New studio technology — network
Communications Engineering Inc.
WOSU: Tom Rieland, general mgr.; David Carwile; dir., planning and business initiatives, associate dir.
CEI: David Giblin, VP and general mgr.; Tom Hackett, proj. mgr.;
Burt Hill Architects
Technology at work
Avocent AMX5010-AM KVM matrix
Barco OverView displays
Chyron HyperX HD/SD CG
Cisco Catalyst 144-port gigabit IT switch
Euphonix Max Air audio console
Fiber and modular terminal gear
MVP-40 multidisplay processor
Image Video TSI-1000 tally processor
RTS Cronus intercom Sony
MVS8000 switcher TBC custom furniture
Tektronix SD/HD waveform monitor
Thomson Grass Valley
K2 HD video server
WOSU at COSI combines education, entertainment and HD broadcasting
In early 2005, WOSU, the Columbus, OH-based PBS member station, signed an agreement with Center for Science and Industry (COSI), a popular science center, to construct a digital, HD media facility within the 320,000sq-ft COSI building.
WOSU’s plan was to construct a TV production center that would engage visitors with interactive displays, plus work with and complement the station’s main studio at the Fawcett Center several miles away.
The project was challenging because the media center would not only be used as a cutting-edge production facility, but also as the focal point for a variety of public activities. The space would have to be visually appealing, compelling and accessible. The project would have to meet the budget requirements of a PBS station. The media center, covering 12,000sq-ft, would include an HD production control room, TV studio, HD edit systems with shared content, a combination exhibit/studio space and several media viewing areas.
The center was completed in 2007 and serves as multimedia studios and community space. It includes a media literacy lab for digital media and technology activities coproduced with COSI. Visitors can watch live productions and participate in a wide variety of workshops and interactive exhibits.
The facility features complete digital functionality with studios, control rooms and production areas for TV, radio and Internet technologies. A unique part of the facility is the system’s multiplexed connection by a single fiber-optic link to WOSU’s Fawcett Center, enabling simultaneous broadcasts, communications and control from both locations.
The station brought in Communications Engineering, Inc. (CEI) to handle the design, integration and equipment installation for the new center. A key component of the facility is the 2000sq-ft Battelle Studio, which produces TV programming and airs live events. The studio is separated from the adjacent TV exhibit area by a movable, six-panel wall with windows that allow visitors to watch as programs are being produced. The wall can be removed to create a space for special events.
The TV exhibit allows visitors the opportunity to explore the art and science of television production through multilayered video that can be modified by using digital effects and the use of chroma and luminance keying.
The video control room has a large window that offers a view from the exhibit area. The adjoining audio control room looks into the TV studio. A camera shading room is located next door. The facility can accommodate three nonlinear edit suites with shared content storage. Fiber drop points throughout the building enable live broadcasts from any exhibit area, making it a 320,000sq-ft HD production studio.