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Discovery Communications’ Creative & Technology Center

Discovery Communications’
Creative & Technology

Communications Engineering (CEI) completed turnkey project services for the design and construction of the new Discovery Creative & Technology Center (DCTC) for Discovery Communications (DCI).

The project consisted of relocating the 24-hour production operation facility to a 54,000sq ft renovated office space. A key feature and design directive was to configure the nonlinear suites for greater creative and scheduling flexibility. The team added support for both NTSC and PAL signals in every suite, along with support for a number of HD equipment and HD signal formats. They used custom auto-sensing reference switching and a dedicated reference router to accommodate the reference needs for these signal rates and formats, allowing every HD resource to select between multiple tri-level reference rates.

Two major concerns drove design structure: providing an immense amount of heat generation and dissipation and maintaining the support equipment for individual suites in as close proximity to the suite as practical. The solution involved creating two medium-sized equipment cores as the heart of the structure. Any signal or equipment can be routed virtually anywhere in the facility. The two cores work together to interconnect all equipment through the facility router and HD transport.

Another goal was to allow for the quick and easy repurposing of any edit suite. To achieve this all rooms terminate to a custom-built break-out panel. The plenum cables connect to jumpers in the rack, which then connect to the equipment I/O. A room makeover simply requires changing jumpers in the core and rewiring in the suite. The structured cabling included running an extensive complement of data cable to all broadcast suites with support and collaboration from the IT department.

Each Avid suite is part of a cluster consisting of its own media storage, computer, audio/video engine and external support VTRs. PAL and NTSC decks are assignable through the router. Each suite is wired for a legalizer for proc amp corrections, ensuring that post-production signals meet Discovery’s technical standards for on-air quality.

Design Team
Joe Strobel, project mgr.
Brinton Miller, sr. design eng.
Paul Sherriffs and Tim Bailey, design engineers
Marcie Serrano, asst. design eng.
Bill Beckner, director of integration services
Vernon Benson and Jeff Bates, integration supervisors
Don Brassell, mgr. of system support
Tom Perrell, system support eng.
Charlie Biggs, systems eng.
Andy Solywoda, broadcast service eng.
Equipment List
Acoustic Systems custom booths
ADC jackfields
Belden cable
Dolby E decoders and interfaces
Gefen fiber-optic cables
ISIS ARS-204 switchers
Leitch: AES/EBU router and master clock
Sony: BVM20GIU, BVM “D,” and PlasmaPro flat-panel monitors, HDCAM, Downconverters
Studio Technologies: Studio Comm Surround monitors, Mic panels
Tektronix: Multiformat generators, Waveform monitors
Thomson Grass Valley: Trinix and Concerto routers, NVISION data router
Yamaha digital mixing consoles Vote Now!