Emmy Award winning video engineer Erik Utter, heads up team of brilliant designers and top notch engineers to create intelligent solutions on time and on budget.


Design Excellence is our core value


Utter Associates is a video engineering and consulting firm specializing in digital television facility design, integration, and project management. We operate independently of manufacturers to offer quality engineering solutions. 

As a boutique system integrator, we are able to provide a high level of personal attention to your projects, yet our turn-key design and integration services scale to every size. What really sets us apart is our commitment to your project beyond integration allowing the flexibility of changes and updates as you enter into production. Design excellence is our core value. 

We offer a creative approach to projects and strongly encourage the end-user to be involved in the design process from the beginning.  Our methods allow us the ability to see the "big picture" and have that view inform and enhance the decisions we make when it comes to the details of design and equipment selection.

Managing a wide variety of projects gives us an understanding of realistic budget constraints and allows us to offer creative solutions to difficult problems. We take pride in our ability to design facilities that exceed client expectations in function, ergonomics, and attention to industry standards and trends. 

Our clients trust us to see them through video engineering projects, large and small.

Utter Associates was selected by the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) to provide design and integration services for the new Powers-Sanchez Interactive Center in Palm Springs, California.  

 

USCAP provides continuing medical education for pathologists through interactive coursework utilizing multiple labs and a multi-purpose lecture space with global digital connectivity.

The project began with consulting services in order to define the scale and scope, develop a budget, provide guidance on space planning and defining technical requirements.  The facility spans two floors and consists of two labs, a lecture hall and a broadcast studio.  The resulting technical programming proposal provided the client with the confidence to move forward with project.

Weekly coordination Meetings were held with the client and the architecture firm, James Cioffi Architect, as the design work began.  Space layout, sightline evaluation, equipment placement, electrical, lighting and acoustic requirements were reviewed and technology demonstrations were arranged.  A conceptual drawing and equipment list moved the project to the next phase.

The interactive involvement of the end-user was critical to the success of this project. Use case analysis indicated a need for a traditional broadcast system based on industry standard specifications as well as a state of the art AV system.  The two systems had to work together seamlessly in order to allow presenters - whether local or remote, to interact with all venues, and to allow the lectures, interactions, lab work and interviews to be recorded and broadcast live via the Internet.

There was also a need for AV automation in order provide control of displays and sound reinforcement, as well as environmental elements such as shades and lighting.  Video conferencing capability was required to allow remote participants to fully interact with each of the venues - either as attendees or presenters, and the system needed to be capable of functioning in a less technical “self-serve mode”, when production staff was not involved.

Through this collaborative process of discovery and planning Utter Associates was able to provide thoughtful solutions.  Medical imaging required the use of UHD and 3D to support the resolution required for clinical diagnosis.  We selected three ninety-eight inch UHD displays to create a video wall in the lecture hall.  3D medical imaging is supported using Eon Reality Icatcher software in conjunction with the passive 3D technology integrated in the Planar UHD displays.

Design construction documents were issued and weekly coordination meetings continued with the trades and client as the Utter Associates integration team arrived on site to begin wiring and receive equipment.  On-site project management meant daily feedback and rapid response to any questions or concerns.

The interactive and recording capabilities for the event venues are facilitated by seven PTZ cameras in the lab and lecture spaces along with an array of wireless and wired microphones and automated production lighting in each space. Additional connector panels are located throughout the facility for future growth such as the planned addition of an ultrasound machine for instruction on performing ultrasound guided biopsies. 

In addition to the lab and lecture spaces, the production studio is a flexible set with green cyc, separated from the lecture hall space by a theatrical curtain to allow a live audience for interviews. The low ceiling required a creative design for pipe grid, DMX controls and curtains. The selection of the camera package in the studio was an interesting solution to the challenge presented by the desire for a dual purpose HD studio / 4k cinema camera. The Super 35mm sensor and variable frame rates of the Panasonic Varicam LT provide a strong cinematic look for storytelling, but the LT can also be set to operate like a regular studio camera, including using traditional remote control/shading panels.  And the Fujinon 20-120mm Cabrio lens is cinema glass, but will convert to semi-servo operation with standard ENG and studio rear controls allowing broadcast crew to operate comfortably in the studio.

