Pac-12 Networks' Distribution Center at Comcast Wholesale Receives Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award
PAC-12 Networks’ new Distribution Center at Comcast Media Center (CMC) has been named the winner of the Network Automation category in the 12th Annual Broadcast Engineering Excellence Awards. This marks the third consecutive year that CMC has received top honors for its pioneering solutions for TV network origination.
The Award, which honors “the industry’s best examples of innovation, high-quality design, and construction,” will be presented by Broadcast Engineering magazine at the 2013 NAB Show on Monday morning, April 8 at its booth (North Hall – N5135). PAC-12 Networks’ Distribution Center at CMC will also be showcased in the magazine’s special March NAB edition.
As part of providing a broad range of technical distribution services for the Pac-12 Networks in collaboration with iN DEMAND, CMC launched seven new HD sports networks from a new environment at its Centennial Colorado facility. Known as the PAC-12 Distribution Center, this environment complements the PAC-12 Network Center in San Francisco. CMC also provides PAC-12 with occasional satellite and terrestrial fiber acquisition, feed record, media prep, content storage, compression/encryption and uplink services.
“We are particularly proud of this honor from Broadcast Engineering and our industry peers,” said Richard Buchanan, Vice President and General Manager, Content Solutions for Comcast Media Center. “The PAC-12 Distribution Center builds upon our expertise in supporting live sports origination to meet a number of complex challenges with solutions that are innovative, quality focused and highly efficient."
A design team comprised of members of CMC’s Broadcast Engineering, Operations and Software Solutions departments and PAC-12’s Technology and Programming units designed the Distribution Center in Denver to allow PAC-12 Networks’ San Francisco staff to produce and contribute file-based content, remotely schedule and segment feed records and to drive programmatic changes as necessary.
To support a flexible staffing model that could expand and contract in accordance with PAC-12’s live programming schedules, the team designed the origination environment to include one command and control master control station for managing scheduled playback of PAC-12 Conference programming and seven individual network live-event “pods” for supporting one national and six regional sports channels. To assist the command and control staff with situational awareness, CMC augmented its award-winning “Heads-Up Display” technology specific to the PAC-12 operation.
PAC-12’s Distribution Center at CMC acquires content from multiple sources, including file-based content from the Network Center in San Francisco, and commercial advertising systems, or scheduled feeds/live events delivered via dedicated fiber circuits set up between the Network Center, conference campuses and the Distribution Center in Denver. This fiber connectivity also allows the Distribution Center to perform disaster recovery for the PAC-12 Networks in the event the Network Center becomes unable to perform its regular functions.
The design addressed a number of challenges that were unique to the PAC-12 Networks’ operation, including the need for geographically diverse control over network automation, media asset management, signal routers and operations management. It also incorporates solutions that allow PAC-12 to sell unique advertising on each of its seven sports networks while airing both common and unique events.
Comcast Media Center’s West Works Studios unit also won an Excellence Award this year, in the Post and Network Production Facilities for the re-design and upgrade of its five production studios and 12 nonlinear edit rooms.
This marked the third consecutive year that CMC’s Broadcast Engineering and Operations teams have won the top Excellence Award in the station automation category. CMC won an award in last year’s competition for its design of the NHL Network’s new network operations facility at the CMC and the previous year for its Multichannel Program Origination facility
Comcast, Comcast Media Center and West Works Studios are trademarks or registered trademarks of Comcast. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners.