Tech News

Comcast Media Opens HD Live Event Pod
The Comcast Media Center’s (CMC) new HDTV Live Event Pod, one of the first in the country, is operational and already busy acquiring and editing live HD events. Capable of processing multiple HD events simultaneously, the fully equipped facility can ensure that graphics, audio, and other technical specs conform to the look and feel of other content on the network televising the event. Origination also involves replacing the event’s local advertising and interstitials with the network’s content.
The CMC is currently originating sporting events appearing on iN DEMAND’s INHD channels, including Major League Baseball, soccer, and the UEFE Soccer Tournament. The CMC also operates a standard definition sports origination facility and handles out-of-market sports packages for most professional and college sports leagues.

Broadcast Engineering Track Announced For GV Expo
Educational sessions will address PSIP, PMCP, and AAF/MXF at the upcoming Government Video Technology Expo in Washington, DC, October 6 and 7.
The three-session track on Thursday, October 7, has been specially designed for broadcast engineers in the Washington, DC area and will take an in-depth look at PSIP, PMCP, and AAF/MXF integration. The conference and expo will be at the Washington Convention Center.
The “Understanding PSIP” session will begin with “PSIP for Broadcasters: The Importance of Getting It Right” by Art Allison, NAB director of advanced engineering. Richard Chernock, senior member of the technical staff at Triveni Digital, will cover “PSIP Tables 101,” where attendees will learn how to get PSIP right by learning how to read and understand the PSIP table structure.
The “Understanding PMCP” session kicks off with “Programming Metadata Communication Protocol Standard” by Graham Jones, director of communications engineering with the science and technology department, NAB. Christopher Lennon, program manager responsible for standards compliance and strategic alliances within the automation division of Encoda Systems, will follow with “PMCP: The Need for Coordinated Exchange of PSIP Data.” This session will show how PMCP aides in the coordination of PSIP data between various broadcast equipment to help eliminate errors and provide the best possible viewing experience for the DTV public.
In the afternoon, Wayne Cole, from Government Video magazine, presents “Understanding AAF/MXF,” where attendees will learn how AAF and MXF are revolutionizing how media is processed and managed and how AAF and MXF can be implemented.
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HD Up, SD Down
A new market forecast released by nordahl. tv shows an 18% increase in dollars spent on HD editing and finishing products for 2004, with more than double that amount projected for 2005.
Tore B. Nordahl, author of The First Annual North American Pro-Video HDTV Transition Report, spent more than 500 hours researching, analyzing, and authoring the report, which was released last month. The report focused on actual and estimated sales of the suppliers to the market.
After researching and analyzing more than 60 companies supplying various nonlinear pro-video products to the North American market, Nordahl developed the very base level of market size for the 2003 calendar year. The 2003 North American nonlinear pro-video market was nearly $1 billion.
The most robust segment relative to size and HDTV transitioning is the editing and finishing segment, where Nordahl forecasts a significant decrease in SD dollar sales in 2005, providing a massive transition to HD products and systems.
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Twister Hits, MyWeather Keeps Ticking
Late last month, tornadoes swept through the Midwest, one of which made a direct hit on the MyWeather headquarters in Madison, WI. More than 200 television stations rely on MyWeather to provide their viewers with services such as severe weather alerts, essential weather information, and personalized weather pages. These services continued uninterrupted as the tornado pounded the MyWeather headquarters with debris, broke windows, sheared trees, and blew cars around in the parking lot.
“When we learned that MyWeather headquarters in Madison was hit by the tornado I expected some outages in the homecast service” said KELO meteorologist Brian Karstens. “As it turns out, their main computer service is housed in a bunker-like facility that protects it from natural disasters.”
Chris Kelly, vice president of premium services at MyWeather, received a severe weather alert. “I was sitting at home when I got an alert on my cell phone saying a tornado warning was issued for ‘WORK.’ It wasn’t until a couple minutes later that I heard the tornado warning sirens go off.”
In addition to the MyWeather facility (which is shared by sister company Weather Central), several homes and other businesses were damaged in the tornado. No injuries were reported.