The control room and equipment room, with views into the Studio and Lecture Hall, houses the technical video, audio, AV equipment and personnel required to produce a multi-camera “broadcast” feed and IMAG feed.  The room features a 2 ME switcher, a 3D CG System and a digital audio mixer with microphone inputs from the studio and Dante links for AV sources throughout the facility.  It is also the control point for in room A/V, Video Conference, camera PTZ control and live web-cast functions.

As the project neared completion, Utter Associates provided the commissioning, training and documentation required for staff to operate with confidence.  This included manufacturer training and end-to-end system training provided by Utter Associates along with a custom technical manual covering critical training components.  Careful use case analysis and project management enabled Utter Associates to design and implement a thoughtful solution for broadcast production and AV integration for this unique facility.

 

Utter Associates recently completed a TV studio project for Western Washington University. 

 

Utter Associates recently completed a TV studio project for Western Washington University. The new Digital Media Center is designed to serve the campus with a facility for new media instruction and production.  The Center includes a TV studio, control room and equipment core.  Utter Associates provided consulting, design, and construction administration through the project architecture firm, RMC Architects in Bellingham, WA.

The technical design was centered around simplicity and reliability while allowing for highly creative and complex production needs to be met.  The physical space was designed inside an existing building requiring a high level of design coordination with various consultant disciplines.  The resulting facility is highly flexible, modern, and was completed on budget.

Key technology includes:

  • Sony Studio cameras connected via hybrid fiber and outfitted with Teleprompters
  • Cyclorama green screen walls
  • High efficiency studio lighting
  • Ross Carbonite production switcher
  • Ross xPression graphics
  • Ross Blackstorm playout server
  • AJA KiPro recorders
  • Ross routing and modular processing
  • ClearCom intercom and IFB
  • Soundcraft digital audio
 

Utter Associates recently completed a two-year project providing consulting, design, project management, and construction administration services for the Student Experience Center project at Oregon State University.  

 

The new student-fee funded building has an entire floor designed around convergent media including TV, radio and print in large and highly flexible media spaces.  The converged media outlets are together known as the Orange Media Network.

Contracted through Opsis Architecture, Utter Associates provided technical services for the media center starting with budgeting, scheduling, and space planning  and continuing through design, commissioning and training.

Key features of the facility:

  • Two TV studios
  • Two TV control rooms
  • FM On-Air Studio
  • FM Production studio
  • Recording studio
  • Newsroom
  • Newsroom computer system (NRCS) automation
  • Master Control
  • Technical Core
  • Multi-use spaces supporting non-broadcast events
  • Campus-wide fiber connectivity
  • Remote production systems

The design incorporates highly flexible systems allowing for all resources to be available in any of the spaces at any time.  Connectivity throughout the building and campus allow for simple remote production.  The file-based work-flows allow for shared media in both editorial and live production in addition to other campus users and proxy resolution media is available off campus and in mobile devices for both editorial and newsroom computer system (NRCS) uses.  The Inception NRCS allows for the collapsed newsroom to generate, share and manage content across TV, Print, and on-line social media accounts.

 

Complete facility move and rebuild combining six television stations and a top rated FM radio station.

 
  • Two TV Studios
  • Two TV control rooms
  • 6 channel automated master control with local control or remote control from the Broadcast Operations Center in Colorado Springs.
  • Technical core
  • News automation and advanced proxy editing
  • ENG receive/Assignment desk
  • Transmission
  • FM radio station studios and production space

KNPN is the first new television station in St. Joseph since the 1950's.  It launched with four channels:  FOX, CW, Telemundo & 24hr local news.

 

News-room resources were combined with the historic St. Joseph News-Press offering the community news and entertainment across multiple media outlets.

