Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly

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The Legislative Assembly building in Yellowknife is one of the newest legislatures in Canada and is also one of the most unique, highlighting a united government and the traditional values of the people of the territory. The Assembly's facilities include the Chamber, meeting and caucus rooms and offices for Members of the Legislative Assembly and staff.

The Northwest Territories (NWT) Legislative Assembly Television Network broadcasts to cable and over the air viewers throughout the Northwest Territories. When the house is in session, the Television Network broadcasts live for two hours a day, as well as sending out a re-transmission of the events each day. The Legislative Assembly Television network has the flexibility to broadcast the House proceedings in the official languages of the Northwest Territories on a regional basis. The language broadcast change weekly during session in order to accommodate all northern and official languages.

Applied Electronics won a Request for Proposal from the NWT Legislative Assembly to upgrade and expand their Broadcasting infrastructure to High Definition. This including supplying new HD cameras, robotics, HD character generator, Crestron control system, sound system, HD Switcher, QC chain and much of the infrastructure. Applied Electronics provided a full turn-key solution including the equipment, installation, commissioning, testing and training on the system.

As with many projects, one of the major challenges with this project was a compressed timeline. From equipment order to getting the systems on-air took less than two months. Other challenges included the integration of existing robotic heads into an upgraded system, integrating existing SD and SDI components into the new system and re-wiring the control system to accommodate enhanced functionality.

After receiving the project, Applied Electronics’s project team embarked on an extensive review of the NWT’s existing facilities to forge a feasible migration plan. All existing cable and equipment had to be identified, properly labelled, un-installed, and where necessary, re-installed into the new layout. This had to be coordinated with installing new HD cameras in the main chamber, moving the existing cameras and heads from the main chamber to the committee room, installing new cabling for the system in both the main Chamber and Committee Rooms, installing new control room equipment (which included a new HD QC chain, switcher, character generator and sound system), writing new software to control the new and existing equipment, installing a new BSS audio system and listen delegation system, and installing new HD infrastructure to support the new HD chain.

The new Legislative HD system successfully went to air on October 10. Applied Electronics’ project team worked tirelessly for six weeks to ensure the system was installed, tested and ready to go to use by the on-air date. Applied Electronics provided training and transitional support during the first few days of broadcast. The Northwest Territories Legislature is now able to broadcast and distribute pristine High Definition signals to their members and constituents.

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