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RNC's NY command center

Rainbow Network Communications (RNC), a subsidiary of Rainbow Media Holdings and Cablevision, serves as the command center for Rainbow Media Holding's 19 origination channels, including AMC, Bravo and Fox Sports Net NY. RNC programming reaches more than 150 million people (aggregate) a day.

Communications Engineering Inc (CEI) of Newington, VA, assisted the RNC team in the design and engineering planning. The facility, located in Bethpage, NY, encompasses 46,000 square feet of technical space and 11,000 square feet of office space. The RNC opened in September 2001 following two full years of construction.

The challenge faced by the RNC facility design team in constructing the facility was developing a technical blueprint that would cover the existing needs and future expansion of the facility. The broadcast layout developed featured a combination of shared and customized technical resources designed to meet current and future requirements of the origination channels. The various needs of each channel were considered in order to differentiate between those channels featuring long-play programming and the channels allocated for the origination of more than 1700 hours of live sports programming each year.

Digital and analog feeds originated by RNC are transmitted to the rest of the world by on-site uplink/downlink earth station antennas for both C- and Ku-band satellite reception and distribution. RNC has 25 high-power amplifiers (HPAs) available to send transmissions to satellites such as SESAMC 1, C4 and Galaxy XI, among others. A robust fiber transmission mechanism provides high quality and reliable transport of analog, digital and HD signals from sports venues throughout the metropolitan area and world.

All signals pass through this massive control center transported over 20 routers featuring Thomson Grass Valley's component digital hybrid (standard definition and high definition) video routers, dual AES3 stream digital audio routers, analog composite video routers and four-channel analog audio routers.

A 40-foot-by-40-foot technical operations center featuring more than 250 color monitors on an 11-foot high monitoring wall, 26 rack bays (over 40 feet wide) and a dual-tier console with three additional consoles provides the centerpiece of RNC.

RNC features 12 live control rooms centered around sports and live content channels; two multi-channel control rooms, each capable of handling five channels; two linear editing suites; five quality control rooms for content review; two central pre-production stations for encoding taped material; and four digital linear edit rooms. There are 22 master control suites, an HDTV master control suite and five edit bays.

Design Team

Rainbow Network Communications:
Steve Pontillo, senior vice president and general manager
John Barbieri, vice president of engineering
Mike Malozzi, director of broadcast engineering
John McMahon, director of broadcast engineering and technology

Communications Engineering Inc (CEI):
John Wesley Nash, executive vice president and COO
Jim Conley, vice president of engineering

Equipment List

Thomson Grass Valley routing systems
Thomson Grass Valley M2100 master control switches
Thomson Grass Valley Profile XP servers
Thomson Grass Valley Kalypso production switches
Louth automation systems

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