Evertz Facilitates Andrita Operations

Tom Mikkelsen
The Andrita Media Center, a division of Broadcast Facilities, Inc. (BFI), is the largest independent digital media facility on the West Coast, and is dedicated to providing cutting edge and innovative broadcast services. Our 106,000-square-foot HD media facility provides state-of-the-art technology and superior support to an abundance of networks, including Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movie Channel, Universal Sports, Game Show Network and MGM HD. We support some 35 networks and are still growing.

Andrita is committed to meeting time-sensitive goals and advanced technology demands and this has established us as one of the broadcast industry leaders. Additionally, BFI also owns and operates Crawford Communications' Satellite Services division in Atlanta. This recent acquisition includes all of Crawford's television network origination, Teleport, satellite uplink trucks, Internet, production and government services. Crawford has been providing turnkey broadcast solutions since 1984.


One of Andrita's most recent launches included a complex multichannel HD/SD configuration design for two high-definition networks that have multiple HD delay and SD output requirements. This new project included monitor wall display systems, ad insertion triggering devices, multiple audio services, triggered aspect ratio conversions, all in concert with SD downconversions, closed captioning and v-chip insertion. There are several additional network launches using similar architectures that are now in the planning stages.

In developing this project and subsequent installation, we worked with Evertz Microsystems in our design phase. The innovation and flexibility of their feature-rich product line provided us with the tools that we required to construct the facility and to provide efficient services for our valued clients.

We're using the Evertz MVP with VistaLINK Pro as part of the monitoring support for our networks. The MVP is a multiple image display processor that's used for driving displays of conventional audio and video sources. As Andrita provides 24/7 network playback, along with fiber and digital satellite distribution, it's essential to have a comprehensive monitoring system such as the MVP to support those mission-critical environments.

We also use Evertz's VistaLINK and SNMP products for monitoring our entire broadcasting infrastructure. SNMP monitoring is critical in today's multichannel environment, as intuitive monitoring and a real-time notification system is crucial for managing and logging events to ensure the quality and consistency of our systems. If there's a problem, VistaLINK quickly determines which device and service has failed, enabling our operators to rapidly diagnose system faults. We've also interfaced our VistaLINK alarms to an external computer that drives custom audio files identifying the service and issue. This enhancement allows our operations and engineering teams to more quickly focus on and respond to issues. Finally, the VistaLINK e-mail interface is set up to send all alarms directly to our engineering team on their personal data devices. This configuration helps us improve and restore on-air anomalies, thus reducing the mean-time-to-repair figure.

Building and operating a multi-channel network facility can be a challenging task; however, the Evertz platform and systems have enhanced our ability to successfully execute our business model and meet the needs of our clients.

Tom Mikkelsen has more than 35 years of experience in the broadcast industry. He has been the CTO at the Andrita Media Center since 2008. He may be contacted attom@andrita.com.

For additional information, contact Evertz at 877-995-3700 or visit www.evertz.com.