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Corus Quay's Waterfront Radio Waves
When the Edge studio was rebuilt on Young Street a few years ago, various ideas in studio furniture and rack placement were tried. Much of that experience was applied to the new studios. This approach makes the radio studio look more like a TV set than a radio studio. The visual appeal is part of the stations' efforts in listener interaction. Of course the three permanently mounted HD cameras with pan and zoom controls add to the TV feel. The camera feeds are routed to a mini TV control room on the second floor where the Corus Interactive department uses the feeds extensively.
Each control room has five 46" HD displays that can be fed from anything on the KVM network. These displays serve multiple uses, including digital signage. Common display uses include the console meter bridge, the NewTek TriCaster video output, the Pro Tools system and the automation view.
Networked audio system
When it came time to select the audio backbone of the facility, Corus evaluated many systems. After compiling I/O lists and considering features, Corus chose a Wheatstone Bridge System with E6 consoles. The TDM backbone was chosen over IP because of the size of the facility and the system's low latency. The entire audio router has a physical connection capacity of 1136 x 1072 mono signals.
In all, there are eight consoles in place, but there are many virtual consoles in use. According to Coldwell, Wheatstone created the virtual console for this installation, and they are primarily used in the newsroom. Multiple newsroom mixers tied to the routing system was not a preferred method. Because of this, the newsroom desks can be used to originate program content. Likewise, network feeds can be controlled from a news workstation without tying up a studio control room.
The behind-the-scenes technical facility for Corus Quay is also unique. For most radio-only facilities, it's logical (and easy) to build a central rack room. This was the desire for the radio side, but it was not possible with the other media outlets sharing the facility. Instead, the radio equipment is distributed among three rack rooms.
The first is the main radio rack room -- called the Radio Equipment Room (RER) -- with 12 racks. This is adjacent to radio engineering and houses all non-server-based equipment, such as ISDN codecs, tuners and other equipment that may need to be accessed directly. All the racks are 51RU. The extra height allots extra rack space that was lost by mounting the Belden GigaBix blocks in the racks instead of on a cross-connect punchblock wall.
Every rack has 48-point RJ-45 jackfield. These jackfields are wired to the rack at the end of every row. There are racks adjacent to the end rack, which has system patching. The end racks also house devices with high I/O needs, such as an IT router or switch. Likewise, cross-room patching is done in these racks. The Wheatstone Bridge frames are connected to GigaBix blocks; other equipment ties to the Bridge network via these blocks.
-- continued on page 4
Photos by Richard Johnson (unless noted)
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