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Recently featured Key Code Media and the Conan Show (Conan O’Brien) Production Facilities

February 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Here’s a few tidbits floating around the web about  our integration and technical services we recently were involved in with the Conan Show

from Computer Graphics World

January 25, 2011

Grass Valley, Calif. – Getting the one-hour variety show, “CONAN” to air every week is no small feat. The program is shot in front of a live studio audience in Burbank, California, and employs a variety of AJA  products including Hi5, HA5, HD10CEA, HD10C2, and HD10DA — over 90 total AJA Mini-Converters — to keep the production flowing smoothly.

While the show is pre-recorded, it’s produced and cut as if it were live since the east coast feed is transmitted one hour after taping wraps. “AJA equipment definitely allows us to work more flexibly and more quickly,” said Chris Savage who serves as the Lead Camera Utility on “CONAN”. “The needs of the show change every day — with varying requirements for monitoring, computers, new camera feeds and sometimes even video material that guests bring onto the show. AJA’s Mini-Converters provide us with the flexibility to accommodate whatever needs arise and the reliability that our quick turnaround production cycles depend upon.”

There are 13 60-inch LCD monitors mounted above the audience in the studio seating area. The stage was initially designed to run an SD signal to those monitors, but in production the feed interfered with fluorescent lighting on stage to cause a roll in the picture. The show turned to AJA Hi5 Mini-Converters to convert the HD-SDI signal to HDMI to drive an HD feed of the program onto the monitors. The Hi5s provided a quick, easy and cost-effective solution that was plug-and-play with the existing production infrastructure.

For the show’s ‘Conan Video Blog’ segments, the AJA HA5 Mini-Converter is used to pull a video signal from a laptop used in the broadcast. AJA KONA 3 and KONA LHi capture cards are also used as part of the show’s Apple Final Cut Pro editing workflow and AJA VTR Xchange software is used for remote deck control via the KONA card’s RS-422 interface.

Savage stated that the biggest benefit of using AJA Mini-Converters is their portability, “Being able to plug and unplug, and not have to go to a rack or moreover to another building to patch and down-convert or re-clock is a huge advantage,” concluded Savage.

Key Code Media in Burbank designed and installed the edit system and server, and NEP, a national outsourced tele-production services company, designed and set up a lot of the production equipment for the show.

For the full article visit: http://www.cgw.com/Press-Center/News/2011/AJA-Mini-Converters-Power-CONAN-.aspx

From Broadcast Engineering Excellence Awards Article

In the early summer of 2010, NEP Broadcasting’s Denali division was asked to build the production facilities for the new Conan O’Brien show, “Conan.” It was an exciting project to bid on, but the location for the production had not been selected beyond the West Coast. Bids were due the middle of June, the award would be announced at the end of June, and the show would debut on TBS the first week of November. That left just 120 days to design and build the new production facilities.

Fortunately, the location decision came rather quickly: the Warner Brothers Lot, Stage 15. Unfortunately, there was no space on the soundstage for the technical facilities. The solution, conceived by the show’s project manager, David Crivelli, was to build seven custom office trailers married together to create spaces for production, audio, sound effects, graphics, edit bays, music mix, video, recording and core systems. But the next big issue was that the trailers would not be manufactured, delivered and set up until after Labor Day. This left NEP less than 45 days before rehearsals began to finish the build.

Fortunately, much of the creative and technical crew had worked on O’Brien’s previous show, so issues of workflow and preferred equipment had been resolved. Crivelli made the decision to split up the various parts among three vendors: Key Code Media would handle editing and SAN storage; Paul Sandweiss at Sound Design Corporation would tackle production audio, music, sound effects and house PA; and NEP was tasked with the remainder, which consisted of production, recording, graphics, video, communications and core systems.

NEP immediately made the decision to prebuild at its systems integration facility in Pittsburgh. This would allow construction to begin before the trailers were in place. Twenty racks of equipment, consoles and the production monitor wall were assembled and wired in Pittsburgh in late August. Just after Labor Day, two 53ft tractor-trailers made the cross-country trek to Warner Brothers.

NEP began the load-in on Friday at 6 a.m., and by the end of the day Friday, all systems were in place. Only three days later, systems were wired together and ready for testing and configuration. This included pulling in all the cables to the stage via new conduits under the road between the building and trailers.

With close coordination and teamwork, the show has a new, spacious facility to rival any installation in the Los Angeles area. Once inside, you’d never know 45 days earlier it was just an empty parking lot.

To read the full article:  http://broadcastengineering.com/excellence-awards/conan-obrien-nep-broadcasting/

Avid Technology Professional Services Tandem Join Key Code Media

April 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Avid Technology Professional Services Tandem Join Key Code Media

April 20, 2010-Burbank

Key Code Media announces the hiring of Ed Locke and Scott Williams. As Avid Technology, Inc. veterans they bring a combined eighteen years of experience working with advanced Avid solutions. The addition of Scott increases the number of certified Avid ISIS and Interplay engineers to 4 on staff, and Ed Locke brings 10 years of solution and workflow design experience. Mike Cavanagh, President of Key Code Media, states “Scott and Ed have a combined 25 years of industry experience, at Key Code Media they will help our customers manage the migration to tapeless workflows by leveraging advanced storage technologies and cutting-edge workflows covering ingest through distribution. Our clients count on Key Code Media to have the expertise to enable them to integrate the most cost effective and highest performing solutions available. This hiring further shows our commitment to providing the top talent in the industry to address complex solutions and workflows.”

Ed Locke joined the sales organization as a specialist on storage infrastructure and broadcast workflow. Ed spent much of his time at Avid working closely with broadcasters and the technologies that enable next-generation workflows. He discussed the significance of file-based workflows back in 2006 on a panel with other recognized experts at the “Tape-Less Revolution” event hosted at CBS Studio Center by the Television Academy. Most recently he worked on projects including “Entertainment Tonight/The Insider”, “The Ellen DeGeneres” show, Comcast Sports Net, and Fox Sports International. Asked about his move to Key Code, Ed had this to say; “Working for Key Code Media was a natural choice, their reputation for supporting their client base is completely aligned with my views. This position allows me to continue developing integrated multi-vendor solutions for broadcast clients while expanding the tool box to fully enable my design capability. Key Code Media’s exposure to our industry and their relationship with Avid create the exciting opportunity for me to work more closely with many of the customers I’ve been engaged with for years. I can continue to provide a deep knowledge of Avid’s workflow and solutions while leveraging complementary products to design a broad range of Editorial and Broadcast environments.”

Scott Williams joined the technical department and is well versed with integrating Avid solutions that include ingest through distribution and archive as well as configuring robust Cisco network infrastructures. Scott originally joined Avid through the Pinnacle acquisition and has deployed multiple mission critical broadcast systems including the West Coast deployment of the Fox SportsNet, CNN, Televisa (Mexico City), RDS (Montreal) and Bright House Networks using products such as Avid ISIS, and Avid Interplay. Scott adds “Key Code Media is big enough to support large client infrastructures, but also small enough to allow every employee have input and help guide clients. I am on the Strategic Product Group at Key Code Media which helps define, vet and approve the technologies we represent to our clients. I am excited about this next move for my career.”

Key Code Media is a media solutions value added reseller and systems integrator specializing in video and audio workflows including Avid Technology, Apple, HP, Sony, Panasonic, JVC, NewTek, Facilis, Digital Rapids, Isilon, StorageDNA, Root6 and Telestream.  Offices are located in Burbank, Santa Monica, San Francisco and Seattle.

For further information, contact Ruth Nakada (rnakada@keycodemedia.com) 818-303-3900.

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