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MTV Times Square Studios

MTV Times Square Studios

In June 2010, major broadcaster Viacom-MTVN hired Broadcast Integration Services (BIS) to provide turnkey systems integration for its new state-of-the-art production facility located in Times Square New York City. Working with the MTV engineering team led by Mike Bivona, BIS delivered a design capable of supporting HD video and multichannel audio with a strong vision for dealing with space limitations, heat generation and associated cooling requirements.

BIS project management and engineering, in cooperation with MTVN engineering, was tasked with providing an end-to-end solution, including a complete rebuild of the studio facilities with support for a combination of 14 studio and handheld cameras, as well as point-of-view rooftop cameras overlooking Broadway and Times Square, while providing support for 5.1 audio production mixing, recording and editing capabilities. The system was designed and installed to allow for mixing and routing of any available audio sources and groups, enabling isolated recorded feeds of all cameras with virtually unlimited combinations of audio tracks and video sources. To further enhance the production capabilities, an Avid ISIS storage area network integrated with EVS XT[2] server and IP Director technology was employed. This allows for ingest and low-resolution review of media from either the playback area in the studio facility located on the concourse level or from local videotape recorders attached to individual Avid edit suites and producer offices and workstations situated on various floors throughout the building. With the upgrade to HD video and embedded multichannel audio as the core production format, various peripheral subsystems were in need of modifications and improvements as well, and BIS provided integrated solutions for transmission and monitoring systems, allowing for a complete integration package from acquisition, production, post production and editing to transmission and profanity delay implementation.

BIS and MTV used cutting-edge technology such as onboard processing and fiber-optic and network connectivity for subsystems like production routing, audio mixing and intercom communications. Multiplexing typically handled by multiple trays of outboard devices and cabling with patching points were replaced with the latest technology from Evertz Microsystems and Solid State Logic, allowing BIS to integrate a common audio standard such as MADI with time division multiplexing (TDM), as well as embedders and de-embedders located in the router frame itself. This saved on rack space as well as reduced cooling and power requirements.

Operators can quickly and easily recall preset show configurations and setups to handle the myriad of audio pairing and grouping requirements as they arise from creative television production personnel. The combined efforts of MTV and BIS resulted in achieving a system that meets current and future operational requirements, lowers operating costs and adverse impact on the environment by reducing the amount of equipment and wiring necessary, and helping to reduce the capital investment required to fund the project.

  • New studio technology – HD
    Submitted by Broadcast Integration ServicesDesign teamBroadcast Integration Services: Joseph Policastro, proj. mgr.; Kevin Henneman, technology mgr., Adam Semcken, sr. design eng.; Andy Morris, eng.; Robert Gilmartin, eng.; Judi Southard, logistics; Chris Butler, integration supervisor; William Frederick, lead tech.; Javier Casilimas, engineer
    Callison: Neil Tucker, architect
    MTV Networks: Mike Bivona, VP of eng.; Jim Brizzolara, eng. production technologies; Bill Anchelowitz, dir. proj. management; Tyler Marinello, content creation support technician; Thayne Knop, dir. of content creation technologies; Adrienne Bonfrisco, production technologiesTechnology at workADC: Video and audio patching
    Avid: ISIS storage, Nitris editing
    Evertz: EQX multiformat router, VIP-X multiviewer, VistaLINK SNMP monitoring, test signal generation and timing equipment
    EVS: Video server
    Genelec: Speakers and loudspeaker manager software
    Gepco: Fiber systems
    Image Video: Tally
    Joseph Electronics: Fiber systems
    Linear Acoustic: 5.1 monitoring
    Middle Atlantic: Equipment racks
    QTV: Teleprompter
    RTS: Intercom
    Sony: HDC1500 cameras, HDCAM SRW-5800 tape playback, displays
    SSL: C100 HDS audio mixer
    TBC: Broadcast consoles
    Tektronix: Test and measurement gear
    Telemetrics: Roof camera robotics
    Vinten: Studio pedestals
    Wohler: Audio monitoring

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