Global Television extends boundaries of virtual sets

Canada’s Global Television has implemented an elaborate system of technology to support rollout of HD news broadcasts at 10 of its affiliates that stretches the reach of three regional broadcasting centers by implementing virtual news sets.

At the core of the system are four Snell & Wilcox Kahuna SD/HD multiformat production switchers and Orad's ProSet virtual studio system. The Kahuna switchers allow Global TV to implement virtual sets that use local talent at the various affiliates and centralize production of the news programs at the regional broadcasting centers.

The broadcaster has installed a Kahuna switcher at its centers in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton, where virtual sets are established for all affiliates serviced by the centers.

Local news stories are transmitted to the centers via FTP prior to each broadcast. In the future, the Kahunas will upconvert the stories to HD for playout during news broadcasts. At air time for each program, HD cameras remotely controlled by the centers transmit the image of the local anchors, sitting in front of green screens, via fiber.

Orad's ProSet provides virtual studio backgrounds. Combined with Kahuna effects and transitions, the system produces images appropriate to the program's location and transmits the broadcast back to viewers in the local market. Currently, HD is not available in all markets.

The Kahuna switchers control a continuous stream of local news broadcasts, interlaced with a national news show that airs at multiple times throughout the day to accommodate local time zones.

Editor’s note: To read about Global Television’s recent audio implementation to support its HD telecasts see: “Global Television selects Calrec for audio upgrade at regional news centers.”

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