Diversified Systems completed a major upgrade for Microsoft Production Studios (MSPS) in Redmond, WA. The project expands the existing stage, control room and distribution systems to enable 1080p60 HD multiformat production. Much more than a high-end, HD update, the systems are designed around 3Gig progressive video formats, thus completing the migration to a full file-based workflow that offers services not only to Microsoft but to outside clientele as well.
The HD upgrade is part of a multi-phase series of projects. Updates to three stages included Sony HDC1500RLD cameras with Canon lenses and associated video shading areas, which serve as the staging point for configuring new innovations in Microsoft products and technologies ahead of live studio productions. The production control room is outfitted with a Sony MVS8000X switcher, NEC S461 monitors driven by Miranda multiviewers and Sony PVM2541 OLED monitors. Surround and stereo audio mixing employs live mixing consoles and Pro Tools for DAW-editing and sweetening.
The MPAA-certified technical center was updated with Evertz 5601MSC redundant sync generators, EVS XSDPH 3Gig video servers connected to the Data Direct Networks SAN, an Avocent HMX KVM matrix feeding into Ensemble Designs BrightEye Mittos for 1080p screen captures, Miranda NVISION FR8576 router, and Miranda terminal equipment. The MSPS facility also serves as the preparation and compression services arm for Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE, where motion picture releases and gaming products are compressed for delivery to users in high-resolution, progressive scanning formats with adaptive bit-rate encoding. MSPS houses the technical facilities for not only the post-production and live stage production services, but also serves as the coordination and transmission point for conference special events on and off campus. Additional services are enabled by the new Sony cameras, configured for use throughout the Microsoft campus carried over a fiber enabled network of bi-directional signal transports and control systems.
One of the key updates involved outfitting the entire infrastructure to use high-resolution video and computer systems, provisioned through a centralized video monitoring system comprised of 3G screen capture equipment, enabled for remote access from nearly anywhere in the building. Ensemble Designs' BrightEye Mitto scan converters and Avocent HMX desktop extenders over IP through Cisco network switches permit flexibility and adaptability for the integration of computer-based videographics systems into HD conventional video formats supporting SMPTE 259 (SD), SMPTE 292 (HD) and SMPTE 424/425 (3Gb/s) standards. The facility now links and enables a full file-based workflow over GigE and Fibre Channel to numerous editing suites, the DDN SAN and an LTO-tape based archive.
The design and implementation was completed in nine months while production operations continued. The facility now provides studio, editorial and related production services to clients needing full-service production/post-production, transmission and distribution services.