Faced with the challenge of doing a complete HD upgrade while maintaining its SD broadcast, WNJU Channel 47 successfully completed an infrastructure build that included new production and audio control rooms, a station router, new graphics and studio sets.
The engineering team, located in Fort Lee, NJ, the flagship television station of Telemundo Television Network, designed and integrated the new facility entirely in-house without using third-party management or integration services. This allowed creative flexibility to design and accommodate as needed while controlling cost.
WNJU was conscious of the needs of all of its departments. It worked closely with its production and news teams, as well as other staff during the entire design process. It was important for WNJU to be inclusive, creating an atmosphere comfortable for the whole team, right down to lighting and color of the new ergonomic chairs.
WNJU faced many challenges. In order to realize the desired adjacencies, the existing control room was moved to a new location in order to make way for the new one. Faced with limited rack space, on-air equipment had to be relocated, while new equipment was installed in its permanent location. A comprehensive plan was developed to share content and sources in both the existing SD and new HD infrastructures.
Adding some complexity to the build, structural changes in the facility needed to be completed in order to accommodate new furniture and equipment. Old sets were migrated to different areas of the studio to allow for construction of new sets. Overall, the advantage of managing the project internally outweighed any disadvantage, giving WNJU the ability to customize and adjust on the fly while maintaining news and broadcast operations during the change.
The new control room was custom-designed from top to bottom. New desks and consoles were incorporated, along with a new theatrical acoustical ceiling. To reduce heating, new dimmable LED lighting was installed in the production control and audio rooms. For the director and OverDrive Automated production control system operator in the control room, a pod-type workflow was created. It was important to ensure that the APC operator could navigate through the equipment easily while maintaining necessary lines of sight with crew and monitoring. The new audio board allowed creation of access tiers for operators, depending on their experience and abilities. WNJU strategically laid out the monitor wall to achieve optimum line-of-sight for control room staff, while still incorporating it as a backdrop for part of the main set.
WNJU’s new set consists of LED, plexi and brushed aluminum, giving it a polished new look. Implementing vertical monitors and RGB light boxes around the set allowed the color of the walls to change as needed. A whole new WSI weather and traffic system was integrated and displayed on a new multi-view monitor wall. Wireless microphones were upgraded to low-profile body packs, which made the talent happy.