The Academy Awards is one of the most anticipated televised events worldwide. With a viewership in the 10s of Millions, the pressure to produce a flawless show is immense. But for TV Guide Network now Pop TV, there is an added challenge: The offices that host its post-production facilities in Hollywood and Highland are closed the weekend of the Oscars due to the proximity of the Kodak Theater. As a result, TV Guide Network has been forced to produce telecasts without access to its permanent infrastructure – offices, computers, and editorial systems – for the past six Academy Awards.
When TV Guide Network approached DZ Solutions to discuss its Oscar broadcast, DZ Solutions Account Executive Mike Somich knew they faced a distinct challenge. “This was a very unique set-up. It was a high pressure job and we had no room for error,” he said. TV Guide Network needed to set up a portable Post-Production facility with an infrastructure that could support the editing staff and production team, and it had to be done in a very short period of time.
As an added challenge, 2011 was the very first year TV Guide Network would broadcast in high-definition, which requires a more technically robust solution than standard definition. Delivering the Goods DZ Solutions answered the call and fulfilled TV Guide Network’s laundry list of needs: They built a 32TB Apple XSAN Network with seven edit bays, six digitizing stations and four compressor stations. Each edit bay included an 8-core MacPro, two Apple LED monitors, an AJA Kona3G card, MAudio Speakers, XSAN, Final Cut Studio and a 25.5″ Panasonic Broadcast monitor.
The digitizing stations also included six Panasonic P2 card readers to complete TV Guide Network’s workflow. DZ Solutions provided temporary fiber runs to each bay, and Brocade Communications provided fiber switches for the network. DZ Solutions had three engineers on-site for the 24-hour prep and delivery period.
“Everything went well, thanks to Tom and DZ. They provided comprehensive set-up and testing, and everything operated according to our plan and timeline,” said Jack Carey, Senior Vice President of Operations for TV Guide Network.