Bala Cynwyd, Pa. -- PrimeStar Inc. has completed a
multimillion-dollar upgrade to its broadcast-network-control center here, the
direct-broadcast satellite service said last week.
New monitoring equipment developed by Chyron Corp. will
allow PrimeStar to monitor up to 500 DBS channels at a time for picture and sound quality.
Human employees previously performed such quality-assurance tasks by watching up to 200
channels for outages and signs of picture degradation.
Today, the new, fully automated monitoring equipment works
with computer software developed by PrimeStar and Coretech Corp. to alert the staff when a
problem is detected. The "Guard" software monitors the video signals and feeds
them to monitor walls in the control room.
"PrimeStar is the first in the DBS industry to
reconfigure our entire monitoring system, both physically and technologically,"
PrimeStar president Dan O'Brien said in a press release. "The completion of an
operations upgrade of this magnitude is our pledge of superior television entertainment
and a promise to compete for and win new DBS customers through superior customer
Included in the broadcast center are more than 500 DBS
integrated receiver/decoders; a video and audio router; six control-room-monitoring pods;
a separate pay-per-view "stateroom"; and more than 100 miles of video, audio and
RF cable. An on-site network-operations center monitors the network itself to check for