Aragón TV - New set - studio - renovation 2023

In this rostrum, Carlos Martín, exploitation manager of Aragón TV, conveys in first person the keys to the latest renovation of the chain, which includes the transformation of all the sets at its production center in Zaragoza.

In Aragón TV we just finished changing all our production control equipment and sets, which had been active since television was inaugurated in 2006. It is a project that includes cameras, video mixers, sound tables, monitoring, titling systems, augmented reality, virtual sets... We have given a whole lap to everything that is produced in our main center here, in Zaragoza.

This plan started in 2018. At that time, we already knew that we needed to renew some of our material, which was beginning to be obsolete. That year, the first market study was carried out and it was decided what the structure of the specifications would be like, although the pandemic delayed the entire process.

We decided to divide it into 16 lots: cameras, optics, video tables, sound tables, auxiliary material... If you take out a global project, in the end they are destined for the large integrators of the country, but if you choose to divide it, you can have greater control over each of the parts and increase attendance.

All these changes we've made on the progress, without stopping our production, within one year. (...) As I tell my people, we have changed the 16 wheels to a truck when it was going 120 on a highway non-stop and we have achieved it.

The decision was positive, and we do not regret it, since thanks to it we have obtained high quality products and very first brands in each of the elements we needed. But we cannot deny that this has led to a significant burden, not only administrative, but also installation, assembly and coordination. And it is that the lot of the installation was left deserted, which meant that the four people that make up the exploitation department have taken care of all the engineering, integration and installation.

All these changes we have made on the fly, without stopping our production, within a year. We rented some temporary booths that we had in the set hangar and from there we controlled the sets while we finished installing the new ones. As I tell my people, we have changed the 16 wheels to a truck when it was going 120 on a highway non-stop and we've done it. And the truth is that, without a team as good as the one I have, this would not have come out as a joke.

Aragón TV - New set - control - studio - renovation 2023

Renovation of studios 1 and 2

our two main courses, of 300 and 600 square meters, have been updated with cameras LDX 92 of Grass Valley with their XCU and CPR. We have also chosen optics Fujinon and changed all the CUE to new systems of Autocue. This commitment to new cameras also extends to our news set, and to our virtual set, although with peculiarities as we will see later.

Even so, the biggest changes have been in our three control rooms, which have been updated with the same elements in triplicate. We have installed the Grass Valley Kahuna as a video mixer; the Artemis Light sound mixer from Calrec, provided by COEL, and the system Vengeance of Ross Video as routing central, which has been a discovery. Apart from routing the studio signals, it serves as a multi-screen for control monitoring. In addition, it embeds and unembeds all the audio in MADI, with which we have removed a lot of equipment.

The installation has improved to wiring level an outrage and it's a bet on the future at the level of versatility.

Another very notable aspect is that we have transferred practically everything to fiber and now the only copper that we transfer is the reference. we have put chests albalá conversion from copper to fiber both in continuity, as well as in controls and sets. We have had to remove approximately 50 or 60 kilometers of cable and we have replaced it with only two runs of 100 meters of 24-wire MPO fiber.

We have made this renovation of the installation with fiber optics because we think that today with it you can pass the signal that you want: internet, video, audio... The installation has improved a lot at the cabling level and it is a commitment to future in terms of versatility. Also, we can now route the signals so that we can take a signal from any camera and set, and use it on any set. Therein lies the possibility!

Aragón TV - New virtual set - studio - control - renovation 2023

Changes in the news studio and the virtual set

The reform of the news studio, from which we have already broadcast our electoral specials, was imminent, but it was accelerated because the “roof practically fell off”. A beam began to creak and that made us undertake its renovation with greater haste. We moved the news production to one of the two program sets and, taking advantage of the circumstance, we have carried out a comprehensive work.

Aragón TV - New set - studio - renovation 2023

The height of the set has been increased to be able to illuminate better with a suite of Skypanels of ARRI connected to an Art-Net network; The surface area has been increased to 335 square meters, and we have placed production control in a new room attached to the set. We have also opted for the Grass Valley LDX 92, but unlike in program production studios, we wanted to sensor all the cameras with a system Mo Sys and with heads of Vinten provided by Moncada and Lorenzo. In this way, we can continuously send tracking information and connect it to our graphics systems. Brainstorm, for augmented reality, and Avid Maestro for the degree.

The scenography It has also changed with a large screen 18 meters long by two meters high Alphalite integrated by Average data: It did not come out in the general tender that we mentioned before, but it was an additional batch.

This transversal renovation also reaches our Virtual environment, that the truth is that it was a set that was not used much. The sensor system was very old and, although the software was Brainstorm, the same one that has now won the tender, it dated from 2007 and that was very noticeable. The new system we have installed now covers both InfinitySet and Aston 3D rendering. We sensorized the system with a Mo-Sys for the crane and Vinten pedestals for the other two cameras.

Other relevant changes in the update of the three sets is the installation of the Systel IP system for AEQ to ensure compatibility with Dante; the acquisition of a body of wireless beltpack microphones from Electro Sound, and other equipment such as CCU zero grade monitors from Sony, solutions of Tektronix

And in the future?

Over the next few years, our idea is to continue maintaining a constant renewal process to update everything that may become obsolete.

We have to go ahead with these renovation projects, and look at the IP technology and what I call the "Internet Channel" to bet on a platform OTT that we will feed from our production equipment.

On our agenda is the renewal of our Avid production storage systems; build one virtualization system to be able to set up a convergent virtualization system in which to load our different software, or finish off a project of automatic captioning in which we have already advanced with the collaboration of several companies.

In short, the studies have been the most outstanding actions undertaken in this phase of our transformation process, but we cannot sleep. We have to go ahead with these projects, and look at the IP technology and what I call the "Internet Channel" to bet on a platform OTT that we will feed from our production equipment. Much work remains to be done.

Aragón TV - New set - study - control - Carlos Martín

Carlos Martin

Head of exploitation of Aragón TV

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By • 13 Jun, 2023
• Section: Audio, Catchment, Study, graphics, Lightning, grandstands