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CPTV’s multicast mix of SD and HD

New studio technology - network

CPTV’s multicast mix of SD and HD

Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) grew to a statewide public TV broadcaster, becoming Connecticut Public Broadcasting (CPBI) when it joined forces with Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR) in the 1970s. Significant changes in technology and the organization’s growth served as reasons for the facility’s recent move and major upgrade. Ascent Media was selected to design and build a new technical infrastructure.

CPTV runs as a multicast operation, originating its analog service, four SD channels and one HD channel from broadcast headquarters in Hartford, CT. Signals are fed to four transmitter sites located around the state. Connectivity between sites is a combination of fiber, microwave and (for radio) telephone links.

New systems were designed and built for HD/SD SDI routing, production control, master control, ingest, camera shading, studios, feed record and transmission. Existing Avid systems were relocated for editing and post-production.

Two production studios were installed in a newly constructed first floor annex with three Sony HDC-930 HD cameras. Three Sony HDW-750 field camcorders are available to either augment the primary cameras or be used for separate productions.

Adjacent production control rooms are based on a Sony MVS-8000 HD/SD switcher system and a CRT-based monitor wall cost-effectively shows SD and HD content during productions. Two audio control rooms, based on a Sony DMX-R1000 digital audio mixer, are capable of producing stereo and 5.1 surround mixes.

The network operations center (NOC) and transmission equipment rooms house more than 40 racks, containing the broadcast technical infrastructure, which includes a Sony HDSX-5800 SD/HD SDI router with embedded AES and a separate RS-422 layer — all under OmniBus control.

Master control and ingest operations are based on OmniBus automation with an Omneon Spectrum video server while a Miranda Presmaster master control switcher using SD and HD Imagestores provides on-air signal processing and switching. A MassTech MassStore archive management system controls a StorageTek L700 tape library and also provides low-res proxies. A pair of Miranda K2 multi-window display processors with Clarity Lion DLP-based rear projection displays support HD and SD outbound signal monitoring. Adjacent to the Clarity displays are five racks of CRT monitors for inbound feed and off-air signal monitoring.

Three SD/HD ingest workstations are located in the NOC, each containing an OmniBus computer, video monitoring and Videotek VTM series QC equipment. Behind the operators is a row of racks containing VTRs of various formats to handle all of CPTV’s ingest and dubbing needs. To access the various servers, workstations and computers, a 64x16 KVM router from Raritan was installed, enabling operators to control the system throughout the facility.

By building the new system and then forward feeding it from the old building, transmission continuity was assured. The facility switched to the new system in the middle of a program segment — seamlessly.

Design TeamTechnology at Work Connecticut Public Broadcasting: D.A.V.I.D. radio automation Meg Sakellarides, CFO MassTech MassStore archive Haig Papasian, VP eng. and op. Miranda Presmaster MC switcher Kim Grehn, general mgr. (WNPR) Omneon Spectrum server Gene Amatruda, dir. op. (WNPR) Omnibus automation Ascent Media SAS radio routing and mixing Tom Michales, proj. mgr. Sony router, cameras, switcher Bert Swackhamer, proj. eng. Chris Crummett, design eng. Jerry Stalder, design eng. Chris Finn, proj. leader/supervisor
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