St. Cloud State University
Talk about a bold vision: In one fell swoop, Alpha helped St. Cloud State University utterly transform its broadcast technology infrastructure – upgrading control rooms, news studios and broadcast labs, establishing a 24/7 university cable channel, and propelling its mass communications undergraduate program into a class of its own.
St. Cloud State University
St. Cloud, Minnesota
Fabrication & installation services
Broadcast & control systems
Digital communications & media walls
Testing & programming
Service & support
St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota, has 19 D2 sports teams, and its men’s and women’s hockey programs are D1. But when it comes to broadcast technology, the university is in a class of its own – just as TV studio manager Derrick Silvestri envisioned when he set out to upgrade St. Cloud State’s broadcast systems to HD. The transformation began with providing HD broadcast capability for three separate sports venues: the Husky Stadium for football, Halenbeck Hall for basketball, and the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. In short order, Silvestri broadened the scope to include two separate news and sports broadcast studios, two video control rooms, a central equipment room, a media control room, and master control room – everything necessary not just to broadcast sports, but to power a new 24/7 cable TV sports channel. He also envisioned a fiber cable network to connect it all. Then there was the final element: incorporating the new infrastructure into the Mass Communications Undergraduate program to equip graduates for positions in the broadcast industry.
Silvestri knew that upgrading everything simultaneously would require serious expertise, resources and project management acumen. To bring his vision to life, our solutions supported both Triax and fiber on the cameras since they would be used in the studio and on location. The university ordered nine Grass Valley LDX cameras with 3G Triax-to-3G Fiber Converters, plus two Dyno Replay Systems and one Karrera Video Production Center. The control room routing platform includes two Evertz 288×288 EQX Routers along with eight Evertz 7867VIP Multi-Image Display Processors. The Wheatstone audio control system includes a D-32 Audio Console and Wheatstone D-8 Audio Console. Additional components include a Chyron CAMIO Graphic Asset Management Server and Editshare Xstream Workflow Director Server. A Tightrope HD Video Server schedules content to four channels: the 24×7 sports channel, a campus bulletin board digital signage channel, a movie channel for the student dorm rooms, and the UTVS PEG station for the city and surrounding areas.
“We knew that we needed to upgrade our sports programs to stay competitive and we also had the opportunity to establish a 24/7 cable channel to broadcast sporting events and college activities throughout Minnesota,” says Silvestri. “It was also essential for us to switch to a fiber network to connect the sports venues to the control rooms and broadcast studios located in a different building.” Looking back on the project after completion, “What makes this journey memorable is the trajectory from big idea to even bigger idea,” says Darren Witten, Alpha Executive Account Manager. “Derrick had a powerful vision right from the start, and together we steadily built on his objective, realizing it in a way that goes beyond what a lot of people thought possible.” But Silvestri’s and St. Cloud State’s vision doesn’t stop there. As technology evolves, so have their ambitions for the school’s broadcast communications infrastructure. Stay tuned to see what comes next.
- Project included two control rooms and audio suites that were both tied to a central core with flexible resources between each control space.
- Two studios, news bureau, master control for campus distribution, and student labs for editing.
- The control rooms are connected via fiber to all sports venues on campus as well as their theater, to allow for broadcasting.
- Control rooms were designed based on what students would see in the mobile truck market.