NBCUniversal – KBLR

Cutting-edge, Virtualized Production Architecture Enables Remotely Hosted Studio Operations

Diversified was engaged by NBCUniversal (NBCU) to re-imagine and design, through consultative thought leadership, the creation of a scalable, virtualized, real-time production environment to support remotely hosted studio operations across several stations, beginning with KBLR, its Telemundo station in Las Vegas. KBLR is the first NBCU-owned TV station to have its news and production infrastructure hosted remotely in a customer-owned data center, located in Dallas, TX. Along with developing multiple design iterations and proof-of-concept evaluations before implementation, Diversified led an initial business review with the client, assessing the benefits of building a virtualized infrastructure over a traditional TV station design.

The IP-based facility in Las Vegas is almost completely driven by equipment housed at the data center in Dallas, significantly reducing the physical footprint of production equipment. This allowed facility engineers to design and build a smaller Central Equipment Room (CER) and redirect project capital into base content production capabilities, e.g. larger newsroom and live elements, greater studio sets and technology, etc. This “private cloud” or “production cloud” design also allows the station to locally manipulate production elements using the same applications and workflows as with on-prem solutions, with commands performed by the hardware in Dallas. Station staff and studio-based talent work locally, while the hardware 1,200 miles away operates over a national fiber network connecting KBLR to the SMPTE 2110-compliant infrastructure. The virtualized facility enables all production operations and functions then transmits the composited video back to KBLR using ultra-low-latency JPEG2000 compression.

Diversified streamlined the operations and technology of the live TV production process, virtualizing and centralizing the core infrastructure. This provides a scalable “core and edge” design, allowing an off-prem, light footprint solution for an entire media facility. Diversified projected overall technical start-up costs for NBCU by building this common core and edge technology stack, of which the client has complete control. This has facilitated the creation of a proven model that can scale to more stations for NBCU, and is applicable to all other station group owners that desire similar technical, operational and functional enhancements.