Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Modernizing and Standardizing Oregon’s Public Broadcasting in a Renovated Production Space

When Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) was looking to update, modernize and standardize their radio and television broadcast platforms, they turned to Diversified. Their goal was to bring to life a production space that drives listener loyalty through genuine, thoughtful and useful content for the community, and the final product needed to reflect careful stewardship of listener and viewer funds.

Diversified was engaged early in the project for conceptual and detail design phase. The project was a build in place, meaning OPB still needed to use their facilities while the updates were being made. This necessitated some orchestration but Diversified managed to deliver all updates while keeping everyone on air. Updated spaces include green rooms used for visitors and talent, voiceover booths, studio sound booths, radio production, sound design production, interview and control rooms, music service rooms, video editing rooms, finish edit bays and an engineering and IT shop.

A multimedia studio became the cornerstone of the new facility due to its ability to be configured to support dynamic live productions. Several audio control rooms were designed around an audio console with 32 faders and 32+ input capacity that provides seamless integration with Pro Tools. This provides multi-tracking capability and presents a standardized surface for audio control and front of house. The production control rooms were built to be incredibly adaptable, encouraging productions ranging from small, quick-turnaround projects with minimal staffing, to more complex setups with a dedicated director, TD, graphics and prompter operator. Lastly, Diversified consolidated all of OPB’s technical systems into the Tech Core. It includes three new facility-wide systems: a redesign and expansion of the existing television intercom system, as well as a KVM switching matrix and fiber backbone for signal distribution.

Not to be forgotten are the public-facing spaces. The lobby was outfitted with a large video wall for easy sign in and communication with reception personnel. Public flex spaces are used for staff meetings, presentations, volunteer events and streaming video conferences. Ultimately, the redesigned building became a highly reliable space that carries the ability to expand and scale.


NAB HQ

National Association of Broadcasters

New Headquarters Designed to Impress & Enhance NAB’s Mission of Innovation and Advocacy

When the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) decided to build its new headquarters on a high-traffic corner of Washington DC’s South Capitol Street, the premier trade association seized the opportunity to make a strong statement about the key role of television, radio and new media in the 21st Century. Supporting its mission of advocacy, education and innovation, NAB integrated more than 200 displays in nearly every space to bring the history and future of the industry to life.

According to NAB Vice President Michael Tow, the new location was chosen to “plant the flag” for heightened visibility of the broadcast industry among policymakers, members and other stakeholders. Diversified and audio visual consultant Miller, Beam and Paganelli, were engaged to help NAB to create an HQ that Tow said truly “wows.” “I think NAB and this project showcases the fact that the technology and the architecture can be married together. That you can have a space that embraces the technology and make it look like it’s a part of the building,” added John Paganelli, principal, Miller, Beam & Paganelli.

After stepping out of the elevator into the 10th floor lobby, guests and colleagues are greeted by technology they likely have never seen before: a transparent LG OLED video wall that allows viewers to literally see through video messaging and TV content to the extraordinary view of the nation’s capital. “It’s really impactful, it creates a statement and a good environment for guests to visit,” noted Michael Burnstein, Northeast Vice President, Diversified.

NAB occupies six floors in total. Nearly every area and room has been updated with LG digital displays and video walls. The technology at NAB’s new headquarters is leaps and bounds beyond what was used for decades at its previous building and far ahead of other trade associations in town. “Being the Nation’s premiere association for broadcasters, we wanted to be sure that we were showcasing new technologies in the marketplace,” said Michelle Lehman, Chief of Staff, NAB. Even more importantly, it aids the organization in their mission to connect with district citizenry and meaningfully affect broadcasting legislation for years to come.





Sinclair Broadcast Group – Bally Sports

Sinclair Broadcast Group: Bally Sports

Preparing for the Future with New, IP-based Media Operations Center to Support RSNs

After successfully rebranding 21 Fox RSNs acquired from Disney to Bally Sports—which alone was among the largest undertakings in the history of the RSN business—Sinclair Broadcast Group faced the added challenge of building a backend technical infrastructure to support the needs of its 19 Bally Sports RSNs as well as YES Network and Marquee Sports Network. Partnering with Encompass Digital Media to house the new media operations center in its Atlanta HQ, Sinclair turned to Diversified to help design and build the 25,000-sq.-ft., native end-to-end SMPTE ST 2110 facility.

While the logistical challenges of transitioning so many RSNs to a new IP-based media operations center in just a few short months would be complex under normal circumstances, conducting this multi-network, multi-venue transformation across the country during a pandemic presented larger and unprecedented hurdles. Still, Diversified was able to leverage talent from its Intelligent Technology, Media Production, Media Workflow and Emerging Technology teams to provide a well-rounded solution from all angles.

