Tech spotlight

Griffin Going Green With New Tulsa Digs

The broadcaster is putting the finishing touches on a new 57,000-square-foot facility that will house its KOTV and KQCW. It’s equipped with geothermal heating and cooling, LED studio lighting and features a 5,400-square-foot studio with gear from Grass Valley, Samsung, Solid State Logic, Vizrt and Avid, among others.
By
TVNewsCheck,

When searching for a sign of a rebounding broadcast economy, one need look no further than Tulsa, Okla., where Griffin Communications is completing a 57,000-square-foot HD broadcast center on a three-acre site to house CBS affiliate KOTV, CW affiliate KQCW and their more than 185 employees.

Begun a year ago and set to go live next Jan. 19, the building is a model of "green" technology. It features geothermal heating and cooling and LED studio lighting that runs cool and uses less power.

Story continues after the ad

“The LED lighting instruments on our set will reduce our lighting power requirement alone by over 90% from previously-employed incandescent and fluorescent fixtures,” says David Griffin, CEO of Griffin Communications, which also owns KWTV Oklahoma City.

At the heart of the facility is 5,400-square foot studio, equipped with four Grass Valley LDK 4000 Elite HD cameras. It will be used to produce a wide variety of programming, including 39.5 hours of local news each week.

The studio is highly sound-proofed, using multiple layers of sheet rock and sound insulation in the walls and ceiling, according to Gerald Weaver, the station’s director of engineering. The audio infrastructure is all digital.

The news set was designed by FX Design Group. FX's Glenn Anderson said the set is unique, explaining that it is constructed in a circle within the rectangular studio. “It’s pretty close to 360 degrees or beyond,” he says. “By beyond, I mean it does not follow the studio walls. There is a multipurpose area behind the set that can be used for bands or other kind of shoots.”

Brand Connections

The set includes a window behind the anchor desk that allows shots into the adjoining 7,000-square-foot newsroom.

The choice of LED lighting — which include Litepanels 5600K 1x1 panels and Sola 4 and 6 Fresnel fixtures — positively affected the entire project, including the air conditioning, studio height, foundation and structural steel usage.

And with LED lighting, the set should keep its good looks longer, Anderson says.

“Sets use plastic laminates. Temperature and humidity changes have a drastic effect on those.... They can expand and contract. Some studios can vary by 20 degrees in a given day and it can cause the set to bubble. That won’t happen here."

For the presentation of video and graphics, the set has embedded 55- and 35-inch Samsung LCD panels and 65- and 46-inch NEC LCD panels.

“We would like to use technology to our advantage and have a quicker, flashier newscast,” Weaver says.

The Rygan Corp.’s high-performance Geo Xchange geothermal system should be able to heat and cool the building with the exception of the technical cores, which will still use conventional air conditioning. The entire facility will use 110 tons of air conditioning capacity.

The system includes 32, 500-foot wells in a geothermal field under the employee parking lot.

The system circulates water from the building into the geothermal field, where it’s always 64 degrees. In the field, the water is either heated or cooled to 64 degrees before being pumped back inside the building and into overhead heat exchangers.

Because of the wells, it cost twice as much as a conventional system to install, but only half the cost to operate.

The plant is a mix of old and new gear and software, according to Weaver.

“All of the production equipment is new,” he says. “The switcher is the new Grass Valley Kayenne. Audio is a C10 digital console by Solid State Logic. All the routing and the majority of master control is new, with the exception of the file servers, which are Grass Valley KT servers, and the Miranda NV5100MC master control system. We are already using it to deliver HD syndicated programming and commercials.”

For graphics, the station is using a Vizrt Trio in production control and Vizrt Ticker3D in master control, Weaver says. “We’ve had the Vizrt gear for two and half years, but have been using it in SD mode.”

The WSI weather system needs a simple software upgrade, he says. “We may add new weather facilities before the HD launch, but I can’t talk about that yet.”

In the newsroom, the Avid Isis editing system is new, he says. “Most of the existing gear there is already HD capable. It will just be a matter of switching the gear to the HD mode, rather than the 16 x 9 SD mode being used now.”

The newsroom has also added two Grass Valley K2 Summit 3G server frames and several terabytes of storage capacity to its existing complement of K2 servers that have been in use for several years. The new servers will be used in tandem with a Harris ADC playout automation system to handle incoming and outgoing programming and news feeds as digital files.

The facility, which includes a heliport, is located at 303 North Boston Avenue in the Brady Arts District and is part of a renaissance of downtown Tulsa.

Tags

Comments (0) -

Classifieds

Marketshare Blog Playout Blog

Twitter

TVNewsCheck

Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for April 17, 2014
  • 1.
    2.2/7
  • 2.
    1.6/5
  • 3.
    1.6/5
  • 4.
    1.0/3
  • 5.
    1.0/3
  • 6.
    0.6/2
Source: Nielsen
Reviews
Opinions
Features
  • Brian Lowry

    As bracing as the snowy vistas in the movie on which it is based, FX's Fargo quickly establishes itself as its own property, possessing the tone and style of the rightly admired Coen brothers classic, but pursuing a new tawdry true-crime tale, albeit in similar environs. Boasting a stellar cast and hypnotic tone, is Fargo worth a 10-episode commitment? You betcha.

  • David Wiegand

    It makes sense for CBS to premiere its new sitcom Friends With Better Lives after Monday's one-hour finale of the nine-season ratings magnet, How I Met Your Mother. The placement should give the new show a bit of a bump before it moves to its regular time slot next week. It's also good that HIMYM won't be around then, though, because its presence would provide a weekly reminder of what a great ensemble show really is. The show was created by former Friends producer Dana Klein and has potential if the characters can be given more dimension and the writing is vastly improved — as it is, the jokes are so hackneyed, you can almost speak the punch lines in unison with the cast. And isn't that fun?

  • Dave Walker

    Of all the new-show pilots for the 2013-14 TV season that arrived in my mail bin almost a year ago, Surviving Jack, a new Fox sitcom, was by far my favorite. Set in the early 1990s, it stars Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU, True Blood, Oz) as a no-nonsense dad who takes over most of the parenting tasks of a two-teenager family when his wife takes up the study of law. The concept has a lot of The Wonder Years in its chassis, but Meloni is behind the wheel all the way. It's a terrific comedic performance.

  • Brian Lowry

    OWN has sought to surround Lindsay — its docu-series devoted to Lindsay Lohan — with a patina of seriousness and quality, from touting the involvement of director Amy Rice (By The People: The Election of Barack Obama) to preceding it with a showcase in which the channel's namesake interviews Russell Brand about addiction. But seriously, who's fooling whom? In the best Hollywood tradition, the Oprah Winfrey-Discovery network and the tabloid-plagued actress are using each other, the irony being that if Lohan stays on the straight and narrow, she'll yield a show as boring as the premiere.

  • Chuck Barney

    Based on the two episodes that we've seen, ABC's Resurrection isn't quite in the same league as Sundance Channel's The Returned last year. While both have a returned-from-the-dead theme, Resurrection is not as atmospheric and artful, nor does it exude the same visceral sense of place. But taken on its own, it is an absorbing, well-paced, thoughtfully rendered production with a quality cast that ranks as one of the better new winter shows. It remains to be seen whether it can sustain its high concept and keep us engaged in its mysteries. But for now, there's plenty of life in Resurrection.

This advertisement will close automatically in  second(s). You will see this ad no more than once a day. Skip ad