Megahertz Connects BT Sports Studio for TimeLine TV

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Leading systems integrator Megahertz Broadcast Systems was recently entrusted with the technical fit-out of a complete new fast-turnaround sports production centre for Timeline Television. The new centre, built in part of the International Broadcasting Centre constructed for the London 2012 Games in east London, is home to the new BT Sport channels, going on air in time for the start of the 2013-14 football season next month.

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Timeline Television, a leading provider of post production, outside broadcast and studio-based facilities for every major UK network, was appointed BT Sport’s partner. The project to design and build its new base was completed against a tight timescale with BT Sport launching on 1 August. The BT Sport facility will broadcast BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN. BT Sport will show 38 exclusively live football matches from the Barclays English Premier League, plus FA Cup, UEFA Europa League, as well as a range of new studio debate and information shows such as BT Sport Live.

As well as being a leading constructor of outside broadcast units for sport, Megahertz has wide experience in building studios and playout centres in the UK and around the world. It has partnered with Timeline Television in the past on sports centres, and was the obvious first choice for the project.

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“With a start date in February and a need to hand over technical systems in June, we knew we needed a systems integration partner who had all the knowledge and experience in-house and would be ready to roll,” said Dan McDonnell, Managing Director of Timeline Television. “We worked with Megahertz on Racing UK so, although this project is an order of magnitude larger, we knew their philosophy was around delivering solid and reliable systems, on time and on budget.”

Builders gained access to the site in February 2013, with the first of the technical areas handed over to Megahertz in March. Operational areas were made available for operational familiarisation in June to allow rehearsals in July, ready for the on-air date of early August.

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Greg Hoskin, Managing Director of Megahertz, added “This would have been a very challenging deadline for any project, but added to the complexity of it, we also had to work inside the shell of the London 2012 broadcast centre, which was stripped after the Games, and is part of a massive redevelopment project to convert these facilities into a huge public park.

“We hit the key milestones as planned,” he added. “We have huge experience in studio builds, largely outside the UK, so it is extremely exciting for us to be working on such a prestigious project nearer to home.”

Jamie Hindhaugh, Chief Operating Officer of BT Sport said “At the core of our new studios build is a spirit of collaboration that brings the best of industry – and sometimes competitors – working together toward a common aim: to make the BT Sport studios a world-class hub for the best ideas and talent. We believe talent attracts talent and our partnership with Megahertz as a partner has helped us to foster that mind-set.”

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The new production centre includes three large studios with full production galleries, plus four smaller galleries for turnaround programmes, and 20 edit suites. All are linked by a master control room which supervises a large number of lines in and out of the centre. Key hardware for the project is being supplied by Autoscript (prompting equipment), Calrec (audio mixers), Evertz (multiviewers), EVS (servers), Shotoku (camera robotics), Snell (routers), Sony (cameras, production switchers and monitors, Riedel (talkback) and Vinten (camera support equipment and systems).

About BT
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries.  Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services.  BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach. In the year ended 31 March 2013, BT Group’s revenue was £18,017m with profit before taxation of £2,501m.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group.  BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

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About Timeline Television
Timeline are a leading provider of broadcast technology and services. Their portfolio includes live and post production facilities (in Soho, Ealing Studios and MediaCityUK), flyaway production units, temporary tapeless productions systems and RF links. Timeline is the industry’s leading authority on shared server systems and specialises in the delivery of IP Director networks.
Based at the iconic Ealing Studio, they are trusted by some of the biggest brands in the UK television market including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky as well as the independent sector including IMG, Sunset & Vine and Input Media. Timeline deliver technical and creative facilities for programmes as diverse as live music and awards shows, political conferences, global and domestic sporting competitions, light entertainment and current affairs.

About Megahertz Broadcast Systems
Megahertz Broadcast Systems, a KIT digital company, is a leading independent broadcast systems integrator. Its highly experienced engineering team provides a complete service from engineering planning and design through product evaluation and project management to commissioning, training and support. The team is as adept at file-based architectures as it is in traditional broadcast infrastructures. Recently completed projects include outside broadcast vehicles, high definition studios, playout facilities and earth stations, as well as audio visual installations for applications as varied as mosques and the London Stock Exchange.

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