AZCAR to design new HDTV facilities for Turner Entertainment Network

Turner Entertainment Networks (TEN), part of the Turner Broadcasting System, has awarded systems integrator AZCAR Technologies with a new contract to complete design studies and engineering documentation for the creation of a high-definition television network originating from its digital headquarters in Atlanta, Ga.

AZCAR completed the conceptual and detailed design for the 193,000 sq. ft. network headquarters facility in 1999-2001. It serves as the origination point for TEN’s 19 cable networks (channels)--for both the U.S-domestic and Latin and South American markets--and has additional capacity for well over 60 more. As designed by AZCAR, these new channels will include digital video, wideband 1080i HD, and stereo and multi-channel audio.

The headquarters building, which now originates all Turner Entertainment Networks (e.g., Cartoon, Boomerang, Turner Classic Movies, TBS Superstation, Turner South, TNT, including overseas networks for Latin America), as well as WTBS, is based on large Grass Valley router switchers from Thomson and video servers from Pinnacle Systems for all program and commercial playback.

To handle the hundreds of video feeds internally, TEN has installed nine Grass Valley Trinix routers, each configured at 128x128. A number of Grass Valley Venus routers are also deployed for audio signals, which distribute video with embedded audio files and separate audio elements.

The new facility is also being designed for surround sound and will likely include embedded Dolby E audio distribution to accommodate 5.1 channels.

The new contract will be completed by the end of this year and the resulting systems will provide the basis for further extension of TEN programming initiatives in HDTV for U.S. distribution. Equipment implementation--a large quantity of Snell & Wilcox signal processing modules and Sony SRW-5000 VTRs--is expected to be completed by the first half of 2004. The system designs will include new (Pinnacle) server ingest, live program integration control rooms, and fault-tolerant master control facilities.

AZCAR designed and implemented the first network HD facilities for ABC in New York in 1998, and has completed HDTV and DTV projects across North America for commercial and non-commercial broadcasters. The company has had a relationship with TEN and CNN since 1980.

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