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WHYY-TV enhances production capabilities in two control rooms

WHYY-TV, the PBS member station in Philadelphia, has installed Broadcast Pix Granite live video production systems in two control rooms.

Earlier in 2011, WHYY added a Granite 5000 when it converted the control room in its Content Production Center (CPC) into a multimedia resource for live production. A Granite 1000 is also at the heart of the Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons, an 8000sq ft interactive learning environment that opened last summer.

The control rooms in both areas, along with other systems within the Commons, were designed by RJC Designs, a Maryland-based technology consulting firm. In the Commons, which includes classrooms, field equipment and multistation editing rooms, a large multimedia studio space can host community and membership events, as well as interactive seminars, or it can accommodate a live audience of up to 300 people.

“With Granite’s built-in Fluent workflow tools, we can create a fantastic multimedia room experience for organizations that lease the Commons for diverse special events,” said Bill Weber, vice president and CTO for WHYY Public Media Weber.

In the Content Production Center, WHYY produces a number of original programs, including “First,” a 30-minute newsmagazine that was recently named best television newscast in Delaware by the Delaware Press Association. However, the station does not produce a daily nightly newscast, so in the past the control room was dark much of the time.

“To leverage the capital investment in the space, we decided to take a unique approach to the design of our new HD control room,” Weber said. “Instead of the traditional consoles, we installed a collection of activity pods that can be used together during a production or used independently for content creation when the studio is not in use. Broadcast Pix Granite made the configuration possible because of its unique approach to file management.”

Granite is the heart of the Visual Image Pod, which is located near the monitor wall and serves as the technical director’s station. A small audio mixer is positioned next to the production switcher control panel, though the station added a separate audio room with a multifunction audio processing system for more complicated projects. Other pods in the control room are tasked for ingest and library management, graphics, and producers.

WHYY is also developing a Web Pod to support the creation and streaming of a second program that is different from the broadcast production, and to provide a direct workflow to social networking tools and additional resources to improve its online presence.

“With 2 M/E and multiple outputs, Granite gives us the functionality we need,” Weber said.