The primary operating area is the multichannel monitoring room, where operators monitor feeds coming into master control. Around the outside of this room are 52 live-event pods (40 fully equipped, with room to expand to 12 more in the future). Inside the central equipment room are 84 racks of gear, a much smaller footprint than what would have been needed for HD-SDI, including 104 playout servers (10 UHD) controlled by ADC automation and orchestration and leveraging a red and blue spine-and-leaf IP network. A software-defined media platform manages 71 channels of IP decoding and 24 channels of encoding with video control. Among other key gear are 52 network processors for multiformat conversion and multiviewers; two fully redundant C-band transmission chains with encoders, muxes and control; primary PTP sync with backup; and compliance recording.

Diversified pushed hard to have an organized, efficient project approach that allowed the team to identify blockers that could prevent them from meeting critical deadlines. The company’s approach and collaboration with its vendor partners and clients made this project a resounding success for all.





Sinclair Broadcast Group – Tennis Channel

Sinclair Broadcast Group: Tennis Channel

Serving Up Full SMPTE 2110 IP-Based Infrastructure as Tennis Channel Moves to New Facility

Building a new facility—especially in the middle of a pandemic—certainly has its own set of challenges but add in a complete infrastructure upgrade, and it could be a “break point” for any transition. When the Tennis Channel wanted to move to Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Santa Monica operations center, the network partnered with Diversified to help deliver a cutting-edge network solution leveraging a full SMPTE 2110 IP infrastructure.

“This is a state-of-the-art facility,” says Bob Whyley, SVP, production/executive producer, Tennis Channel. “Where we were [vs.] where we are now is black and white. Our first live show was a month after [the building opened], and we never would’ve been able to do that in our old building.”

To bring the new system to life by December 2021, it was critical for the Diversified team to work in perfect stride with over a dozen vendors and partners, as well as various technical groups from Tennis Channel and Sinclair.

Working against an aggressive timeline, Diversified’s team of engineers, subject matter experts and installation technicians, stood up a total of 5 studios, 3 production control rooms, 11 edit suites, 4 voice over rooms, 2 audio control rooms, a master control room, an executive control room and a central equipment room containing 24 fully populated equipment racks.

“We’re honored that Sinclair and Tennis Channel put their trust in our team and we were prepared to move mountains to hit our goal on-air date,” says Eugene Tuzkov, project manager at Diversified. “This was a significant achievement against a timeline which some thought to be potentially unrealistic considering the complexity of this new technology.”

“Rolling out new technology is naturally always accompanied with challenges, and then add supply chain issues, new and constantly evolving Covid protocols, staffing and various other issues due to the pandemic, and we had our work cut out for us,” adds Chris Smart, senior design engineer at Diversified. “Success here would not have been possible without a strong team and great support from our vendors.”

At the heart of the new design is an Imagine Communications IP-based infrastructure featuring Selenio Network Processors, Versio playout platform and Magellan SDN Orchestrator. Supporting the Imagine system on the production side is EVS for replay capabilities, Calrec for audio, graphics by VizRT and Grass Valley production control switchers. Mission critical monitor walls across the facility are powered by Embrionix, while AVID and Telestream complete the cast of major 2110 players.

While the new facility is a milestone of technological advancement for the Tennis Channel, they remain focused on continuing to improve, adding enhanced workflows for an increasing number of remote productions.





Rogers Sports & Media – Sportsnet

Rogers Sports & Media – Sportsnet

Sportsnet Studios Reimagines the Viewer Experience to Bring Fans Even Closer

When Rogers Sports & Media (RSM) wanted to build new studios that would enable Sportsnet to completely reimagine their approach to traditional hockey broadcast, production and distribution, they turned to Diversified’s team of experts for the consultation and design of two new production control rooms that would drive two new cutting-edge IP-based sports broadcast studios.

Together, Diversified’s Media and Entertainment (M&E) and Toronto-based engineering teams partnered with the RSM Technical Design team to build out the infrastructure, video processing and routing, and display technology based on the SMPTE 2110 IP-routing standard, using an Evertz IP routing to create a futureproof broadcast hub.

“There was no debate [on whether to go IP],” says Pierre Fortin, Vice President, Technology Media and Innovation, Rogers Sports & Media. “The only debate was how to go about it. Do you go multi-vendor and do all that integration yourself, or do you go for a more end-to-end solution stack?”

Ultimately, the new design has brought all of Sportsnet’s hockey operations under the same roof as the rest of its productions, making it one of the largest and most advanced end-to-end IP-based production facilities in North America. Even amid a challenging timeline, a pandemic and global supply chain issues, Diversified leveraged their expertise and resources to keep the project moving, ultimately delivering the completed spaces on time and on budget.

“The timetable for this was very aggressive, and we didn’t have the luxury of making mistakes along the way,” adds Fortin. “We wanted to lean on people who had done this before, so we worked with Diversified as our integrator, and they worked out great.”