Cutting-edge technology choices allow for a fully automated master control with MPEG transport stream satellite ingest, proxy media prep, automated transcoding, and IP streaming multiplexers and infrastructure.  STL/TSL and the live news van link via IP. The new station is combined with a secure data-center and connects to the new Broadcast Operations Center (BOC) in Colorado Springs.  The BOC can remotely control and monitor all functions of KNPN requiring far less staffing than is typically required to run a complex television station.

News-Press & Gazette (NPG) selected Utter & Associates to provide key consulting, design and integration services for the new station and automated master control across the entire group of ten properties and over 40 channels over the course of a single year.

A complete HD upgrade of King County's government channel.

 

Utter Associates has recently completed a HD upgrade for King County Television in Seattle, Wa.  This project presented multiple challenges typical to a broadcaster such as minimal downtime, scheduling around regular programming, logistics and access difficulties.  

Faced with an extremely compressed time-line, Utter Associates applied project management techniques that met every goal.  The upgrade moved King County TV from technology that was over 15 years old into modern file-based work-flows.  

Technology choices were driven by long-term manufacturer support, ease of use, and value.  Two production control rooms are nearly identical in order to provide redundancy and ease operator training. The project included a total replacement of all technical systems including:

 
  • HD Broadcast master control ingest and play-out with branding and CALM compliance
  • Multi-viewers with probing and automated alarms.
  • 3D Graphics systems
  • Council chambers AV automation - Touch-screen controls.
  • All new PTZ HD cameras and projection in studio and council chambers
  • Core video system - Routing, patching, networking, servers, ingest/play-out and processing.
  • Master control production room
  • Studio control production room
 

Thurston Community Television chose Utter Associates to provide Design and Integration services for an upgrade to their Studio  and Control Room.

 

Thurston Community Television (TCTV) is a membership organization open to all residents of Thurston County and provides public, educational, and government access television from the facility in Olympia, WA.  

TCTV selected Utter Associates to provide Consulting, Design, and Integration services as part of a major upgrade to their facilities.  PEG channels typically have a funding cycle for major upgrades of ten to fifteen years so selecting equipment that could be upgraded and serviceable for the duration was critical.

Another important consideration for this project was the ease of use for the members of this organization.  Members have full use of the studio and control room and are trained by the staff at TCTV.  The Ross Carbonite switcher and Xpression 3D HD Motion Graphics system was selected for performance and reliability as well as for the training and support provided. 

The remodeled studio is equipped with two new SMPTE Fiber Studio Cameras,  two PTZ Studio Cameras and features a new high-definition projection system for training and community events. 

Master control for 10 broadcast properties with over 40 channels including a Broadcast Operations Center featuring centralized control and monitoring.

 

KRDO - Colorado Springs, CO

KJCT - Grand Junction, CO

KNPN - St. Joseph, MO

KIFI - Idaho Falls, ID

KTVZ - Bend, OR

KECY - Yuma, AZ

KESQ - Palm Desert, CA

KPSP - Palm Springs, CA

KVIA - El Paso, TX

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A complete HD upgrade of KEYT in Santa Barbara

 

When News-Press & Gazette acquired KEYT, it was very clear that a major technical upgrade was long over-due.  At the time of the acquisition, KEYT was operating in 4:3 SD utilizing an out-of-date Parker-Vision automation system.  There was a great desire to go HD as soon as possible, but extremely limited space presented major challenges.  Utter Associates was contracted to provide turn-key design and integration services to upgrade the production and news-room environments.

An existing audio room was identified as the only available option for a new control room.  This required very careful planning for the ergonomics required to make use of the space.  A custom console was designed after careful coordination with the local staff.

Key technical components include a Ross Carbonite switcher and OpenGear modular equipment, Chryron CG, Harris Broadcast news system with proxy editing, Wheatstone Wheatnet IP audio, ClearCom intercom, and Brocade networking.

The cut-over to the new production system was right on time and technically flawless.

The Center for Creative and Applied Media at The Evergreen State College is a state-of-the-art media hub.

 

The $2.5 million Center for Creative and Applied Media (CCAM) project, completed in 2009, was designed to be the media hub of the Evergreen State College campus.  The project improved opportunities for media students to gain knowledge and skills as well as to increase media access for students and faculty and create a more convenient teleconferencing opportunities.

