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Washington State Legislature Gets $3.4M A/V Overhaul

Advanced Broadcast Solutions builds out public affairs studio to stream in all HD

TVW, the Washington Public Affairs Network, worked with ABS on a complete conversion of its facility from SD to HD, including renovating three control rooms and adding a fourth.

OLYMPIA, Wash.– TVW, Washington state’s public affairs network, has undergone a $3.4 million studio overhaul with the help from Seatac-Wash.-based systems integrator Advanced Broadcast Solutions. The network provides gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Washington state legislature.

The overhaul included upgrading TVW’s three control rooms and master control, as well as a new fourth control room and two new mobile production units, all HD-capable. “Most of our equipment dated back to TVW’s inception in 1995,” explained Renee Radcliff Sinclair, president of TVW. “We simply couldn’t upgrade our SD equipment anymore.”

The updates to the three existing control rooms were designed to reduce the number of personnel needed during production. To achieve this, a Broadcast Pix Mica 1000 integrated production switcher was installed, offering a multiviewer, an array of computer graphics, clip stores, and the ability to control external devices.

The new fourth control room is used for production of TVW’s signature daily program, “Legislative Review” and online “Capitol Headlines” news briefs. For this control room, ABS installed a Broadcast Pix Granite 5000 system integrated production switcher and four Panasonic AW-HE130 PTZ cameras mounted to four Telemetrics Televator elevating pedestals. In addition, custom 13-inch LCD prompter systems were attached to each PTZ camera.

“The quality of the product is so much better and viewers are very positive about the changes,” said Sinclair, who used the new fourth control room for this year’s election coverage.

The two new mobile production units each include a Broadcast Pix Mica 500 integrated production switcher, Panasonic AW-HE130 PTZ cameras, Roland M-200i compact digital mixing console and an AJA Ki Pro portable file-based recorder–all built onto a rolling rack, so two-person crews can cover meetings of state agencies and other committees away from Washington’s Capitol campus.

The overall A/V system TVW works with is quite extensive. “The whole process is highly integrated,” said Mark Siegel, president of ABS.

Signals from 49 PTZ cameras across 15 meeting rooms, including the floors of the legislature’s senate and house, are sent over fiber to TVW’s master control room, where signals can then be routed simultaneously to one of four chosen control rooms with software from Telemetrics. The PTZ cameras, on top of having a SDI-HD out, each have their own independent IP address so they can each be independently streamed. TVW also archives all of their legislature recordings, in addition to streaming them online, using a GV STRATUS content management system.