SIMI VALLEY, CALIF.: Adventist Media Productions, which is owned by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, is an electronic media production unit that's responsible for producing radio and television programming for five of the church's ministries. One of the church's broadcast properties is the Hope Channel, which delivers programs via satellite in the United States, and via a mix of satellite, cable and/or low-power terrestrial platforms on an international basis.
The technical operations center for this broadcasting mission is located here and serves as the basis for broadcast, production and post-production. We have our own staff operating and maintaining two video studios, five edit bays and the master control center.
The facility was tasked last year with adding two new channels, and we found that accomplishing this with the existing channel-in-a-box system we had been using was going to be unreasonably expensive.
The X50 installation at the Adventist Media Productions facility
After investigating other options to make this addition possible, we elected to convert to a complete Harris infrastructure and workflow system that included routers, multiviewers, video file servers, graphics generation, automation and digital asset management software. Harris' X50 video/audio processing system was also central to the infrastructure that was created.
The X50 handles a variety of signal processing and conversion applications for live and recorded audio and video. A total of four X50s are installed in the equipment room, positioned at the input and output of a central Harris Platinum router.
The X50s are mainly used for HD-to-SD downconversion operations, as the operation's Hope Channel broadcasts in standard definition, but the majority of content arrives in high-definition format. Live feeds are automatically downcoverted, with content being processed through the X50 prior to its ingestion into the facility's Harris servers.
NO MORE OUTSIDE CC OPERATIONS
The downconversion process additionally handles aspect ratio conversion details (such as 16:9 to 4:3 letterboxing), and translation of closed captioning information. Until the X50 gear was installed, the latter chore wasn't handled at this facility, as there was no way to accomplish this task with the older system we'd been using. This is no longer an issue, as the X50 seamlessly incorporates closed captioning processing into the downconversion process.
The X50s are also used for frame synchronization and audio embedding/de-embedding. And we pass remote audio feeds through the X50s to ensure proper A/V synch.
All four X50s are accessible via a Web browser, and our master control operators now have the ability to use this interface to remotely trim audio levels and configure audio feeds.
READY FOR THE NEXT STEP
The entire Harris system is capable of handling both SD and HD signals, which places us in a good position for future upgrades and expansion. We're now well-prepared when it comes time to transition the Hope Channel's domestic and certain international feeds to HD. I should add that workflow tools such as Harris' Invenio Motion digital asset management software also have given us plenty of flexibility to treat the entire operation like a programming environment as it evolves, allowing staff to efficiently move media across the entire facility.
Randy Schornstein is the director of post production for Adventist Media Productions and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact Harris North America sales at 800-231-9673 or broadcast.harris.com.
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