Gearhouse Broadcast to Deliver Malaysia’s First HD Studio Facility for Astro

After competing in a fully competitive tendering process, Gearhouse Broadcast’s Systems Integration division was awarded the contract to upgrade Astro’s studio facilities in Kuala Lumpur to accommodate HD productions.   The studios are used by both Astro and Arena to produce a wide range of shows including singing and dancing competitions, live music performances, game shows, talk shows and sport highlights.

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The state-of the-art HD digital broadcast facilities will be the first of their type in Malaysia for market leader Astro.

The project will include upgrading 4 Studios Floors, 3 Production Control Rooms and a Central Equipment Area. The project will be carried out in two phases.  Phase one will be the technical upgrade and refurbishment of studios 1 & 2, incorporating their associated Production Control Room and Audio Control Room areas.  Phase two will involve the technical upgrade and refurbishment to studios 3, 4, 5/6, 7 and their associated Control Rooms.

In addition to the core contact, Gearhouse Broadcast are providing Consultancy and Project Management Services to Astro including time line management, location and design requirements, awarding supplier contracts, design of the Production Control Rooms and lighting systems for Studio 1 and Studio 2, managing upgrade and renovation works to the studio floor spaces,  broadcast systems design and looking at Astro’s current and future production requirements so that their new systems meet all their future needs.

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Central to Astro’s broadcast requirements was that their new broadcast system was designed around the ability for part of the system to be taken off site and used in a flyaway mode, the Production Control Room to be able to control any studio floor space and interface with Astro’s pool of OB trucks, flexibility in sharing of central resources e.g. camera channels, replay service and VizRT graphic engines, additional production needs designed around tapeless workflow, allowing rushes recorded in the studio to be transferred directly to Astro’s Post Production Facility and an interface with Astro’s Playout Centre for live productions.

In order to provide a full integrated bespoke solution, Gearhouse Broadcast’s Project Managers and Systems Engineers needed to gain a full understanding of Astro’s production requirements, including how every department operated.   A significant period of time was spent time on site observing how productions were made and meeting with individual areas and Heads of Departments e.g. Sound Team, Directors, to ascertain their exact production requirements.

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In terms of the equipment chosen for the project, Gearhouse Broadcast selected Snell Routers and Glue products, Harris Quads and Yamaha PM5D 64 Channel Analogue Consoles.  The Snell range of routers are renowned the world over for quality and reliability.  Coupled with extremely flexible control operations, they cater for all sizes and operations from simple edit suites to outside broadcast trucks.  Snell were also able to provide Astro and Gearhouse Broadcast with 24/7 customer support within the Asia region ensuring rapid diagnosis and resolution of any issues that might have arisen.

Eamonn Dowdall Business Development Director at Gearhouse Broadcast said, “We were awarded the contract by Astro based on our proven track record for delivering broadcast solutions for major international studio facilities.  We are highly skilled in the provision of broadcast infrastructure installations, and in particular, the area of studios systems integration having carried out numerous installations for studios and venues such as the Qatar State Mosque and Al Jazeera studios in Qatar”.

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