Out With the Old…

So we are in the middle of upgrading or video switchers in the broadcast control room. We currently have a 20 year old Grass Valley 200 for the broadcast cut and a Snell & Wilcox “Dave” 4:3 SDI switcher we use for IMAG.

Here’s the GV 200 control panel:

And the front of the mainframe. Note the fancy cooling system. That is one of the many things going wrong with this piece of gear. 20 years of service is amazing for a piece of electronics:

Here is the smaller Snell control panel for our IMAG switcher:

And the mainframe for that switcher:

The process is going well. We had the new rack for the new gear in place before the install. Note the contrast between a 20 year bandaid and the new rack. (The guys that work with me hate it when people see this, since it reflects on us. The key here is that this is years of analog timing loops, not simply people being lazy with wire ties. It was like this long before any of the guys on staff now were around.) This is the first step in an overall, long term HD upgrade that will fix a lot of our issues:
back of rack

These pieces are being replaced with one 3ME HD switcher. The Snell & Wilcox Kahuna with 4 full keyers per ME, on board SD/HD conversion, 64 inputs and 24 outputs. The broadcast position will have a 1ME control surface, and the IMAG position will have a 2ME surface. Going from 2 separate switchers to 1 will give us some more flexibility when doing smaller events, and when trying to tie in video sources to be used both on the broadcast and IMAG.

Plus, it will work, which already puts it ahead of our current situation. I will post some images of the new machine soon. In the mean time, we have switched our last Sunday with this great gear. And we are taking a huge step toward full HD production capability.