International advertising agency McCann Erickson approached Feltech to design and install a complete post production facility at its head office in London.
Known as ‘Chrome Digital’, the facility features five FCP non linear edit suites, a digital audio dubbing studio, a large screen HD client viewing room with full surround sound, all connected to multiple source devices in a central Master Control Room (MCR).
Like many facilities, McCann Erickson had a requirement for new state of the art digital technology, combined with the need to use existing analogue equipment and archive material on older formats. To facilitate this a Leitch Intergrator-Gold matrix was chosen as the heart of the system.
This multiformat unit will allow the cross conversion of SDI video with embedded audio, to be routed to an analogue VTR and analogue signals to be routed to digital ingest devices. Linked to the matrix is a Leitch RS422 router to allow remote control of VTRs.
Each edit suite incorporates a matrix control panel to allow complex switching directly from the editors desk, with the majority of equipment housed centrally in the Master Control Room. To allow total flexibility the matrix signals pass through an array of digital and analogue patch bays.
To cater for the diverse needs of its clients, McCann Erickson’s facility incorporates many different formats from Digital Betacam, Mini- DV, DVCam, DVD Duplicators, Beta SP, Hi and Low Band Umatic, SVHS and even a VHS copy bank. There are also standards converters to allow NTSC material to be imported or exported for US clients. As time moves on it is expected that the machines will all become digital.
The Mac workstations are all linked via a high speed SAN, which allows multiple instant access to material. These Macs are integrated to the system using AJA Kona cards to provide multiple input and outputs in different formats from SDI and AES to composite and analogue.
A GPS receiver provides an accurate time reference for the Macs and a master, station timecode generator. Keeping the majority of the equipment in MCR allows for comfortable un-cluttered client space in the Edit Suites suitable for creative work. McCann Erickson also chose to showcase their MCR for clients to see and worked closely with Feltech to create an area that would be both functional and aesthetically pleasing, with the room set in an air conditioned space behind a feature glass wall.
In order to enhance the MCR aesthetic a large central screen was specified to simultaneously monitor live output from the edit suites rather than a series of small rack mounted screens.
“Chrome Digital” was completed on time and on budget, and Feltech provide on-going technical support and maintenance. To date the system has undergone two major upgrades replacing older analogue equipment with newer digital formats.