Corus Entertainment (Corus) is one of Canada's most successful integrated media and entertainment companies encompassing world-class animation studios; television service and radio station studio and production facilities; and sophisticated cablecasting master control facilities. Corus faced the challenge of segregated, operational work groups located in 11 disparate locations within the Toronto area and envisioned a single facility, known as Corus Quay, that would harness innovative technologies into a highly efficient, fully integrated, 100-percent digital infrastructure.
The Systems Group (TSG) was commissioned to execute the detailed design and integration of that vision to both support current operations and allow for future growth. It worked closely with Montana Engineering, Siemens, and the Corus Entertainment engineering and operational teams.
TSG specified and procured a range of equipment to satisfy the technical requirements of the new facility. Careful attention was paid during the detailed design and equipment specification processes to ensure that the diverse equipment would work flawlessly together as a single system while retaining the flexibility necessary for future growth. Evertz VistaLINK PRO was implemented as a complete and comprehensive entirely SNMP-based signal monitoring and equipment configuration solution along with EQX core routers with format-independent data paths, MVP multi-image display processors and 3G modular systems. RTS ADAM provided robust intercom functionality that can grow linearly as users are added. Extensive Avocent and Thinklogical KVM implementations were selected to support the various needs of the core infrastructure and post-production operations. NEC provided the monitor wall displays on TBC Consoles' support structure. Ikegami HDTV/SDTV multiformat LCD monitors were used in critical view environments. OmniBus iTX, a fully integrated, multiformat content delivery system, serves as the transmission technology. Videotek VTM series, Ward-Beck AMS and OmniTek OTR series monitoring products were used in test and measurement and QA stations.
An added challenge for TSG's design and implementation teams was the seamless integration of existing Corus equipment, such as Final Cut Pro and Digidesign components for 18 offline edit rooms, six online edit rooms and four voice-over booths, into the facility without disrupting ongoing operations. The design and integration efforts also incorporated Corus new purchases such as all 200 rack systems from EMF, as well as equipment for the two control rooms, including Ross Video switchers, Sony cameras and a Euphonix audio mixer. All servers and MAM technology were furnished by Corus and implemented under the control of Siemens IT Solutions and Services.
The new consolidated workplace facilitates efficiencies, economies of scale and redundancies not previously possible. John Cassaday, president and CEO, Corus Entertainment, recently stated, "Corus Quay gave us the opportunity to transform the operational and technological processes that underpin our business. Our fully integrated digital infrastructure provides Corus with the agility to respond to our customers' needs in a changing marketplace."
Post & network production facilities
Submitted by The Systems Group
Corus Entertainment: Bruce Cowan, dir. of eng.; Kevin Harkins, technical lead-broadcast, post & production; Kevin Marchand, technical lead-media ingest, IT; Eugene Quon, technical lead-master control
Montana Engineering: Lou Montana, principal
Siemens IT Solutions and Services: Marcos Gonzalez-Flower, global head, media consulting
TSG: Chris Mehos, principal; Paul Rogalinski, exec. proj. mgr.; Frank Geraty, eng. mgr.; Dave Jennings, John Bunton, Krystina Jennings, Todd Pekala: design eng.; Craig Tabler, integration mgr.
Technology at work
Avocent: HMX KVM
AVP: Audio and video jackfields
Bose: 802 series 111 speakers
Euphonix: ML530 studio audio mixer
Evertz: 500, 3000, 7700, 7800 framed modular systems, EQX, MVP; VistaLINK PRO
Extreme: Summit IP switches
Harris: Videotek TVM and VTM series test and measurement
Ikegami: HLM series displays
NEC: P461 displays
OmniBus: iTX master control automation and playout
Quantel: EQ online edit systems
Ross Video: QMD 3ME production switchers, open gear modular
Sony: LMD series monitors, Studio 1500 HD camera systems
Thinklogical: Velocity KVM
Ward-Beck: AMS16 series audio QC monitors