Purchased and installed in 2000, Bar|Scan is now used to track thousands of critical broadcast assets leading up to a major upgrade of the studio.
TVB City at Tseung Kwan O (TKO), Hong Kong, to be fully operational by late 2003, is a purpose-built broadcasting complex covering an area of around 100,000 sq. m. The TKO development, including buildings and related costs plus new digital facilities, costs HK$2.2 billion.
The new digital facilities, costing HK$0.6 billion (US$77M approx.), include server-based systems, optical fiber networks, HDTV cameras, and a large digital newsroom system. The primary aim in designing the television facility (most of the system designs being done in-house) is to improve performances and reliability through adopting new technologies.
This paper provides an overview of TKO project planning and development, as well as a topical description of the news facility. Due to the size and complexity of the TKO project, many challenges have arisen and the paper outlines the issues and the solutions.
There is an increasing trend towards newsroom digitization, as it offers numerous technical and operational advantages. The selected TKO news system deploys the latest technologies including SAN, NLE, MAM, scene detection, Gigabit networking, and a unified digital format for ingest/editing/playout. Improving workflow is a top priority.
All drama studios and some variety studios have started operation in TKO since Aug. 2002. The news system will be completed by mid 2003.
TVB City at Tseung Kwan O (TKO), Hong Kong is a purpose-built new complex catering for TV production/ postproduction/ transmission, terrestrial TV and future business expansion; its area is around 100,000 sq. m. The major buildings are : Administration and Technical Block (10-storey high), Variety Studio Block, Drama Studio Block, News Block, Workshop Block and Link Block.
In addition the site has a Satellite Antenna Farm and an Outdoor Shooting Area (mainly for drama production). The new site accommodates the following, plus other additional facilities :
Studios : 8 variety studios, 5 drama studios plus 4 news studios; these including 2 virtual studios. Studio 1(the largest studio with some 630 audience-seats) has a studio floor area of 1300 sq. m.
Editing : 12 on-line suites, 28 off-line/ simple edit/ NLE edit rooms plus some 20 news-edit rooms.
Dubbing : 16 audio dubbing suites, a typical one comprising a control room and a dubbing studio, with an adjacent sound-effects area.
The large size of the site, a need to maintain uninterrupted TV production/ other operations plus the unique opportunity have provided numerous challenges. Apart from the development of systems and technologies, there are numerous project management issues, eg detailed scheduling and coordination, manpower, financial planning and tracking, logistical support, asset management, etc.
Planning started 3 years ago, this covering both the technical facilities and buildings. On the technical side, an internal TKO project office together with a technical committee were set up to manage the various facets of the technical development. The in-house project team has over 60 staff (new recruits and internal specialists), project development being facilitated by a central projectserver system accessible by all project engineers. This server is also used for logistical support eg on-line query by engineers on the latest status of equipment deliveries for each sub-project.
The entire operation at Clear Water Bay will be migrated progressively to the new TKO site, before the end of 2003. All drama studios, two variety studios and part of MCR have commenced operation at the new site, at the time of writing.
The total investment in the TKO TVB City is about HK$2.2 billion, of which HK$1.6 billion is spent on the construction (including land premium, building and other related costs) and about HK$0.6 billion on digital facilities.