Moving a TV station (e-TV)

Moving a busy Broadcast Centre is not an easy task: choosing a new location and engaging an architect with a building design you like are only the first steps. The technical move alone requires years of detailed planning if you are to remain ‘On Air’ throughout the process. So when e.tv made the decision to move from their Longkloof studios to a new purpose-built facility, they looked to their UK-based systems integration partner Megahertz Ltd. to help them plan and manage the relocation and undertake the technical fit-out. E-TV is the first free to air commercial TV station in South Africa and currently transmits 8 TV Channels via both terrestrial and satellite. It started life in 1998 broadcasting from its Longkloof studios in Cape Town where it remained until November 2015 when, in just over a single weekend, services were relocated to e-TV's new broadcast centre at Roeland Park, with Axon modular infrastructure and control andmonitoring at its heart.

The first task for Dave Stewart, e.tv’s Group Chief Engineer and project leader and Don Wilson, Systems Engineering Manager from Megahertz was to examine the existing ingest, editing, graphics, newsroom and three production studios to identify what equipment should to be reutilized in the new facility and how moving this equipment could be achieved without causing disruption to operations. Another aim of the
move was an upgrade to HD so any equipment that was not already HD-capable would need to be replaced or upgraded. Some equipment choices for the new build were straightforward, either because of the workflow already established at e.tv or because of existing relationships with manufacturers. However, the broadcaster was not satisfied with some areas of its existing workflow so the move to a green field site allowed Megahertz to take a fresh look at both practices and suppliers to explore what could be done to improve them. Following the review stage Megahertz had a couple of months to put together their suggestions and present them to e.tv. Read here the full story of e-TV.