Intelsat, Hurst USA, Remote Telecast Plan One-Stop Shop for Non-Rightsholders in Vancouver

When the world converges on Vancouver in February, rightsholders to the XXI Winter Olympic Games will find their 17-day home in the International Broadcast Center at Canada Place. For the remainder of the 10,000 media representatives in the city, however, Hurst USA, Intelsat, and Remote Telecast are providing a fully equipped workspace in the Vancouver Waterfront Media Center (VWMC). Located on the waterfront just one block outside the restricted broadcast area, the VWMC will provide a home for non-rightsholders who need 24/7 workspace, transmission services, and even live-shot positions for the duration of the Games.

Picture Perfect
“We couldn’t have a better location, being right on the Red Zone but outside of it,” says Remote Telecast President Don Breshears. “We’re on the waterfront a block and a half from the IBC building. We have a large window as our backdrop, and we shoot right through the window, so it makes it look like we’re right there outside, but we don’t have to brave the weather.”

That location, 375 Water St., inside The Landing building, came to fruition after multiple scouting trips to Vancouver by representatives from all three companies involved in the partnership. Intelsat, Hurst USA, and Remote Telecast worked together on Barack Obama’s Chicago Election Night coverage and are eager to expand that relationship into sports come February.

“This partnership is focused on the non-rightsholders who will descend upon Vancouver hopefully en masse and need the services of an injection point, or point of contact,” says Hurst USA President Jeff Hurst. “They will need someplace to play their tapes and do their live shots. We are going to have two live-shot locations set up in this office building with views, and then we’re going to have a mini technical-operations center for tape playback and an all-inclusive workstation offering.”

Getting To Work
Twenty workstations will initially be set up in the VWMC’s 3,000-sq.-ft. space, although Hurst says that, if demand goes beyond that, his team will do its best to accommodate. Each station can be rented for the duration of the Games. The cubicles include telephone, power, and Internet, ideal for a producer and talent to be able to set up shop Feb. 10-March 1, bookending the 17 days of competition. The VWMC will remain open 24/7 during those dates.

Remote Telecast will manage the technical-operations center, which houses a master-control room for tape playout and transmission. Several standard-definition playout formats are available, including Beta SP, Beta SX, DigiBeta, DVCAM, or DVCPro. Clients can also play directly out of their cameras from a designated inject point.

“I’m supplying all the technical crew and camera equipment to build out our master control,” Breshears says,” including tape decks, two cameras, all the cabling we’ll need, lights — pretty much everything to build out a small studio.”

Plenty of Uplink
Hurst will have its technical staff and uplink trucks in Vancouver, offering its clients fully redundant SD/HD mobile Ku-band uplink. Each uplink unit is equipped with standard playout decks, onboard monitoring, and full IFB/PL. Broadcast services are transmitted via the company’s fiber and satellite network and will be available for domestic and international routing via the Intelsat network.

“We’re going to have the satellite truck and then fiber out of the building, so we may have fiber and/or a satellite link from there,” Hurst says. “We have both options right now. Intelsat is the backbone of this because of their global transmission infrastructure.”

In addition to the live-shot positions available inside the VWMC, offering views over Vancouver Harbor toward the mountains or with Canada Place in the background, Hurst’s newest uplink truck will be placed up on Whistler Mountain, providing an option for live shots outside of the building.

“We’ll run the SNG truck anywhere we need to,” Hurst says.

Filling in the Blanks
About half the capacity of the VWMC is already booked, and Hurst expects the rest to fill up relatively quickly.

“I am expecting people to show up in Vancouver and not have a solution to get their feeds back,” he says. “They will be looking around, and we’re going to be right there in town, ready for them to run through the door with a tape and say we’ve got to go!”

For more information about the VWMC, visit www.hurstusa.com.