Ghana's GH One upgrades to UHD

Blackmagic 4K in Ghana
Neal Romanek
Post Production
April 11th 2017 at 10:34AM : By Neal Romanek

GH One's upgrade was built around 12G-SDI broadcast infrastructure products from Blackmagic Design

GH One, Ghana's largest private television broadcaster, has upgraded its studio and OB facilities to support Ultra HD 4K production.

The multi studio complex, including a 14 metre long OB truck, were designed by system integrator Axel Technology, as part of the complete overhaul of the broadcaster’s production infrastructure. Blackmagic Design contributed products to the 12G-SDI broadcast infrastructure, 

“A move to a new building facilitated the need for a new system, but it also gave the team the opportunity to design a flexible and futureproof workflow for the channel’s studio and OB locations,” said Marco Branzanti, video projects manager at Axel Technology.

He continues: “We knew from the outset that 12G-SDI would be the cornerstone of this installation, as it not only affords a more streamlined cabling infrastructure, but also delivers a more efficient and reliable signal delivery path for broadcasters working with the 2160p60 format.”

“The new studio has one main set, and a virtual studio with greenscreen and both are equipped with an ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K, and the corresponding 2 M/E broadcast panel. Also, each has access to CG and playout applications, developed by Axel Technology, which gives the production team all of the transitions, effects and graphics they need to produce their wide range of programming.”

To switch between GH One’s two channels’ signals, a Smart Videohub Clean Switch 12x12 was installed to act as a mixer switch. “For this installation, we needed to ensure there was glitch-free switching with genlocked signals,” explains Marco. “With the clean switch there is full re-synchronization on every input, so the production team can switch from a camera feed to a recorded source or graphics using a simple, and straightforward interface and still get flawless switching.”

GH One’s truck has the capacity for a twenty-strong team, and includes an expandable production gallery, as well as a stand alone television studio workflow. “That means the vehicle can be used comfortably for longer periods, allowing multiple productions to take place without the space becoming too cramped,” explains Marco. “For example, the truck can have a fully fledged television studio up and running for several days, rather than on a short-term, event orientated basis.”

Signal routing onboard is managed via a Smart Videohub 40x40 from Blackmagic Design. Housed in the OB’s technical control room, it sits alongside a rack of HyperDeck Studio Pro broadcast decks, used for both recording and backup purposes, as Teranex Express standards converters, which allow production GH One to standardize any incoming video sources from external contributors.

“The balance between affordability and functionality that Blackmagic Design offers has been the key to the effectiveness of the GH One installations,” concludes Marco. “We’ve been able to implement an Ultra HD workflow based around 12G-SDI that hasn’t previously been seen before in Ghana and gives GH One a state of the art solution, both when working in the studio and out in the field.”