SIGMA-TV Relocation

Who is Sigma Television and Radio

Sigma Television is a very successful national free-to-air TV station in Cyprus. It belongs to the DIAS Group, the largest media group in Cyprus including a Newspaper, a Radio Station, various Magazines and the number one portal of Cyprus ( Sigma TV and Radio started broadcasting in 1995. Sigma TV is a general entertainment station with programming that includes Children's shows, sports, news, movies, series and popular Tele-novels from Latin America.

In 2010, Sigma prepared a new building, next door to the current one, to rehouse all the Television operations of the Group.

Project Description, 2010-2011

In mid 2010, Telmaco was awarded a turnkey project for the upgrade and relocation of Sigma's TV station in Nicosia. Services included infrastructure design, equipment supply and integration of some legacy equipment, installation, workflow design, commissioning and training.

Systems in the new building include a new Gallery for 2 studios, Master Control, new Continuity, Newsroom and News Editing, Archive and Channel Management System.

Following agreement of the detailed system design and layout, the system was pre-built in Telmaco's Athens headquarters before being shipped to Cyprus during which time Technical Training was carried out. Next, our wiring team prepared all on-site cabling and the installation continued together with final commissioning and legacy equipment integration. During one carefully-planned weekend, legacy equipment was moved from the existing system, and integrated into the new installation without any interruption of the on-air signal. Sigma TV went "on-air" from the new building in two phases, the Continuity in March 2011, then the complete operation in May 2011.

News production

The News Production system is based on an Avid News solution. The ISIS 5000 is the shared storage, Avid Interplay manages all material, and assists in all parts of the production. Media Composers are the news editors and Airspeed Multistream the ingest/playout servers. Telmaco was able to integrate the Avid production system with Sigma's legacy equipment such as Sony XDCAM, AutocueNews, Rhozhet Carbon transcoder and Harris servers.

All the ingest process is centralized from a central position from the Archive department who is also the media manager of the system. Journalists use dedicated Interplay Assist workstations located in the newsroom to view material, select shots and prepare for final editing. A complete operational workflow from ingest to playout and archive has been designed by Telmaco.

Studio Gallery

The Studio Control is designed to be capable to handle large productions (such as elections). It handles both studios of the TV station. Sigma's existing robotic SD cameras were integrated into a modern SD/HD production environment using a 3ME SD/HD vision mixer, news playout server, graphics and synchronizers for external feeds.

Continuity and Channel Management

The Continuity playout area is prepared to transmit two TV channels. The equipment is HD ready.

The Provys TV office system has been installed to manage all parts related with the programming of the TV station including scheduling and right management and integrates with the Playout Automation System.

Design Philosophy

Due attention was paid to follow modern broadcast industry-standard design approaches, allowing any qualified broadcasting engineer to quickly familiarize with the system and to be straightforward for an outside operator to come in and use the facilities.

Upgrade 2012

Although Sigma at the time of installation was working mainly in SD, the infrastructure of the complete installation is designed and installed for HD format signals. The station was ready to produce and broadcast HD or extra channels whenever required.

An important upgrade to the Sigma installation was carried out by Telmaco in 2012 with the addition of two SD transmission channels, making a total of 4 channels, one of which transmits in HD.