In addition to the IP infrastructure, Diversified helped outfit the impressive new broadcast studios with Samsung 1.5mm pixel pitch LED displays in various sizes and configurations along with Samsung large format LCD in 75″ and 98″ sizes including:

  • Two-sided column wrapped LED wall
  • Two curved anchor desk LED displays
  • 50′ wide concave curved LED wall, floor to ceiling
  • Seven 75″ and two 98″ displays, portrait mounted
  • Thirteen additional LED walls between both studios
  • HDR capable systems with two Barco videowall processing engines

“The Sportsnet Studios are for Canada’s sports fans, first and foremost. The investment made in these studios is representative of the way Sportsnet is adapting everything we do to better serve today’s sports fan in the ways they want,” said Bart Yabsley, President, Sportsnet.

The state-of-the-art technology, data capabilities and increased in-broadcast versatility allows the NHL on Sportsnet team to create unprecedented interactive, immersive and innovative content—including virtual and augmented reality offerings—that bring fans into the game day excitement from anywhere.



See it in Action!






Al Arabiya

Al Arabiya

Futuristic News Production Studio Environment Sets Broadcaster Apart from the Competition

Al Arabiya is the MENA region’s leading news broadcaster, particularly with respect to innovation and storytelling. Having been on-air since 2003, the studio and its supporting equipment had largely gone unchanged for two decades. So, the decision was made to overhaul the operation into an automated news production studio environment with an open plan arrangement—a futuristic design that would present many challenges but result in a facility entirely worth the effort.

Diversified was engaged early on to consult with the network and subsequently design, build and integrate a complex control room based on production equipment by Lawo, Ross Video and Viz Mosart. The solution had to be designed for automation of all production and content delivery and allow for multi-studio operations from two separate galleries. Additionally, Diversified deployed a wireless audio system providing microphone and IEM coverage across the studio and newsroom floor. And, although Al Arabiya had used Lawo in the past, they took it to the next level with a comprehensive VSM system to control the entire audio and video infrastructure. To support this, Diversified also deployed a massive fiber network that connected all floors of the building and integrated the Viz Mosart engines into the new video walls throughout.

Working closely with each manufacturer to deploy a next-gen system, Diversified overcame several challenges and accomplished many technical ‘firsts’ in the region including the deployment of an Electric Friend robotic rail system. Controlled by a custom Ross solution, the rail system had to be installed within millimeter accuracy after completion of all studio finishes. As a result, the integration is so seamless that the operator simply selects the desired robotic camera(s) and operates them without having to worry about differences in functionality.

Ultimately, within a short five-month timeline and amid a global pandemic—while legacy systems were still live and being integrated into the new—this modernization project was completed on time and on budget with zero downtime or outages. Diversified’s Dubai team successfully helped Al Arabiya launch a contemporary, state-of-the-art news production studio that not only wows its viewers today but also has the capability to scale and expand with them in the future.




Microsoft Esports

Microsoft

Collaborative Approach To Esports Production Services Amplifies Tournaments & Fan Experience

Microsoft is known for creating immersive and engaging gaming and live event experiences, like esports competitions, where Gamers form teams and battle using best-in-class gaming tools and devices. To amplify these events, they decided to broadcast monthly esports tournaments with fans joining in-studio and online.

Microsoft engaged Diversified’s Emerging Technology and Solutions (ET&S) team to develop the program and transitioned to Diversified’s Global Services team to implement. Drawing on a breadth of experience in broadcast and production, Global Services handles the acquisition and management of the talent and crew necessary to meet the event goals, as well as definition and execution of the overall production plan. Diversified then implements the production and live broadcast, the social media campaign, in-broadcast chat moderation, and Gamer prizing. A post-event report for each broadcast provides Microsoft with performance metrics, a synopsis of the event and key highlights.

Preparation for the series of events included a complete technical audit and proof of performance qualification of the esports & gaming studio at the flagship Microsoft Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Diversified performed remediation of problem areas to bring the studio to an optimal state. Now esports competitions are recorded in the updated studio and live broadcast to Microsoft and their partner channels with subsequent Simulive broadcasts over multiple weeks.

Diversified’s ET&S and Global Services practices position Microsoft and its partners for successful esports events which result in stunning experiences for their record-breaking audiences.




CBS News Washington Bureau

CBS News Washington Bureau

New Downtown Facility and Tech Upgrades Allow CBS News to Expand its Reach in the Nations Capital

The CBS News Washington Bureau, home to the long running “Face the Nation” sought to upgrade its footprint in the U.S. capital through a land swap that involved developer Tishman Speyer acquiring and combining the lot adjacent to the Bureau’s longstanding location in downtown Washington. As part of the multi-phased construction effort, CBS needed a technology partner to design and build a new facility and tech updgrades that would support its series of live and recorded national and international programs for the next 20 years.

