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This year, Univision Puerto Rico celebrated the grand opening of its new facility, taking its Spanish-language stations from the analog world to an all-digital hybrid HD and SD widescreen environment. AZCAR, engaged in the project for more than five years, supported Univision in the consulting, design and integration effort. The contributions of the local station personnel, Univision’s engineering teams and AZCAR have paved the way to a modern, efficient and file-based multichannel DTV plant. The project involved not only building the studios, news, production and technical facilities, but also retrofitting a temporary site, moving and then operating there for more than three years while the new building was constructed.

Univision now uses its file-based facility to re-edit and broadcast all network-provided content and to create locally produced entertainment and news programs. The Guaynabo facility services the entire island via cable and over-the-air HD broadcast, generating the signals for WSTE-DT, branded Tele-Isla, which transmits over a four-site distributed transmission system, and WLII-DT, a full-power station branded as Univision Puerto Rico. WLII operates a satellite station, WSUR-DT, with another full-power station, locally-owned WORA-TV, which repeats more than 95 percent of WLII’s programming under an affiliation agreement.

AZCAR’s design team worked with local station engineering and management staff, as well as Univision’s group engineering executives, to develop a cost-efficient, automated facility with state-of-the art technology supporting multichannel master control, live production studios and news. The offices and studios occupy portions of a new multicultural arts and entertainment complex complete with a performance theater and a ground floor 70ft by 90ft TV production studio. The studio features audience seating for regular Spanish-language live productions. A second floor 40ft by 45ft studio, plus an adjacent 7000sq-ft operating newsroom, provides for news-related activities.

Designed as a file-based HD infrastructure, the master control, TOC, rack room and engineering encompass 9400sq ft of the building’s basement. Core components consist of Miranda NVISION 5100MC HD master control switchers, Harris ADC automation, Grass Valley K2 air and production servers, Evertz EQX router and VIP-X monitoring and terminal distribution equipment, Clear-Com intercom, Tektronix signal measurement, and MassTech’s MassStore/MassTransIt suite of asset management tools.

The news and production systems are composed of Grass Valley K2 EDIUS, Apple Final Cut Pro and Quantel sQ server/editorial platforms. A Sony MVS-8000 production switcher configured for SD widescreen supports the legacy SD camera systems, with a Euphonix System 5 MADI-based audio mixing console for sound. Studio and field content is shot and edited in widescreen, and then upconverted at playout to HD.

Once the technical systems were designed, AZCAR built out the new facility in less than four months. With the site commissioning and staff training completed, Univision went live in late September 2009.

  • New studio or RF technology – station
    Submitted by AZCARDesign teamUnivision WLII-TV and WSUR-TV: Charlie Marino, dir. of broadcast IT sys. development; Michael Drazin, special proj. mgr.; Mike Gano, dir. of broadcast technology; Jeff Staigh, assistant dir. of eng., corporate; Ira Goldstone, VP eng.; Larry Sands, president and general mgr., Puerto Rico; Andres Diaz, VP eng., chief eng., Puerto Rico
    AZCAR: Al Marlin, proj. mgr.; Andrew Cox, lead eng.; Patrick Gordon, installation supervisor; Paul McManama, lead CAD
    Technology at workAvocent: KVM matrix
    AVP: AV-D232 series jackfields
    Clear-Com: Intercom
    Euphonix: System 5 MADI-based audio mixing console
    Evertz: EQX router, VIPX monitoring and terminal equipment
    Grass Valley: K2 production/air-servers, Edius production editing
    Harris: ADC automation
    Masstech: MassStore, MassTrans-IT MAM systems
    Miranda: NVISION 5100MC HD MC switcher
    Quantel: sQ server
    Sony: MVS-8000 production switcher
    TANDBERG: E5710 encoder, TT1260 IRD
    Tektronix: 7000 series measurement
    TSL: Tallyman
    Wohler: Audio monitoring

© 2009 Penton Media, Inc.