The Teaching Company
The Teaching Company, based in Chantilly, VA, is a producer of educational courses distributed on DVD, audio CD and other media formats. The company moved its office and production facilities to a new location in Sterling, VA, in April 2009. Professional Products Inc. (PPI) of Gaithersburg, MD, designed, engineered and integrated an upgraded production and post-production system for The Teaching Company’s new facility. The main goals of the new facility are to allow the Teaching Company to produce in HD video and expand its production capacity. This should accommodate the consumer market’s demand for HD content.
The new production facility includes two television production studios, two video control rooms, a technical equipment core, a video mastering work area, a new XSAN storage system and a Fibre Channel network that supports post production on Apple Mac Pro workstations.
The new production system has been designed for HD 16:9 video productions using the 720p format. In the new studios, there are three HD cameras mounted on a movable jib, which allows wide cover shots as well as some overhead angles. The studio cameras and microphones are fed to an HD production switcher and a digital audio mixer. The program output of these devices records directly into the new XSAN and a DVCPRO HD VCR.
The ingest servers can encode audio at 24-bit resolution into its own unique file on the server. As a backup to the main program file generated by the ingest server, program audio is recorded on a multichannel Fostex DV824 digital audio recorder. The program audio is also recorded onto a DVCPRO HD tape, which allows full audio and video restoration should something happen to the original master production file.
A new Apple XSAN system has been used in the new facility because of storage demands. This XSAN consists of 14 Promise arrays totaling 105TB. The new storage allows The Teaching Company to produce at its current production schedule with HD data rates without impacting or disrupting its workflow.
New studio technology — nonbroadcast
Submitted by Professional Products Inc.
PPI: Rick Winde, exec. mgr., Designed Systems Group; Chuck Heffner, sr. app. eng.; Bob Myer, sys. des. eng.
Teaching Company: Todd Tolbert, VP of tech., Brandon Hidalgo, CEO
Technology at work
Apple: Storage system
Biamp: Mixer and amplifier system
Gallery: Digital ingest server
Harris: Timing equipment
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