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Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems has added a complete broadcast and production facility to its San Jose, CA, headquarters. Designated as Building 8 in its complex, the facility is a completely new structure built from the ground up.

Digital System Technology (DST) was contracted as systems integrator for the facility and provided a full range of services including the design, consulting, engineering, equipment provision, integration and installation for a master control center, four broadcast control rooms, four production studios and several labs.

Cisco's need for the facility was twofold: as a marketing platform for its IP/TV solution line — a comprehensive network video streaming system for businesses, schools and government organizations; and for internal training purposes.

Here, Cisco has the capability to train clients, employees and customers worldwide, via multicast and unicast streaming, at a much lower cost than flying trainees to San Jose from all over the world. This results in an enormous cost savings for Cisco.

The heart of the system is rooted in the master control center, a 20×20-foot room that features 10 racks of equipment that tie together all operational aspects of the facility. To ensure that all required equipment would fit into the available space, DST designed exceptionally high racks to house the equipment. The primary core consists of PESA Tiger and Cougar routing and switching systems, which address SDI and NTSC video, plus AES and analog audio.

Each of the four broadcast control rooms (A, B, C and D) has its own adjacent production studio. Control A, at 20×20 feet, is the largest of the four control rooms, with an adjacent 35×45-foot production studio × also the largest of the four production rooms. As the facility's primary control room, Control A features a large Sony DVS-7150 production switcher as the centerpiece of the room amongst an assortment of production equipment from Pinnacle Systems.

The remaining three control rooms feature the same equipment, though Ross 210D production switchers were installed instead of the Sony switcher.

The adjacent production studios to Control B, C and D are roughly half the size of Control A's production studio, at 18×20 feet each. Generally, all four production studios feature similar equipment: Sony DXC-D35WT cameras with Fujinon Ah18×9.7 standard-definition lenses, with each room featuring multi-camera setups. Featured throughout the entire facility for communication purposes are numerous Sennheiser audio products.

The final leg of the integration process included two labs for equipment testing and training: one for the IP/TV solution line and one for Cisco's training development. DST installed a termination panel that allows for the movement of equipment into the labs as required. The labs themselves connect to various studios and production rooms for content creation that is later distributed via the Internet or recorded directly to tape.

Equipment List

PESA Tiger and Cougar routers
Pinnacle Systems DVEXtreme digital effects systems
Ross 210D production switchers
Sony DVS-7150 production switcher
Sony DXC-D35WT cameras
Fujinon Ah18×9.7 standard-definition lenses
Sennheiser EM 1046 and EM 3032 rack-mount receivers
Crest VX audio console
Cisco IP/TV 3425, 3424 and 3432 for multicast and unicast streaming

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