We really owe Ted Szypulski, Senior Director, Project Development for ESPN, a big dollop of gratitude because he really gave us a super tour of ESPN's very impressive facility in Bristol, Connecticut. It's perhaps the most sophisticated Digital HDTV teleproduction facility in North America, and it was also a chance to hob-nob with the persons who designed, built and operate it. Ted even gave a presentation that summarized the design philosophy and constraints that influenced the design.
No question about it, the most impressive part of the tour was the tour! We checked out the mass viewing area where footage is initially culled for Sportscenter, saw their editing and sound rooms, several production control rooms, the rooms that control airplay in various languages and standards, and some of the most impressive studios we've ever seen!
Those studios we saw were huge! Most of us could fit our own studios into their sets! The level of finish is impressive too: They broadcast in HD and worry about small flaws being visible. These sets were actually more impressive than they look on TV because they feed into each other and you never really see how big the shooting area really is. Very, very impressive!
Special thanks must go to Paul Beck for making all the bus arrangements. The catered ride was almost as much fun as the destination!