Megahertz Ltd, a systems integrator and mobile broadcast production specialist, has
been given the responsibility of moving South African broadcaster e.tv to its new
home. e.tv’s Cape Town branch has been in Longkloof Studios since its foundation in
1998. It is now to move to a purpose-built facility five kilometres away, and at the
same time move to an all-HD operation.
Today e.tv broadcasts eight channels. Its core facilities also include programme
ingest, editing and graphics, a busy newsroom and three production studios. The
challenge for Megahertz is to move the complete operation to the new facility
without impacting day-to-day operations.
“We have been working with e.tv on the move right from the start – advising on
civil engineering issues like studio floor construction and soundproofing,’ said Don
Wilson, Megahertz project manager. “We have also catalogued all the existing
equipment, advising what could be upgraded to HD and moved, and where we need
to plan for new hardware.’
The Megahertz team developed the new system design, and provided advice on
what new core equipment would be required. It has also liaised with the
transmission partners of e.tv: Platco, Globecast and Sentech, in order to achieve a
The project sees the installation of a substantial amount of infrastructure, including
two Grass Valley Miranda 8000 routers: one for lines traffic and a larger router for
all the transmission traffic. Much of the modular infrastructure comes from Axon,
including synchronisers, converters, multi-viewers and transmission switchers.
The new facility features a central control and monitoring system, also from Axon.
e.tv was an established user of playout automation from Pebble Beach, and the
project also involves updated Marina, Neptune and Anchor systems from the
company to meet the extended profile.
“Any project which involves picking up eight busy channels and moving them across
town is always going to be a challenge on a knife-edge,’ said Dave Stewart, group
head of technology for e.tv. “Even while the planning and moving is happening, we
still have a station to run and channels to put out. So we needed a partner we could
trust to come in and take responsibility for the move.
“Megahertz has always been grounded in solid, practical broadcast engineering
skills,’ he said. “We have worked closely together, of course, but I have been able
to let them get on with the job safe in the knowledge that they had anticipated all
the problems and pinch points. I’m sure the move will be seamless.’
Megahertz intends to complete the move to e.tv’s new base at the end of August