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HDNews automates production and control processes

HDNews automates
production and control

HDNews offers late-breaking stories, current headlines, features, national and regional weather, and sports news and highlights exclusively in HD.

The studio where VOOM produces HDNews was originally built for SD production. To meet the needs of HD, the network stripped the old operation and rebuilt it. Innovative design, careful selection of equipment and some custom solutions were necessary to allow them to completely automate the production and master control processes. VOOM selected Diversified Systems to provide all of the engineering design, equipment procurement, integration, installation and documentation.

The first challenge was the timeline. The project began in September 2003, yet needed to be fully operational by the start of 2004. The team began installation immediately, and the effort progressed in parallel with the design, customization and integration of technologies from several vendors.

The design team focused on integrating technologies to support a highly automated operation capable of delivering up-to-the-minute information with minimum intervention from the staff. HDNews produces a live segment once per hour, recorded to server and rotated throughout the hour. The staff needed a method to update the graphics information so it was always current and up-to-date — even if the underlying program was being replayed. The technical infrastructure, however, needed to have the flexibility to handle live shots and news bulletins without making the automated systems go haywire. This was a technical hurdle and an engineering challenge.

VertigoXmedia developed a customized, template-based interface between the newsroom system, graphics systems and playout servers. They developed a solution to embed data cues within the vertical interval of the live and recorded video programs. These cues triggered the Vertigo system to query respective databases for updated information, feed the updated information to the graphics systems and insert the new graphics into the program stream. The network chose ENPS as the newsroom system and the primary user interface for most of the production elements. Engineers create graphics for broadcast through an effective use of templates that connect the Vertigo system, PixelPower, Vizrt and Panasonic graphics systems. Both production and master control HD content is ingested, managed and played out on a Thomson Grass Valley managed area network. 1 Beyond editing systems are connected directly to a SAN from LSI Logic, providing editors with instant access to video resources. Weather information is automatically updated throughout the hour and fed from an AccuWeather system. Equipment from Ipitec and Evertz multiplexes the full-band program stream and transports it over fiber to Cablevision’s uplink facility in Bethpage, NY.

VOOM HDNews went on air as planned in January and expects an expanding viewership as the HD consumer market continues to grow.

Design Team
Milan Krainchich, dir. of op.
William Wright, general mgr. Equipment List
1 Beyond Pro HD editor
AccuWeather graphics system
Leitch: Opus HD MC switcher, Integrator HD 96x72 router
Panasonic: DVCPRO HD100 recorder, AV-CGP500 graphics processors, AK-HC930 HD cameras
PixelPower Clarity graphics
Sony DMX-R100 5.1 surround audio mixer
Thomson Grass Valley: Kalypso HD switcher, XP media platforms
VertigoXmedia: Xmedia server, Xstudio template creation tool, Xnews ENPS plug-in, Xpanel on-air
Vinten: Robotics series 200 control, SP-2000/X-YFree roaming servo pedestal
Vizrt Artist software
Panasonic AV-CGP500 HD render Vote Now!