Yahoo Broadcast Revamps With Symetrix

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San Rafael, CA--The Yahoo! sports broadcast facility, which produces original webcasts, including Sunday’s popular “Fantasy Football Live,” recently upgraded its video equipment to HD. Top systems integrator, Snader and Associates of San Rafael, CA performed the original upgrade and recently returned and installed two of Symetrix’ new cost-effective ‘zero learning curve’ processors to conquer unforeseen delays in the video signal.

After the analog sunset switch to HD, latencies in the new system led to unacceptable delays in the video signal relative to the audio signal. The Symetrix Jupiter processors not only vanquished the delays, but provided Yahoo! with processing power to spare for future upgrades.

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At the Yahoo! Sports broadcast facility, two Symetrix Jupiter 8 units (each with eight inputs and eight outputs), running the Delay app stand between the facility’s audio router and its soundboard.

Snader and Associates helped assemble Yahoo!’s sports broadcast facility back in 2000, and was called back to swap out existing equipment for an HD path and a new switcher. Nevertheless, some of the facility’s standard definition workflow had to remain in place. “We were all aware that there would be some delay issues with up- and down-conversion,” said Snader engineer, Nicholas Smith, “but these were worse than we expected and, perhaps more importantly, the delay times were inconsistent and depended on which combination of cameras and devices were used for a particular broadcast. That meant we couldn’t simply slap a fixed delay on the audio and call it done. The situation called for more nuance.”

He continued: “The broadcast world is rife with single- or dual-channel delays. Here, we could have filled a rack with them, but adjusting them would have been cumbersome and they would never aspire to anything else… they’d just be a bunch of delays sitting there. I was aware of Symetrix’ new Jupiter line, which contains high-end processing capabilities within a remarkably easy to manipulate interface at a cost that was actually less than a rack full of broadcast delays. Jupiter was an elegant solution – the users could easily adjust the delays to meet the needs of a particular broadcast, it didn’t cost much, and yet it contained all kinds of potential to meet future needs.”

The Symetrix Jupiter series is inspired, in part, by smartphone technology. Users download an “app” that meets the requirements of their sound system from the Symetrix website, and the Jupiter hardware is immediately and appropriately configured. If needed, users can tweak setting from an intuitive programming interface. For Yahoo!, Smith used the Delay app, which allowed the client to route audio sources through the Jupiter and adjust the delay to match the video. The two Jupiter 8 units (each with eight inputs and eight outputs) stand between the facility’s audio router and its soundboard. A dedicated laptop allows operators to dial in the appropriate delay with speed and precision.

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