed network executives to concentrate on programming. The network serves as a shopping channel for the wealthy and provides a diversion for those who are entertained by a luxurious standard of living. Visual broadcasts were essential.
The 40,000sq ft facility uses HD technology by Sony. The all-HD system features an MVS-8000 production switcher and routing and monitoring. Dolby surround sound processing is featured with a DMXR100 audio mixer. Three HDC930 cameras with Vinten tripods and pan/tilt heads grace a 47x48ft studio.
The station uplinks twin signals to PanAmSat Galaxy 13, an HD neighborhood for national cable networks. Ascent Media S&TS headed up the satellite uplink and encoding aspects of the project by providing a turnkey system that included dish installation. The primary signal is HD 1080i. In addition, the station is broadcasting a downconverted standard digital signal to reach the maximum number of subscribers.
Harris automation runs master control with Pinnacle video servers. Dolby 5.1 encoders feed the audio along with the video to Motorola encoding equipment for the uplink. The station chose a Discreet Logic smoke editor for its multiple post-production suites. Apple Final Cut Pro running on Apple G5 computers fills in the edit area with the ability to finish in full-resolution HD.
The network initially reached approximately 750,000 subscribers and hopes to be received in 80 million homes around the globe via cable and satellite service providers.