When Craig Media, Canada's largest, privately owned television broadcasting company, set out to launch a brand-new television station in Toronto (Canada's largest media market), the company's design philosophy was straightforward — build a new facility from scratch using the latest available technology.
The result was a brand-new, dual-format broadcast facility that is now home to Toronto 1, Toronto's newest local television station in more than 30 years. Launched on September 19, 2003, Toronto 1 is an independent conventional television station for and about the greater Toronto area.
Airing in the Toronto area on Rogers Cable 15, in the surrounding area on Cogeco Cable 16 and nationally on satellite cable provider Bell ExpressVu 224, Toronto 1 is an exciting addition to the city's media landscape.
Toronto 1 is about “One Toronto” — the definitive expression of the city's contemporary ideals, voice and vision. With more than 30 hours a week of locally produced programming, this new station not only will reflect the diversity of today's Toronto, it will provide a voice for local and Ontario-based producers and filmmakers.
After winning a license award for Toronto 1 back in April 2002, Craig Media conducted a careful review of manufacturers to provide the equipment for a new SD/HD facility, in consultation with Sound Broadcast Limited (SBL), a Winnipeg-based systems integrator. SBL and Craig selected Leitch Technology as the primary equipment manufacturer. SBL and Craig have enjoyed a long, successful relationship with Leitch, stemming back to the debut of Craig's original broadcast services, including the launch of MTV Canada in 2001.
Craig built a fully integrated system for its new SD/HD facility using a variety of Leitch products that process content entirely in the MPEG domain, as well as flexible platforms that allow for a gradual transition from standard to high definition. Craig installed Leitch multiformat servers, Opus SD/HD master control, NEO and 6800+ SD/HD modular infrastructure products, and the new LogoMotion II SD/HD branding system. They also installed the Juno upconverter, Panacea routers, the dpsVelocityQ nonlinear editor and DPS-575 digital processing synchronizers.
A major challenge was the transformation of the selected location for the Toronto 1 station, an art deco-style structure built in 1942 and situated in the heart of downtown Toronto's emerging east media district. Extensive interior renovations were necessary to transform this historical building into a high-definition-ready, all digital broadcast facility. Ultimately, the fully integrated Leitch system allowed the dual-format facility to operate efficiently and effectively with the highest technical standard possible for the launch of Toronto 1.
With the addition of Toronto 1, Craig Media's broadcasting services are now available to approximately 40 percent of Canada's English-speaking population. The station has a 2003-04 program schedule featuring an array of original shows and co-productions, new network series, a blend of entertainment and variety fare, and a strong assortment of sports programs from NASCAR to Monday Night Football.
Paul East, SBL
Drew Craig, Craig Media
Don Bezenar, Leitch
Leitch multiformat servers
Opus SD/HD master control
NEO and 6800+ modular
LogoMotion II SD/HD brand system
DPS VelocityQ nonlinear editor
DPS-575 digital processing synchronizers