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ABS enables Radio Show in HD for Comcast

When does AM radio reach the quality of HD television? In Seattle, it’s happening simultaneously for one radio station.

Advanced Broadcast Solutions, a systems integration firm, was tapped for the design and installation of a video production facility in order to also broadcast radio sports in HD. KJR All-Sports Radio, a Clear Channel AM property, went HD to permit Comcast SportsNet to televise the call-in radio show for Comcast HD subs in Seattle.

The show airs weekdays on the AM dial and (since last summer) the cabler’s HD tier from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

ABS had been tasked with building (and redesigning) the main studio, an MC, and a "sports update room" in no more than three weeks while continuing live daily AM operations. Among some of the design challenges, ABS said, were configuring the new TV facilities within a minimum of space that typifies a lot of radio operations — including low ceilings that were barely 8.5 feet, which can be tricky when lighting for television (especially for HD).

Traditional lighting was out because, among other things, studio walls could not be modified, so ABS said it decided to use Philips LED lighting fixtures because of their small footprint small and high-light output.

Special wall and floor mounts also were built in order to place cameras out of sight — cameras that included five Panasonic units (AW-HE100 HD/SD). Three cameras were placed within the main studio, one in the sports update area, and the last one in the MC. (The cameras are switched using a Broadcast Pix Slate 1000Ghh 1 M/E integrated production system.)

ABS said it added delay-boxes to adjust for HD sync, and (since it is a sports call-in show) to block any possible profanities that may be uttered.