CBS builds tapeless facility to improve efficiency for “ET” and “The Insider”

Category New studio technology — HD Submitted by Avid Design Team Teklogic: John Joannou, pres; Esteban Ortega, proj. eng.; Tim Tschopp, design eng.; Martin Grahl, implementation mgr. ET: Dan Henry, prod. exec.; Mark Abodaber, eng.; ...
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New studio technology — HD

Submitted by
Avid Design Team
Teklogic: John Joannou, pres; Esteban Ortega, proj. eng.; Tim Tschopp, design eng.; Martin Grahl, implementation mgr.
ET: Dan Henry, prod. exec.; Mark Abodaber, eng.; Steve Hamre, eng.
CBS: Barry Zegel, VP/GM, TVCity
Technology at work
Avid
AirSpeed server CaptureManager Deko graphics
iNEWS Instinct NRCS
Interplay Assist Media Composer Nitris DX editor
Symphony Nitris DX Thunder graphics
Unity ISIS storage
Avocent KVM switches
Editware Fastrack editor
Evertz
EQX router/control
MVP multiviewers
VistaLink control
Masstech MassStore RTS Adam intercom
Sony
HDC-1500HD and XDCAMHD cameras
HDW-M2000 and PDW-1500 recorders MVS8000G switcher
Studer Vista 8 mixer
Thomson Grass Valley K2 servers

CBS builds tapeless facility to improve efficiency for “ET” and “The Insider”

CBS wanted to create a 1080i HD embedded audio, server-based, tapeless facility to improve efficiency of the “ET” and “The Insider” workflow and to train and relocate more than 250 staff members without interrupting programming. The goal was to incorporate technology that could seamlessly interface across multiple platforms to enable production to ingest, edit, transfer and simultaneously produce HD material in real time.

CBS chose Teklogic, a California-based systems integrator, to head up system design and equipment selection. A key choice was the Evertz EQX router and control system, capable of performing A/V breakaways with a MADI interface to the Studer Vista 8 mixer, allowing for channel shuffling via the built-in router embedders and de-embedders. Implementing the new technology required Teklogic to define functionality by day while Evertz developed software overnight and on weekends. This allowed the design of a facility previously not possible. The router also required new interfaces to the Sony MVS8000G switchers and to Avid CaptureManager. VistaLink unifies facilitywide SNMP monitoring and control of modular and MVP gear from a single control point. Now 110 servers are accessible from 16 user locations via an Avocent KVM platform.

A key element of the workflow is the ability to make last-minute updates to the show segments while it is aired. This was made possible by Editware Fastrack and Thomson Grass Valley K2 servers and SAN. Special software features make this the first linear-based tapeless HD live editing workflow. K2 servers receive HD material from Avid Media Composer and Symphony systems using a new server-based digital cut workflow.

The post-production facility houses 26 Media Composer Nitris DX and two Symphony Nitris DX editors, sharing 196TB of Unity ISIS storage. An Avid Interplay system provides a facilitywide workflow to create packages, bumpers and promos. Editing and storage solutions enable editors to ingest and create story packages using 24 AirSpeed servers with CaptureManager to coordinate video feeds.

The new facility needed to be highly collaborative and efficient for journalists and producers to meet critical deadlines. A 125-person news production group uses Avid iNEWS for script writing and show timing. Thirty seats of iNEWS Instinct allow senior producers to write scripts and view proxy video. An additional 100 users can browse and log video using Interplay Assist.

The hidden power that makes this workflow possible is derived from the seamless interoperability between many individual components and across various manufacturer platforms. This facility will raise the bar for future facility designs.