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Daystar turns to a scalable infrastructure

Daystar turns to a
scalable infrastructure

The Daystar Television Network, the second largest Christian television network in the United States, serves 55 TV stations. In January 2004, the network made its transition to digital, moving into a brand-new building equipped for digital operations.

The engineering team evaluated, selected and integrated solutions for the facility’s new studios and control and edit rooms. The network has been buying stations rapidly, its numbers doubling each year until two years ago. The advanced network infrastructure the team put in place required scalable systems that could match this growth, which has continued at a rapid pace.

The new infrastructure uses PESA Switching Systems routing switchers and Pinnacle MediaStream 8000 servers. They are managed and monitored by Miranda Technologies master control systems, to bring feeds from cameras to production, the control room and to audio engineers. Upon realizing that its 256x256 PESA Cheetah routing switcher would not be able to accommodate the facility’s signal volume, Daystar worked with PESA to bring in a larger 512x512 Cheetah. The new digital routing switcher handles SDI, HDTV and other non-standard digital signals in a single frame.

The network is also using PESA’s TDM large-scale audio routing switcher and building it out to 512x512 as needed. The network relied on PESA gear for broadcasts in its old facility and brought some of that gear, including a 48x96 RM5000 analog router, over to the new facility to route signals for the building’s security system.

The team also upgraded the facility’s Pinnacle 700 series server to the MediaStream 8000 for use as an on-air master control server with 1500 hours of storage — four times the storage available with the network’s previous server system. A second smaller system serves as a production server.

Two Miranda Presmaster 2 multichannel master control switchers are at work in the network operations center (NOC) to handle the facility’s local television station, the network feed to satellites, the fiber feed to the cable companies and other projects.

Seven Miranda Kaleido-K2 multi-image display processors — three located in the NOC, three in production and one in audio — enable monitoring of feeds throughout the facility. The company’s iControl is used for monitoring and control over IP.

A Raritan system installed on the computer network gives up to 64 workstations and 128 computers (expandable to 256 computers) — through password protection — access to every computer system used for engineering. This in turn allows engineers to see all of the facility’s processors, automation, servers, graphics, intercom and other devices.

PESA, Miranda, Pinnacle and Raritan helped Daystar modify its infrastructure when it became clear that it was expanding much faster than expected. Now, with flexible and highly scalable systems serving as the foundation for its broadcast operations, Daystar can continue to expand with confidence.

Design Team
Steve McNeal, dir. of eng.
Jeff Little, sr. network and communications eng.
Charles West, sr. prod.eng.
Wayne Cook, sr. digital video systems eng.
Frank Thomas, digital video systems eng.
Tom Phillips, display systems and documentation
Equipment List
PESA: Cheetah routing switcher, TDM audio routing switcher
Pinnacle MediaStream 8000 servers
Miranda: Presmaster 2 multichannel master control switchers, Kaleido-K2 multi-image display processors, iControl monitoring and control, SDI converters, A/D, D/A
Raritan Computer remote access system
Hitachi Z-3000 cameras Vote Now!