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Telefutura operations center

Network Facilities Excellence Awards Runner-up

Univision Communications, with its rapidly growing Hispanic market, expanded its operation with the purchase of the USA station group and the launch of the Telefutura Network. Telefutura contracted The Systems Group (TSG) to design and integrate their Miami broadcast operations center (BOC) within an eight-month window. The new BOC creates and distributes media to Telefutura's 42 station groups (23 owned-and-operated stations and 19 affiliates) across 27 markets nationwide.

To compile programming to support 24-hour broadcast, the Telefutura facility required extensive post-production and graphic generation capabilities. The post-production area was comprised of linear edit rooms, nonlinear edit rooms, graphics rooms, voice-over rooms and an audio post-production room. The linear rooms were outfitted with 12-input Snell & Wilcox Magic Dave switchers, a two-channel Chyron character generator, a Sony BVE 2000 edit controller, Videotek color corrector and Sony Digital Betacam tape decks. The nonlinear edit rooms utilized four Avid nonlinear systems with a Yamaha O2r audio console and local audio sources. The graphic rooms were powered by Macintosh G4 computers containing varied graphics programming. Nonlinear-based post-production rooms contained local media storage and were able to share media files via Avid's Unity file server system.

Operationally, a highly efficient workflow model was created. After elements are put together in the post-production support area, the media is transferred to one of the four media preparation/acquisition stations, which were designed to perform high-resolution ingest to the file server, playlist compilation, color correction, captioning insertion and the creation of a tape backup. Some of the support gear includes an Nvision AES subframe router to allow for individual AES channel manipulation, and Snell & Wilcox CPP-100 SDI noise reducers/MPEG pre-processors. Once the media is reviewed and ingested it becomes available for integration into the automation playout list. Three respective time zones are driven by a dedicated playout list with each zone switched through a Thomson Grass Valley M2100 master control switcher configured with two channels of AES audio. The air path was designed with a highly redundant architecture, with each playout path utilizing a pair of Thomson Grass Valley XP video servers for main and redundant video playback to assure minimal downtime.

The technical areas of ingest, post production, media prep and master control were designed with maximum flexibility. The internal audio and video routing systems allow plant operators to share media resources quickly and efficiently.

Through diligent planning and proper equipment selection, an extremely flexible and cost-effective BOC was produced using prevailing technologies.

Design Team

Fernando Portela, director of engineering
Jose Boveda, vice president of engineering and broadcast technology
Cisco Suarez, director of operations

The Systems Group:
Joseph Policastro, project manager
Adam Semcken, senior project engineer
Greg Williams, integration supervisor
John Vasilenko, project coordinator Eric James, senior associate, Gensler

Equipment List

Thomson Grass Valley:
SMS7500WB video router
SMS7500NB audio router
SMS7000 analog audio router
PVS1024 Profile XP video server
M2100 master control system

Harris automation

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