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High Definition Television Broadcast of STS-95 Shuttle Launch

The Reports

Buried here are documents describing the high definition coverage of the STS-95 launch of space shuttle Discovery. One is a video block diagram of the acquisition system. The other is a post-mission update of the plan with comments about what actually took place. The format is rather loose because i have not taken the time to polish it. If you have questions about the report, drop a note and i will try to clarify it. If you have questions about the transmission, please write to John Turner at <>. He is the one who knows.

Note: The format of these docs is Adobe Acrobat (.pdf). These are formatted to print on machines that support Acrobat. If you don't have the reader, it is free from Adobe. (See below.)

There is also a text page reproducing a post that i made to some techie mailing lists to which i subscribe. You can click here and just read the short version.

If you have any questions about content or format, the best way to reach me is via e-mail.

Equipment tour

I captured some video images of the NHK trucks in NYC and am posting them to give you a feel for the units. They are JPEG images so you should be able to load them with a recent web browser. Let me know how it works. These are not shots from the launch. When i get time, i will post some of those.

This is the browser-friendly version. Just click on the text to see the picture, then click on the back button in your browser.

This is the outside of the main unit: HC-1 from Japan. As you walk in the only door, you see the producer desk with two seats and a drop table which keeps anyone over 200 pounds from getting into the technical area, to your right. As you enter and turn left, you are in the production area, with the mini audio console on the left, the TD in the center and one more space on the right. There are ISO bus switchers in the producer console and the right side production position.

When you turn to the back, the video area is along the near left side, with nine camera control units in three racks and the videotape area is along the far right with four HD D5 and one HDCam recorders in two racks. The remaining racks are patch panels and terminal gear.

This is the NHK NY truck. It has about 25 feet of clear floor space inside with rails along the walls for load bars which secure equipment during travel. The load bars also hold special tables made for flexible work space arrangement. The truck can be configured with at least two tables across the width or with no tables and only folding furniture or racks on wheels. This shot shows the roll-in console that we originally intended to use for the US feed. In the end, audio, edit, graphics, prompter and remote camera control were in here.

This is a shot of a fiber adapter box from Japan. We ended up with unboxed versions of this unit; one for each end of each NASA fiber link.

These are pictures from brochures showing the Vinten pan/tilt unit and controller similar to the ones that we used for the pad camera and the Pelco housing that was mounted on the pan/tilt unit to house the Sony HDC-750 camera. Here also are the HDC-700 studio camera and the HDW-700 camcorder.


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