Through an advanced design based on an efficient, hybrid IP core facility and highly networked audio and media file workflows, Diversified collaborated closely with CBS to deliver on time and on budget, helping them avoid potential real estate penalties they would have incurred for having to extend their existing lease.

Roughly a year later, CBS decided to move the origination of “CBS Evening News”to Washington, resulting in a requirement for a new studio set within the recently opened Bureau. The facility’s infrastructure had to be expanded and a new graphics processing platform needed to be implemented to support the large number of video walls included in the revised set design.

The new graphics system is based on a VizRT Multiplay Graphics Platform and supports a showpiece studio featuring more than 40 million LED pixels spread across 17 video walls that typically display topical videos and graphics as well as stylized Washington backdrops. The existing Evertz ATP solution was expanded to provide the additional video signal path connectivity between Washington and New York.

Using its institutional knowledge from the previous phase, paired with the engineering expertise the multiple vendor partners are known for, Diversified was able to complete the project within an aggressive timeline and meet all of the high-level facility and tech updgrades CBS had put forward.




Her Majesty’s Theatre

Her Majesty’s Theatre

Restoring the Shine to Australia’s Historic Crown Jewel for New Generations of Theatre-Goers

Updating historical locations can breathe fresh life into them for new generations to enjoy. After enduring prohibition, an unremarkable 1970s’ renovation and two pandemics, it was time for Her Majesty’s Theatre to shine again. When the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust took possession of the historic landmark, they knew that a complete renovation and audio technology upgrades would help cement the building’s legacy for a modern audience.

As part of a A$66 million total rebuild that spared only the theatre’s historic facade and eastern wall, Diversified’s Australian team was brought in to deliver a complete scope of audio technology requirements. “Theatre systems are usually very high end and a highly specified design,” says Nico Van Wieringen, operations manager at Diversified. “For a project like Her Majesty’s Theatre, the pressure is on to deliver the performance and expectations of the stakeholders.”

Focused on delivering an exceptional acoustic experience from any seat in the venue, Diversified worked with Schuler Shook consultation to design and deliver a technology system worthy of a standing ovation. The theater’s new system includes a comprehensive technical cabling infrastructure with custom stagebox and patch panels; a custom stage management console housing paging, venue relay monitoring, cue lights and stage intercom systems; and a performance video relay system using venue long view and low light cameras to relay performances to monitors throughout the venue.

“A fantastic outcome has been achieved across all project stakeholders,” adds Van Wieringen. “From a technical perspective, all of the systems installed and coordinated are in line with achieving the overall acoustic performance, and meeting the Adelaide Festival Centre’s expectations, aligning with their production systems. All project stakeholders are delighted with the outcome and the public’s response to the opening of the theatre has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Although the official unveiling for Her Majesty’s Theatre took place amid COVID-19 restrictions that limited the number of tickets available, this crown jewel has been restored to new brilliance and eagerly awaits the day it can once again greet and awe a full house.




NBCUniversal Boston Media Center

NBCUniversal Boston Media Center

Combining Two Locations & Four Properties into a Single Facility – All Built on SMPTE ST 2110 Standards

When NBCUniversal wanted to update and combine their Boston locations, they engaged Diversified’s team of industry experts to help design and deliver a new facility all built on SMPTE ST 2110 Standards that would enable them to adapt to the future and grow with the industry. With a strict timeline and four properties to go live in the new 160,000 square-foot building, there was no margin for error.

Built entirely on SMPTE ST 2110 standard, the facility is completely engineeredwith a focus on IP and collaboration. The four business units, NBC Boston, NBC Sports Boston, Telemundo Boston and New England Cable News, are supported by five production control rooms, a 12-seat Media Operations Center and a 14-seat assignment desk. With Evertz EXE routing at the core of the facility, it’s additionally outfitted with Ross Acuity switchers, Harmonic play-out and record server channels, 44 live processing paths, SSL System T audio packages and an RTS ODIN Intercom. Ross Xpression is used for news graphics while ChyronHego is used for sports content.

Each of the six studios features a Sony cameras on Ross CamBot pedestals with CueScript prompters. Even the break room is designed to be camera ready if needed. Outside of the studios, the 265-desk newsroom offers NBC a new level of collaboration.

With so many manufacturers contributing to the project, the Diversified team not only managed their own scope but also provided management and coordination services on behalf of the client to support the dozens of vendors working on-site during the extended commissioning process.

Leveraging Diversified’s comprehensive portfolio of services, the team also provided the architectural coordination, structured cabling design and installation, and AV collaboration spaces for the entire facility—including 20 conference rooms and huddle spaces. In total, the facility contains more than 1.5 million feet of cable, 19,000+ connectors, 5 satellite dishes and 595 drawings.

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