Global TV’s Upgraded All-Fiber Facility Goes Riedel
Riedel Communications’ Artist Digital Matrix Intercom System
is the focal point of Global TV’s recently updated studio complex in
The system includes 6 Artist mainframes (nodes) connected via fiber, over 80
control panels, Performer Digital Partyline and Connect Solo telephone
Global TV, a division of CanWest Global Communications Corp,
broadcasts via 10 television stations and reaches 96% of English-speaking
The network is the Canadian home to many popular shows such as Survivor, 24 and
Entertainment Tonight, as well as producing
Canada’s most-watched news
program. Recently, the company upgraded its
Toronto facility with a focus on employing
only the best cutting edge technology. Products that used fiber
cost-effectively were considered especially attractive because of the plant’s
physical layout. The resulting design produced a high-tech studio complex
unparalleled in North America.
Gary Hodder, the Broadcast System Designer on the project,
explained that Riedel was in a unique position to meet Global TV’s needs.
The decentralized architecture of the Artist intercom system, with its
integrated fiber solution, was one of the key reasons for choosing the
product. In addition, the system’s ability to route broadcast quality AES
audio and incorporate IP-based solutions for remote locations were important
factors contributing to Global TV’s decision. “All the features are
excellent,” Hodder summarized, “Riedel has a very viable product.”
As indicated by Hodder, both the features and
cost-effectiveness of Artist are unique on the market. Nodes of various
sizes connect via fiber to form a single decentralized non-blocking
matrix. Each individual node is populated with Client Cards for
interfacing to a variety of control panels and audio formats, including 4-wire,
AES and MADI. The control panels are connected digitally to the
mainframes bringing AES audio all the way to the panel over either CAT5 or coax
cabling. Multiple other interfaces provide access to POTS and ISDN
telephone lines, Audio-over-IP and professional two-way radios.
At Global TV the Artist system includes 1 x Artist 128
mainframe for the central machine room, 3 x Artist 32 frames for the location’s
three control rooms and 2 x Artist 32 mainframes for the building’s two
studios, all connected via fiber and together forming a single matrix.
The system was laid out to allow any mobile units using Artist to dynamically
join this matrix by simply connecting a single fiber, thus eliminating the need
for complicated tie lines. When this is done the truck’s intercom becomes
fully integrated with the larger matrix as if it were a permanent addition to
the fixed installation, offering virtually unlimited communication and audio
routing between the truck and the plant. This straightforward solution
saves time, headaches and money. Mobile Video Productions (MVP), another
division of CanWest, has already ordered an Artist system for a new mobile
production truck in order to take advantage of this feature.
Throughout the facility, Global TV installed a variety of
Riedel’s control panels, which are known for their superior design and
exceptional audio quality. For most positions, Global choose Riedel’s
signature 1000 Series panels because of their integrated 8-character, in-key
LED displays and individual volume controls for each key. The
installation features both the RCP-1012 and RCP-1028 rackmount versions of the
panels. These were supplemented with a number of 2000 Series LCD panels.
Global also purchased a full complement of Performer Digital
Partyline equipment, including C3 beltpacks and C44 System Interfaces.
The Performer C3 beltpack offers all of the features expected in an
old-fashioned 2-wire beltpack, such as dual channels, XLR cabling, and ease of
use. Yet because of its digital technology, the C3 provides these
features with crystal clear sound and without the need for any 2/4-wire converters.
This results in a quieter system that is easier on both end-users and