GH One Upgrades to 4K with Blackmagic 12G-SDI Infrastructure

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Private television broadcaster GH One in Ghana has completed an upgrade of its studio and outside broadcast facilities to support Ultra HD 4K production. The multi studio complex and 14m long OB truck were designed by system integrator Axel Technology as part of a complete overhaul of the broadcaster’s production infrastructure. 

“A move to a new building facilitated the need for a new system, but it also gave the team the opportunity to design a more flexible workflow for the channel’s studio and OB locations,” said Marco Branzanti, video projects manager at Axel Technology.

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“We decided at the outset that we would base this installation on 12G-SDI transmission because it not only affords a simpler, more direct cabling infrastructure, but also makes signal delivery for broadcasters working with the UHD format - 4096 x 2160 pixels at 60 fps - more efficient and reliable.” The studio’s equipment mainly comprises Blackmagic Design’s broadcast grade routers, production switchers and converters, so that Axel could develop a robust Ultra HD 4K workflow within GH One’s budget.

“The new studio has one main set, plus a greenscreen virtual studio. Both are equipped with an ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K, and the corresponding 2 M/E broadcast panel. Also, each has access to Axel Technology’s in-house character generator and playout applications, which gives the production team access to video transitions, effects and graphics suitable for a wide range of programming.”

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To switch between GH One’s two channels’ signals, a Smart Videohub Clean Switch 12x12 was installed to act as a mixer switch. “For this installation, we needed to ensure there was glitch-free switching with genlocked signals,” said Marco. “With the clean switch we have full re-synchronization on every input, so the production team can switch from a camera feed to a recorded source or graphics using a simple, straightforward interface and still get flawless switching.”
GH One’s truck has the capacity for a team of 20. Although it is essentially a mobile unit, it includes an expandable production gallery alongside a standalone television studio workflow. “This arrangement means the vehicle can be used comfortably for longer periods, allowing multiple productions to take place without the space becoming too cramped,” Marco said. “For example, the truck can get a full television studio up and running and support operations for several days, rather than on a short-term, event orientated basis.”

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Signal routing onboard is managed via a Blackmagic Design Smart Videohub 40x40. Housed in the OB’s technical control room, it is positioned alongside a rack of HyperDeck Studio Pro broadcast decks, used for both recording and backup purposes, and Teranex Express standards converters, which allow production GH One to standardize incoming video sources from external contributors.
Marco noted that the balance Blackmagic Design achieves between affordability and functionality has been important to Axel in making the GH One installations effective. He said, “We’ve been able to implement an Ultra HD workflow based on 12G-SDI that hasn’t been seen before in Ghana and gives GH One an edge, both when working in the studio and out in the field.”