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ABS Updates Washington Co. Control Room

Improves TVCTV meeting coverage

SEATAC, WA.—Professional video and audio systems integration firm Advanced Broadcast Solutions has overhauled one of several control rooms use for coverage of city council meetings by Tualatin Valley Community TV, a division of the Metropolitan Area Communications Commission.

ABS was tasked with reducing the equipment footprint, modernizing the technology and installing equipment for current production needs and potential future HD production needs.

From its two-studio facility in Beaverton, Ore., TVCTV produces public, educational and government programming for cable subscribers in 15 cities and Washington County. TVCTV produces more than 400 local programs for its five cable channels annually, in addition to live coverage of city council meetings for eight cities.

With aging equipment in all of its local city council control rooms, TVCTV plans to update each location over the next few years. The first project was the Washington County Board of Commissioners, which would serve as a template for the other facilities.

Located in the county administrative office in Hillsboro, the control room was the oldest. According to Thaddeus Girard, TVCTV production services manager, it had been crammed into a small space along with IT equipment behind the dais. Equipment had been packed into a 12-foot rack and an Anthro equipment cart, which housed an Echolab switcher, camera control units and black-and-white monitors.

Not a total rebuild, the project focused on replacing outdated video equipment; the new system would have to work with the legacy audio gear. Plus, there was only a short window between board meetings, about four days.

The old rack is still used but is no longer filled to capacity. A Broadcast Pix Granite 1000 serves as production switcher and CG. All jurisdictions use Inscriber-based graphics, so the Granite’s built-in Inscriber CG provided a seamless transition. Various CRT monitors were replaced with two 42-inch LCD monitors. The Washington County operation was also upgraded to a file-based workflow, with meetings recorded to AJA Ki Pro recorders.

ABS also replaced four older Panasonic SD cameras with AW-HE120 HD/SD PTZ cameras in the auditorium, but mounting the cameras posed another challenge. Freight and commuter trains run very near the building, so ABS had to take special precautions to ensure the lighter cameras would not shake from the vibrations of the trains. Instead of multiple CCUs, all camera control is now handled through one unit in the control room.