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Cogeco Media Installs 23 Studios and More

New facility in Montreal incorporates more than 90 Wheatstone Blades and 15 surfaces

Members of the technical team stand in one of the completed studios.
Technical team members Pascal Gélinas, Sylvain Brunet, Jean-Pierre Cyr, Yan Malo, Yves Cléroux, Eric Guertin, Kim Bickerdike. Not shown: Alexandre Bérubé.

One in a series of features about recent studio projects.

Cogeco Media has moved into a substantial new WheatNet-IP networked facility in Montreal. The project began shortly before COVID and was completed during the pandemic.

“The challenge was getting our staff on the air from home with different codecs and not have everything crash, while trying to get the studios up,” Director of Technologies Pascal Gélinas told Wheatstone.

The project brought together the expertise of seven Cogeco technicians/engineers and at least a half-dozen contract and technology partners, including Wheatstone and Marketing Marc Vallee. The project involved 23 stations and seven other Cogeco Media studio facilities mainly covering greater Quebec.

CKOI studio

All told, the team installed 16 production studios, six on-air studios and a news center with a control studio, eight workstations and a traffic workstation. The job required fiber-optic routing between dual core switches and edge switches for redundancy and customized user interfaces for functions such as signal monitoring and routing of the facility’s 20-plus remote codecs. The project encompassed more than 90 I/O Blades, 15 console surfaces and dozens of AoIP network accessories.

WheatNet-IP ScreenBuilder and scripting tools were deployed in support of Cogeco’s syndication network.

CKOI Studio

“We needed some programming control and saw that it could all be done with scripts,” said Gélinas. Staff engineer Yan Malo scripted the utility mixers in key Blade I/O units to hand off the correct feed to the correct station and right signal paths based on predetermined conditions using the Blades’ programmable “if/then” logic. He also customized a user interface for monitoring and controlling the signal flow of each station in the Montreal plant.

See more recent studio builds in a free Radio World ebook.