WGBH transitions from vintage A/V studio to serial digital facility for PBS, local TV

In May 2005, WGBH-TV broke ground on its new facility in Brighton, MA, the first step in the station’s attempt for a smooth transition from its vintage analog A/V plant in Allston, MA, to a new serial digital facility. Located outside of Boston, WGBH produces about one-third of PBS’ prime-time programs, and serves the New England area with seven local and one national channel.
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New studio or RF
technology — station

Submitted by The Systems Group Design Team The Systems Group: Belinda Binkley, dir. proj. oper.; Chris Butler, installation supervisor; Chris Gefken, proj. mgr.; Paul Rea, assoc. proj. eng.; John Zulick, sys. eng.
WGBH: Michael Foti, dir. eng.; Joe Pugliesi, maintenance supervisor Technology at work Evertz
MVP multi-image
display processor
X-1201 series routers
Harris
ADC automation
Air Client
Global Media Transfer
Media Client
VTM & TVM test
equipment
Ikegami HTM monitors
Masstech MassStore
Samsung 460P LCD
displays
Thomson Grass Valley
Apex AES router
Concerto TC & control
router
Encore control system
K2 media client and
server system
Maestro master
control switcher
Modular products
Trinix SDI SD/HD
router

WGBH transitions from vintage A/V studio to serial digital facility for PBS, local TV

In May 2005, WGBH-TV broke ground on its new facility in Brighton, MA, the first step in the station’s attempt for a smooth transition from its vintage analog A/V plant in Allston, MA, to a new serial digital facility. Located outside of Boston, WGBH produces about one-third of PBS’ prime-time programs, and serves the New England area with seven local and one national channel.

The workhorse of its new master control room is the Thomson Grass Valley Maestro, because the project called for a master control switcher with internal branding, audio store and character generation. Matched with a Thomson Grass Valley Trinix SDI router, Apex AES router and Encore control, the front end of the Maestro switcher was completed.

Thomson Grass Valley’s new K2 media server and client platform was chosen for ingest and play-to-air servers. The system is configured with 14 channels of SD air/protect and two channels of HD air/protect, with dedicated channels for ingest and QC playout. The system has a total of 7.5TB of online storage (about 120 hours of content per channel) with the ability to push and pull to nearline and offline storage through a Masstech Mass­Store asset management/storage system. The MassStore nearline system itself has a total of 4TB of storage. The Masstech is also linked to a Sony PetaSite SAIT tape library for an additional 50TB of offline storage.

The Harris ADC provides automation. The high volume of ingest and playout required a dedicated ingest device server with redundant playout. Three ingest rooms were designed with Harris Media Clients to perform ingest and evaluation. Harris VTM series rasterizers and TBC and FS control panels give complete control over A/V adjustments. Genelec speakers and an Ikegami HTM series multiformat color monitor complete the experience.

The master control room allows operators to control and monitor all of the eight outbound channels. The main monitor wall consists of six Samsung 46in LCD displays. They are driven by an Evertz MVP multi-image processor that allows operators to view any of its 56 sources in any combination and size, along with fault monitoring. The front console is used for playlist monitoring through Harris’ Air Client. A quad video card is used to spread the list among four VGA monitors, allowing easy viewing of upcoming events. The control panels for Maestro and the Evertz bypass switchers are also available to the operators with a full QC station. The rear console is used for ingest and schedule review. The operators have access to Harris Air and Media Clients, giving them the ability to review upcoming events, schedule records and ingest last-minute content. Both the front and rear consoles monitor nearline and offline file transfers through MassTech’s user interface.