Written by PSN Europe 21st August 2013 

Installation work is due to begin next month on the Comux UK broadcast centre, the play-out and distribution hub for new local TV services. The facility will be based on Evertz systems, with options to provide 5.1 up/down mixing and loudness monitoring. Founded by Ed Hall, chief executive of channel launch specialist Canis Media Group, Comux UK is a community-based, not for profit organisation that hold the Ofcom licence to build and run the broadcast plaform for Britain’s new local TV network.

The Comux broadcast complex is based on the Innovation Birmingham Campus, which provides 2Gbit/s broadband connecitivity. Transmission services are being supplied by Arqiva, with TSL Systems as lead integrator for installing control and playout facilities. Preparation work on the apparatus room and Network Operations Centre (NOC) has begun, with the full installation scheduled to start during early September. An Evertz Mediator system will be used for storage and playout, with an Evertz 7800IDA8-3G 3G/HD/SD-SDI intelligent distribution amplifier (IDA) handling signal splitting and disbribution. Each local operator will make its own decision about audio. Comux UK chief technical officer Chris Romilly has said stereo audio, probably compressed to 192kbit/s, will be offered as it is the transmission standard for standard definition Freeview, the digital platform that will carry the services.

Russell Trafford-Jones, solutions architect with TSL Systems, says the installation will have the flexibility to offer different audio configuations and features if requested.

“We’re installing the VUE graphical interface to work with the Evertz VistaLINK PRO PLUS monitoring and control software,” he explains. “This is a touch screen and is very intuitive to use in conjunction with the IDA and VistaLINK. The IDA itself has options for audio shuffling, loudness control and surround sound down- and up-mixing. These can be added to the licence if any of the broadcast partners acquire HD/5.1 material.”

TSL Systems is contracted to supply two TSL Professional Products AMU monitoring units, although these have not been bought yet. Trafford-Jones added that an order has been placed on behalf of Comux for Omnitek rasterisers, which feature loudness monitoring. The first 19 local TV stations are due to be on air by the end of this year.