We have visited the facilities of the Atresmedia Group to see what’s new. What impressed us most was the outstanding job performed by the technical division team, overseen by new CTO José María Martínez, who is also the Production, Filming and Operation Manager. José María introduced a new work concept that has permitted an integral renovation of the studios, with a revolutionary centralised production architecture
We visited their facilities in San Sebastian de los Reyes, where the project chiefs told us everything there is to know about these incredible facilities and the latest technological developments they have been working on.
At the beginning of 2014 and in a very adverse economic climate in the Spanish market, Atresmedia had to face the technological evolution where their entire production and broadcast centre, located in Madrid, moved on to high definition so as to produce live programmes.
The scope of this technological revolution covered a total of six studios, understanding a studio as a set, controls and electronics with the traditional connections and a central control system for the exchange of signals and the allocation of sources and destinations. The initial project, prior to 2014, was a gradual individual remodelling plan. The investment figures needed to materialise the project were considerably high, as each studio had to be fitted out as per their individual technical needs.
Sometimes, the needs and the joint work of several departments in pursuit of a common goal, serve as a turning point for the development of an intelligent production model, which entails applying an innovative engineering process capable of optimising the investment in technical equipment and, at the same time, obtain the best security configuration, versatility and quality in operation.
“The lifecycle of the facilities had unfortunately come to an end, and it became essential to update things, both for reasons of obsolescence and the need for technical developments. We faced the HD-SDI evolution based on an SMPTE292M 1080/50i configuration at 1.5 Gbps on an infrastructure prepared to support 3 Gbps flows. The investment plan placed too high a cost on the company accounts because of the crisis. The solution was to redefine the manner in which we design these type of facilities but without sacrificing redundancies or robustness, and what’s more, we needed to improve them without losing access to first-class equipment”, said Raúl Lorenzo, Assistant Technical Manager.
The complex challenge consisted in covering all the needs with a much lower investment than those envisaged in the first quotes, without the quality of the equipment or future scalability being affected. It was, therefore, essential to define a new approach.
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