Grass Valley Aids Global TV's Makeover

Steve Bryan and Glen AltwasserVANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
A few years ago, we began to look at ways to reduce our operating costs without compromising or minimizing our news content production in the local markets that we cover. We decided to leave anchors, reporters, ENG crews and editors in these local markets and move most of the production personnel—director, technical director, camera operators, along with audio, graphics and branding operators—to a centralized location that could handle multiple newscasts on a daily basis.


That resulted in the creation of our operation's production center here, with control rooms dedicated to production of local newscasts for key cities in Canada, as well as for the production of a daily national network newscast.

Because signal distribution is so critical to what we have to accomplish every day, we chose a fully loaded Grass Valley Trinix 512x512 router, backed up by a large amount of their GeckoFlex signal processing modules.

The GeckoFlex products were selected to help us to bridge the gap between our analog and digital operations. We had started out with a lot of Grass Valley Kameleon conversion modules, which at the time, were the only products we found that combined the conversion from analog audio and video to an embedded audio/digital video signal in just one card slot. With the amount of conversion we had to do, this really saved on real estate, frame count, cooling and power costs. Now that were all digital, we're using the GeckoFlex frame synchronizers on camera feeds coming from our remote sites. Grass Valley audio modules are also used for de-embedding audio signals from those remote studios into discrete audio for production purposes, and also for embedding program audio back into the output streams that are sent on to our master control facility.

These Grass Valley modular products completely integrate with our Trinix routing system to provide end-to-end signal processing control. We migrated our plant from analog to SD digital video, with an eye on HD, and the Grass Valley equipment selected—along with an Encore control system—has provided us with the flexibility necessary for all signal routing.


The distribution architecture that we now have in place allows us to quickly reconfigure a control room for the varying production requirements of a show originating from one city to those of a program coming from another.

The Encore control system interfaces directly to our production switchers, sending current router bus status to the production switcher panels for display. This greatly simplifies the complex configuration issues faced by our operations staff.

In our experience, the combination of Grass Valley's GeckoFlex, Encore and Trinix technologies is a very complete and unified package that gives us intuitive control over all of our signal paths. With all of the local markets we serve, we have a lot of I/O sources to manage. We are very happy with the ease of use and the reliability that Trinix and GeckoFlex have brought to our operation.

Glen Altwasser is director of engineering for Global TV Network, Western Canada. He is a long-time broadcast engineer and has been with Global TV since 2001. Steve Bryan is chief engineer for Global TV Network, British Columbia. He has also been with Global since 2001. Glen may be contacted Steve may be contacted

For additional information, contact Grass Valley at 800-547-8949 or