ECHO TV HQ / Hungary

The Task

The task was to design and implement a new HQ for Echo TV (a Hungarian news channel) to host their modern, file-based playout infrastructure and the studio facilities for news and magazine programmes. The old infrastructure was running in SD/4:3, so the purpose was to reach the latest technology level of broadcast. Apart from installing the system, the complete workflow was re-designed to enable a state of the art tapeless HD workflow for fast turnaround times for the news production and to leverage the creative editorial potential for the magazines with their new studios.

This project, where the sole contracted system integrator was Broadcast Solutions Hungary (BSH), was the biggest Hungarian private television investment since 2007.

The Challenge

The main challenge was to establish a novel way of video production in close partnership with the journalists, editors, technical and creative management team. Echo TV required two studios with LED walls, locally and remotely operated cameras, ARRI LED lighting, advanced graphics, a complete studio automation solution, newsroom and post-production solutions. Each of the studios had to have dedicated control rooms, and a third technical room for the playout control was also requested. Broadcast Solutions Hungary planned the broadcast systems and coordinated the project from the beginning till going live on December 4, 2017 – which happened with zero on-air technical issues.

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The Solution

The core of the video system is a 240x312 SAM Sirius 840 hybrid router with integrated multiviewers. The live production relies heavily on the audio and video processing capabilities of the router which simplifies the glue infrastructure significantly.

The studios have 11 Sony HSC-300RF and 4 HDC-P1/A//U cameras in total, with SAM Kula video mixers and Allen&Heath D-Live digital audio consoles in the control rooms. Ingest and playback is done with an Imagine Communications Nexio system (NXPA290P servers, FTP and MOS gateways, MOS Playlist Manager, ICM). News programmes are created with the help of a VizRT Mosart MOS Automation solution and a TNT Studio Control system. On-air graphics is handled by Grass Valley Intuition XG servers. The communication between the production team members is facilitated through a Clear-Com Eclipse Intercom system. 

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Post-production is based on an Isilon X210 central storage with five nodes and GV Edius editing clients (13 craft editors and 30 newsroom clients). The editing and file delivery process is orchestrated by Maestro (a custom workflow engine, developed by Broadcast Solutions Hungary). It simplifies and automates the manual steps in content creation (e.g. Ingesting of files from SxS memory cards, archiving materials to the IBM TS4500 tape library) and enables users with a non-technical background to achieve reliable results. The news content is created in the Octopus newsroom system which has 80 seat licenses and dozens of integrated news-sources. The scheduling of the events is done in the PlanAir traffic system. The playout is based on SAM ICE channel-in-a-box servers, controlled by SAM Morpheus automation. A VSN Broadrec compliance recorder is used for creating and preserving proxy videos for the Media Authority.

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Furthermore, Broadcast Solutions Hungary provided a customised power measurement and control system, which is monitoring the electricity network of the broadcast infrastructure and makes operation easier and more reliable.