The Georgia Dome ("the Dome") in Atlanta opened in 1992 as a new entertainment venue, and, in 2003, the Dome crew chose Comprehensive Technical Group (CTG) as the systems integrator to upgrade its video control room from analog to SD digital.
More recently, as part of a $55-million building renovation, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, owner and operator of the Dome, wanted to update the capabilities of the Dome’s video control room, which provides all of the content for the venue’s two large video replay screens. The Dome again chose CTG to upgrade this control room to make it a complete HD video facility. It allotted $2.7 million for this part of the renovation.
While the Atlanta Falcons are the primary client for the Dome, the video system must also support the needs of Supercross, Battle of the Bands, business conferences and numerous other events. Because the video services group from the Dome supports such a variety of events, CTG designed the system to be highly flexible to meet changing needs.
In addition to the HD upgrade, the Dome wanted a digital workflow for game-day elements. To do this, CTG provided a shared-storage environment that ties together an EVS slow-motion system, Apple Final Cut Studio editing and Ross Video Systems SoftMetal video servers.
Because of a limited budget, CTG’s focus was on infrastructure. The Dome was only able to purchase two of the needed cameras, so it rents three additional cameras for certain events. In an effort to maximize the number of available camera views, 10 tie lines tie into the network production truck.
One of the biggest challenges was the physical space limitation for the video replay system. With only about 450sq ft, it was an ergonomic challenge to fit 11 equipment racks and 11 personnel. The physical layout required a great deal of planning and coordination. Of the seven core equipment racks, there are collectively 14 unused rack spaces.
The Dome staff and CTG worked to minimize the cost of this newest upgrade by installing intrarack cabling, connectors and patching to be HD-ready. Additional savings came from using the existing Grass Valley Concerto routing switcher frame; CTG simply added new crosspoint cards to upgrade the router to HD.
The Dome’s video production staff has seen many benefits from this upgrade: The new shared-storage environment greatly reduces the amount of videotape the production staff handles. The new system allows the Dome to change advertisements on the "wings" of its video replay screens where there were previously fixed advertisements. And, the KVM system connects all systems to convenient user stations to make troubleshooting and configuration easier.
CTG also worked on the audio system renovation that followed and completed the project ahead of schedule and under budget.
- New studio technology — nonbroadcast
Submitted by Comprehensive Technical GroupDesign teamComprehensive Technical Group: Jim Wile, pres.; Steve McCormick, VP; Kevin Gabriel, technical ops. mgr.; Josh Shibler, proj. mgr.; Doug Wake, sr. eng.; Ry Alford, acct. mgr.
Darden and Company: Bill Darden, Jason Hughes
Georgia Dome: Carl Adkins, GM; Beverly Wilson, ops. mgr.; Eddie Daniels, eng.
Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams: Chris WilliamsTechnology at workApple: Editing, storage
Avid: Deko graphics
Evertz: MVP, terminal equipment
EVS: Slow-motion system
Grass Valley: Routing switcher
Harris: Testing equipment
Sony: Cameras, displays, production switcher
© 2010 Penton Media, Inc.
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