QVC Italy's new HD broadcast facility in Milan is one of the most modern, functional and highly intuitive broadcast systems in the world. Based on comprehensive design ideas and detailed technical specifications provided by QVC for the entire system, TSL built and installed the system for QVC's new service to Italy, which went live on Oct. 1, 2010. At launch, QVC Italy reaches more than 18 million Italian households 24 hours a day with 17 hours of live programming. The channel is available on all primary distribution platforms: digital terrestrial television and on satellite via Sky Italia SpA and TiVu Sat. The launch boosts the home shopping network's global reach to approximately 200 million homes.
QVC Italy includes two identical live control rooms and four live studio floors, totalling more than 950sq m, plus one of the world's largest studio-based moving track lighting grid systems. Prebuild and testing took place at TSL's facility in Maidenhead, UK. QVC provided a large, proprietary scheduling, automation and asset management system with which all other technology was integrated.
The facility also makes extensive use of a highly customized TSL “Tallyman” professional tally and UMD management system, which interfaces with mixers, routers and multiviewers to provide the ability to throw facilities, at the push of a single button, from one live control room to the other. It is critically important that production at QVC Italy proceeds smoothly at all times, with no glitches from capture to transmission. Any miscommunication resulting in the incorrect designation of a presenter channel to a live studio or control room could, in this environment, have an effect on revenue.
The inherent flexibility of TSL's Tallyman system was evident in the degree of customization required to meet QVC's requirements and is central to the new facility. Tallyman's touch-screen control panel provides the ability to throw any of the key operations, instantly with the push of a single button, from Live Control 1 to Live Control 2, and vice versa. QVC Italy's new facility was a highly complex system to develop and test, but incredibly smooth and intuitive once installed. The project was divided into nine areas, three of which were due for July 2010 handover, with the other six due for September. Instead, TSL handed over seven areas — all of which QVC accepted — in July. The remaining two areas were also delivered ahead of schedule.
QVC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation attributed to the Liberty Interactive Group, is one of the largest multimedia retailers in the world. QVC is committed to providing its customers with thousands of the most innovative and contemporary beauty, fashion, jewelry and home products.
New studio or RF technology — station
Submitted by TSL
QVC Italy: Mattias Brahammar, VP, TV ops. and leader of QVC eng. team; Malcolm House, sr. consultant and proj. leader
QVC Japan: John O’Neill, VP of TV eng., and his chief engineers
QVC UK: Leo Smith, broadcast proj. mgr.
TSL: David Phillips, managing dir. and proj. dir.; Andy Appleyard, project mgr.; Paul Busby, video eng.; Rob Milchem, audio eng.; Phil Cooper, control eng.; Nick Smith, network eng.; Jim Binks, video eng.; Andrew Pearce, video eng.; Jason Needham, video eng.; Steve Moore, installation mgr.
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