‘Video gamers network’ installs digital desk in new audio/video control room
LOS ANGELES – May 2007 —
As the burgeoning console and computer gaming community found its online voice, Comcast–the cable giant behind E! Entertainment Television–responded to the need for a TV channel dedicated to this increasingly popular obsession by creating G4, which in 2006 ranked as the fastest growing network on television.
Comcast is currently in the process of building a brand new production control room at its Los Angeles facility on Wilshire Boulevard for G4, the centerpiece of which will soon be a Studer Vista 8 live production and broadcast console. “We expect great things from this digital console,” enthuses E! Entertainment Director of Engineering David Gaudino, who is supervising the installation project. New Jersey-based Diversified Systems is handling the system integration for Comcast, working to infrastructure designs developed by Gaudino and E! Entertainment/G4 staff.
Originally devoted to the world of video games and its related lifestyle, G4 has now expanded its focus to also include general-interest programming targeting the highly sought-after 18-to-34-year-old male demographic. “We are available in more than 60 million cable and satellite homes throughout the United States,” Gaudino explains. “G4 offers a mixture of acquired material and both taped and live programming from our in-house studios–the latter of which will be handled by the new Studer Vista 8-equipped production control room.”
The facility’s existing control room also boasts a Studer digital production console–in this case, a D950. “We almost went with another D950 for the new audio/video control room,” the director of engineering recalls. “But as soon as we saw the Vista 8 with its Vistonics™ interface at last year’s NAB Convention, we were sold. By the time we finally struck our deal with Studer USA, we had no doubts that the Vista 8 was the best choice for us.”
“We require the flexibility and re-assignability of a digital console, plus easy-to-use control and system operation,” Gaudino stresses. “We are very excited about our 40-fader Vista 8 system, and look forward to getting some shows under our belt.”
The new all-digital production system comprises the Vista 8 control surface, DSP Core and D21m input/output rack, plus a monitoring frame and CPU. G4’s new Vista 8 can accommodate 32 analog microphone, 32 analog mic/line and 48 AES-format digital inputs, with routing to user-configurable analog and digital outputs. “We also plan to use the Vista 8’s built-in audio router to handle I/O selection,” Gaudino says. “Our main router currently only handles video connections, so that function within Vista 8 will be very useful and is sufficient for our needs.” In addition to analog sources, the facility is equipped with Sony Digital Betacam (DigiBeta), 360 Systems DigiCart replay systems and a disc-based server that replays audio and video sources.
The Vistonics user interface is designed to dramatically reduce an operator’s learning curve. Channel controls comprise a screen with integral rotary controls and buttons, plus a touch-screen area immediately below. Channel-specific controls–fader, mute, on/off buttons and so on–are arranged above and below the TFT screen to form an instant overview. Unlike competitive designs, Vistonics provides a simple-to-understand paradigm: “Where you look is where you control.”
G4’s new audio/video control room will be used eight to ten hours a day, five days a week to prepare a number of pre-recorded shows as well as the hugely popular
Attack of the Show
, which screens live each weekday at 7:00 p.m. EST, with a repeat three hours later to Pacific-zone viewers. “With that type of live and pre-recorded schedule,” Gaudino reasons, “we need high reliability in a console. Studer has always responded quickly to our service and support requirements. Plus, the company has a sales office close by in Northridge, so we can be back up in less than four hours, should something untoward happen to the console.”
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Studer Professional Audio GmbH, founded by Willi Studer in 1948 and headquartered in Regensdorf, Switzerland, is a leading manufacturer of digital mixing consoles and other high-end products for broadcast and recording applications. A subsidiary of Harman International Industries, the company’s products are distributed in the US by Harman Pro North America (HPNA), which also distributes products for Soundcraft. Distribution of Studer’s products in Canada is handled by Studer Canada.
About the Harman Pro Group:
The Harman Pro Group (
) is the world’s largest provider of professional audio products and system solutions for commercial sound, contracting, tour sound, recording and broadcast, musician, portable PA and cinema applications. The Group is headquartered in Northridge, California and includes industry leaders AKG Acoustics, BSS Audio, Crown International, dbx, DigiTech, JBL Professional, Lexicon, Soundcraft, and Studer. The Group is part of Harman International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE: HAR), a leading supplier of high-quality, high fidelity audio products and infotainment systems for the automotive, home and professional markets.
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Studer USA / Harman Pro North America
8500 Balboa Boulevard, Northridge, CA 91329
Tel: 866.406.2349 / Fax: 818.920.3208