Newington, VA – May 11, 2010 – Communications Engineering, Inc. (CEI) today announced a significant milestone for the new NASCAR high-definition (HD) production center in Charlotte, NC – a new radio production area that is being put into action with today’s opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The inaugural radio broadcast indicates that CEI is nearing the completion of the massive production center, a file-based facility featuring the latest wideband 3Gigabit HD processing and distribution technologies with television studios, control rooms, editing suites and numerous other production areas.
CEI has been responsible for all aspects of the NASCAR HD production center project, including complete design, equipment procurement, systems integration, installation, testing, training and overall project management as well as elements of ongoing technical support.
The production center is part of the new NASCAR Plaza, located next to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It occupies four floors of an office tower and two floors of the adjacent building, which contains a new television studio and production control room. Showtime recently began using the facility to tape and produce the one-hour “Inside NASCAR” program, which includes highlights, analysis and feature stories, as well as previews of upcoming races.
The radio production area includes two new radio control rooms featuring Wheatstone consoles. Each control room can accommodate six people, and one of the rooms will be used by Sirius to produce its Sirius NASCAR Radio channel.
The facility also has a new HD international control room and post-production facility, which is used to broadcast races to international markets. The live feed of the race is customized for countries outside the US, and broadcast to those markets via satellite. The video is also captured by NASCAR and delivered to the new post-production area, where it is edited and used for upcoming NASCAR programming. These activities previously were handled by mobile units located at the race track venues. The new system enables easier, more efficient management of the process while improving quality and reducing costs.
Key elements of the HD production center include: Apple Final Cut edit suites; Autoscript teleprompters; Chyron character generator; Cobalt color correctors; DNF Controls video controllers; Evertz multi-viewer, router, distribution amplifiers, frame controllers, timing equipment and control panels; Forecast and TBC consoles; Grass Valley HD studio cameras, production switcher, HD fiber base stations and K2 servers; Harris Corporation multi-format, on-screen monitors, routers and digital signage equipment; Lectrosonic wireless microphone systems; NEC, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony monitors; Solid State Logic production console; Tektronix waveform monitors; and Wohler audio and video monitors.
In addition to the production center, CEI provided a media playroom, several conference rooms and custom A/V systems. A second studio, with HD audio and video control rooms, is expected to be completed in July.
“Race season is always an exciting time, but this year has extra meaning because of the start-up of our new production center,” said Jeff Lowe, managing director of Media and Broadcast Technologies for NASCAR Media Group. “The amazing capabilities of the 3Gigabit infrastructure CEI is implementing, as well as the new features and programming, are going to raise the NASCAR fan experience to a completely new level.”
“The on-time activation of the studio and control rooms is a key step in the completion of the NASCAR Media Group HD production center, and our team has worked diligently to be sure that happens,” said Raef Alkhayat, CEI’s director of Engineering and project manager. “When the production center is completed, it will provide NASCAR with a future-proof facility that allows for the addition of even more capabilities and services.”
CEI, located in Newington, VA, is a leading, award-winning broadcast and multi-media systems integrator. The company also offers complete equipment service, support and training, and supplies products and services to a wide range of commercial clients and non-profit businesses. Federal agencies and government organizations can be supplied through GSA. CEI has helped to define the leading edge of systems engineering and implementation for the communications industry since the mid1980’s.
About NASCAR Media Group
NASCAR Media Group is a media, marketing and entertainment company that creates and produces programming related to the sport, manages its media partnerships, and forges relationships to integrate the sport into mainstream entertainment. As the internal production and creative services company of NASCAR, NASCAR Media Group is the exclusive rights holder of NASCAR event footage, race data and content. The NASCAR Media Group leverages The Sight, Sound and Emotion of NASCAR through TV and film production, home video, licensed consumer products and premiums for the sports’ sponsors, tracks, teams and fans. To learn more, visit nascarmediagroup.com.
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