Grass Valley spices up Mexican Sports Network

Estadio TV, an all-sports channel, is now on Sky satellite television from a brand new facility in Mexico City that features a full complement of Grass Valley digital production equipment from Thomson. The $4 million project includes nearly $1 million in Grass Valley digital cameras, switchers, servers, routers, news production systems, craft editors, and signal processing equipment.

This new all-Grass Valley digital production facility includes three K2 media servers linked via shared storage to four Aurora news editing seats. The new site also houses four EDIUS craft editing systems, three LDK 400 cameras (on triax), a KayakDD video production switcher, a Concerto Series router (64×64 matrix with embedded audio) and 11 racks of Gecko signal processing modules. Additional desktop control software includes a Grass Valley Encore control system, as well as Aurora Ingest and Aurora Playout news production software working seamlessly with Estadio TV’s ENPS newsroom system.

Comtelsat, a distributor of Grass Valley products and systems, supplied the facility’s digital production equipment as a turnkey solution, which helped get Estadio TV on the air quickly. The entire facility—including four edit rooms, a shared storage newsroom, control room, production studio, and wiring and custom furniture—was built in six weeks; from initial construction in mid-December 2006, to the inaugural broadcast on January 29 of this year.

“Estadio TV is very happy with the new tapeless workflow, said Israel Gomez, director of sales and marketing for turnkey solutions at Comtelsat. “The facility is operating smoothly and seamlessly, and they are impressed at how the Grass Valley equipment is working together,” said Gomez.

Estadio TV, is using the technology to produce four hours of live sports talk shows and sports news highlights per day. In addition, Estadio TV produces additional interviews before and after events such as live soccer games from around Mexico, as well as games shows on the weekends. This content is being aired exclusively on the Sky satellite network (channel 501) as part of the satellite broadcaster’s exclusive soccer and all-sports package offering.

Comtelsat has been a distributor of Grass Valley systems for 12 years and has built a number of large facilities with Grass Valley equipment throughout Mexico. “We are always eager to recommend the technology in order to help our clients achieve their goals. The equipment is reliable and gets the job done,” said Gomez.

Several years in the making, Estadio TV was co-founded by Francisco Javier Gonzalez, the channel’s main anchor and program director; and Juan Carlos Rodriguez, director of business and administration.