For decades, the MSG Network was housed within the famous Madison Square Garden arena, in the heart of midtown Manhattan. As part of Madison Square Garden’s ongoing transformation, MSG Media had the unique opportunity to build a first-class, state-of-the-art television facility. MSG Media spent the past year transforming the network into a fully high-definition, 3-D-ready facility with 3G infrastructure and extended tapeless workflows — all while maintaining continuous operations.
MSG Media turned to The Systems Group (TSG) to plan, design and implement the network transformation with an additional focus on completely integrated and enhanced production and post-production workflows. Expansion also included lighting dark fiber to interconnect the existing, temporary and planned Garden television broadcast service panels, announce positions, studios, and camera positions located throughout the arena to the mobile production truck dock, as well as to the production and post-production facilities built at 11 Penn. TSG worked closely with the MSG Media team to plan and create temporary workflows and systems that would ensure operational continuity during the multiple relocations.
Harris provided the majority of core infrastructure technology. MSG Media had previously replaced its SD server operations facility with Harris’ high-definition NEXIO server and nonlinear editing system and used Harris to provide the glue for MSG Media’s first local HD production control room. It was a natural progression to use Harris technology to light the large capacity dark fiber run to interconnect the Garden and 11 Penn facilities, as well as to interconnect the production, post-production, studios and rooftop camera systems located in 11 Penn. The project also provided the ideal opportunity to enhance the NEXIO server system with 64-bit technology, as well as to provide multiple playout and ingest control points and improve production and transmission server workflows. Harris also sourced a new digital signage platform for use at the Garden and 11 Penn Plaza and partnered with Dixon to create new digital logging capabilities to further reduce reliance on tape-based content.
TSG fostered collaboration between Harris and Metamedia that resulted in the integration of a Final Cut server system with XSAN and Mac Pro graphic content creation systems. The integration of Apple and Harris products has significantly improved the ability to share content between graphics content creation and production/post production while all but eliminating sneaker net, greatly reducing videotape dependence and increasing content production.
The implementation of fiber optics into the heart of MSG Media provided a wide bandwidth that interconnects the Garden to 11 Penn via dual, diverse fiber connectivity; provides an all-HD environment with a 3-D-capable backbone; and streamlines MSG Media’s content sharing between its interactive, creative and production teams, saving time and money. This bandwidth is maximized by the care taken to ensure that all the routing and “glue” were also capable of passing the bandwidths needed for 3-D production. MSG Media produced the first live-to-the-home 3-D hockey game earlier this year.
Post & network production facilities
Submitted by The Systems Group
MSG Media: Gerard Passaro, SVP network operations & dist.; Michael Mitchell, chief eng.
TSG: Scott Griffin, principal and VP eng. & tech.; Belinda Binkely, dir. proj. operations; James Tome, sr. sys. eng.; Christian Dam, sr. sys. eng.
Technology at work
Apple: Content creation system with XSAN and Final Cut Server automation
Avocent: KVM platform
Chyron: HyperX3 graphics
EVS: Production server
Grass Valley: K2 server
Harris: 6800 series modular systems, CENTRIO multi-image processing, Nucleus and Navigator asset management, NEXIO server, Platinum routers, PPC and ICS playout and ingest control, Velocity nonlinear editing
Image Video: UMDs
Riedel: Artist intercom
Solid State Logic: C132 HDS mixers
Sony: HD studio cameras, MVS8000G switchers, monitors
Wohler: Audio monitoring