When Showtime Networks went shopping for a new broadcast center, they selected Globecomm to deliver an innovative mix of design, engineering, transmission and support services.
Under the contract, we agreed to design and build the facility inside our headquarters, and to provide power, cooling, maintenance and transmission of Showtime's programming to cable headends. But inside the broadcast center, Showtime personnel were in complete control of operations.
The schedule gave us only 12 months to get the facility on-air. Despite the time pressure, we spent time talking with Showtime engineers and technicians about their workflow, then designed a set of "pods," each controlling two or four services. With each pod equipped to manage all services, operators gained complete visibility and stopped having to run from console to console to handle an issue. We also designed a modular routing scheme that provided every inbound and outbound signal with two separate paths, one to the central router and one direct to its destination. This eliminated the router as a single point of failure as well as saving on cabling and routing equipment.
Once construction started, we ran shift shifts around the clock installing ingest, management and transmission systems and laying over 20,000 wires and cables.
When the date came to go live, Showtime successfully transitioned 29 analog and digital channels to the new broadcast center in just a few hours. Immediately after, a huge rainstorm swept in, flooding the teleport and leaving an inch of water running through our building. If this was a test, Globecomm passed, because Showtime viewers never knew it happened.