"The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" relocates to house larger laughs
In just two weeks, the entire cast and crew of “The Daily Show” moved from NEP Studio 54 into a new space across town in New York City from the smaller digs it had occupied since 1998. New construction to prepare the facility and make room for expanded offices and production space began in January 2005 and spanned six months.
John Chow, NEP Studios’ vice president of engineering, oversaw the engineering project. The show desired to have all of the production rooms located on the same floor. Also, the graphics workstations are now located close to the editing systems so that the staff can collaborate on projects more effectively.
The show's producers wanted the tape operators to be able to see the control room, so a hole was cut and a window built between the two. In most cases, the show's staff would rather communicate across the rooms to one another than send and grab a file off of a network. However, the staff does have access to a Telex/RTS Matrix intercom system with wireless intercoms units.
Chow also supervised the purchase of new digital production equipment, as well as the transfer of existing systems to the new facilities. The facility, however, did not go completely digital. (It’s 601 digital and AES with analog video and audio layers.) There's a Grass Valley Venus analog router with dozens of Grass Valley Gecko signal conversion cards and numerous Betacam SP decks in use. However, it does take advantage of several digital islands — for editing (Avid Media Composer Adrenalines) and graphics (VizRT|Trio, Quantel Paintbox, three Adobe After Effects workstations with Xsan, etc.) — connected via a GigE connection. Five Avid workstations share material via a LANShare server with 2.88TB of storage.
The show also uses five Grass Valley M-Series iVDRs (two record and two playback channels, with 16 hours of 25Mb/s storage per unit), Profile servers (eight channels), TiVo DVRs and four digital betacam VTRs to capture images off-air for use in the show. The editors also use Sony DVW-M2000 and DVW-A500 source decks.
A new Solid State Logic C100 digital audio console serves as the centerpiece of a retrofitted audio production room. The new version 2 software includes expanded I/O capacity and TouchPan, a feature that allows Lustre to have full 5.1 panning access on every channel from the console's central touch screen.
A renovated control room features a four M/E Sony DVS-9000 SD production switcher, fully loaded with 80 inputs and 48 outputs. Images are stored for each night's show on a Pinnacle Systems Lightning server, which can be called up through the switcher for insertion into the show as well. Ikegami monitors fill out a comprehensive monitor wall, where the director and TD sit and call the shots.