Sports Talk: Inside look at SportsTime Ohio

SportsTime Ohio, the new home network for the Cleveland Indians, is just in its second week but Steve Warren, assistant director of baseball operations for WKYC (the local TV station that houses the network) and SportsTime Ohio says it has already been a great learning experience. He spoke with SVG s Ken Kerschbaumer about the gear and the early days.

What exactly is the relationship with WKYC?
The station s facility is less than five years old and SportsTime Ohio took one of their control rooms, gutted it, and made it HD. Rather than build our own facility it was more cost-effective to operate here.

What kind of gear was put in?
We have a Sony 8000 HD production switcher, six channels of EVS LVS, four other channels of replay servers and a Chyron Duet for graphics. We also have 42-inch plasma screens for the preview monitors and some 17-inch CRT monitors as well.

Are you doing graphics in native HD?
We have HD graphics and that s made it a challenge because you need two sets of everything, like graphics and animation elements, because we re working in both SD and HD. But next year we hope to move everything over to HD.

Which of your games will be produced in HD?
All of our homes games will be done in HD with 12 Sony cameras. All the cameras terminate at the ball park in a 22-foot camera control facility with the CCUs and then the signals are sent to the station via fiber.
As for road games, all of them will be standard definition except for the ones that air on WKYC. Those will be done in HD and we’ll be using a production truck from Lion Video in Columbus, Ohio that has a Grass Valley Kalypso production switcher.

Do you think using different switchers for home and away will cause any problems?
I don’t think so. We ll have local technical directors and they’ll be familiar with the Kalypso and other gear in the truck.

What’s been the highlight so far?
I ve been fortunate to be working with an incredible group of engineers here at the station. They’ve done an amazing job technology wise to make sure that both the SD and HD broadcasts look as good as possible. And not only do we have a great engineering staff but the graphics people are great too.

We’re just really looking forward to the whole season. It’s going to be a challenge but also really great.