Utter Associates worked with architecture firm, Studio Meng Strazzara and the end-user providing Consulting, Design and Project Management for the CCAM project which included an all new HD facility with two studios and control rooms, master control, edit suites, audio lab and recording studio.

 

 

 

 

 

Utter Associates finished a complete technical re-design and re-build for post-production and color sweetening company Lightpress in Seattle, WA.

 

The Lightpress facility now consists of telecine, DaVinci 2k, Davinci Resolve, Avid Nitris DS, Final Cut Pro, and Quantel iQ Pablo suites tied to a central machine room.  The process also involved managing a physical remodel of the space including a high-end screening room with calibrated projection and calibrated multi-channel sound.

Erik Utter and Associates provided turn-key integration of the project from consulting through commissioning.  Each piece of equipment and every wire in the existing facility was removed to make way for the physical and technical infrastructure improvements.  A key element of the improvements included the ability to use any edit/color/effects system in any physical space allowing for improved efficiency and collaboration.  Suites range from small through large and include a screening room that is typically utilized as a Qunatel iQ Pablo suite.  Core video, IT, video/film optimized SAN and KVM routing was upgraded to allow for signal, file, and suite distribution

KIFI News group in Idaho Falls, Idaho has been upgraded with all-new master control, news editing, and production servers.

 

The facility consists of six channels in a Joint Operating Agreement with News-Press & Gazette and Fisher Communications. Services include ABC, CBS, FOX, Telemundo, CW and MyTV network affiliations plus a 24hr news channel.

The core of the new master control system is based on Harris ADC automation, Motion automated workflows, mCapture transport stream recorders for satellite feeds, Nexio servers, Elemental technologies encoders/transcoders, and Miranda routing, branding and monitoring.

All channels are produced in HD for cable and satellite carriage. Elemental technologies servers transcode some of the services to SD for ATSC transmission with is muxed through a RGB networks BNP.

A Fox network affiliation was added that required automated time-shifting for MyTV network programming. Time-shifting also occurs on the ABC and CBS affiliations to allow for extended local news programming.

Additional master control upgrades include automated monitoring and alarming, branding, CALM compliance and proxy media prep.

The station has a strong focus on local news and produces back-to-back news programming branded for both the ABC and CBS affiliated channels. The new master control system allows for automated recording, segmenting and playback on a dedicated 24hr news channel. Upgraded news editing consists of Harris Velocity news editors, craft editors, and 20 seats of proxy editing. A Nexio SAN based server allows for proxy resolution access to all media in addition to full resolution files. Proxy editing can be completed in the field with automatic full-resolution conforms for on-air play-out. Proxy media can be viewed from any NPG property and full-resolution clips are automatically moved between facilities as needed allowing for simple shared access between news operations.

News-Press & Gazette selected Utter & Associates to provide key consulting, design and integration services for automated master control and news editing across the entire group of ten properties and over 40 channels over the course of a single year.

KTVZ in Bend, Oregon has launched all new master control under a centralized automation system. 

 

Utter Associates provided design and integration on this project that included NBC, FOX, CW and Telemundo affiliations under one system with both local and remote control. This new system represents a major upgrade for KTVZ.

The turn-key master control features include:

  • IP based MPEG stream ingest
  • Proxy media prep
  • On-line and near-line SAN storage
  • Automated workflows
  • HD routing, branding and signal processing on all channels
  • Surround audio with CALM compliance
  • Automated monitoring and alarming

KVIA in El Paso, TX has completed a much anticipated master control HD automation upgrade.

 

Utter Associates provided design and integration on this latest facility to be brought under News-Press & Gazette Broadcast Operations Center control in Colorado Springs as part of the centralized master control initiative.

Key features of the upgrade include:

  • IP based MPEG stream ingest
  • Proxy media prep
  • On-line and near-line SAN storage
  • Automated workflows
  • HD routing, branding and signal processing on all channels
  • Surround audio with CALM compliance
  • Automated monitoring and alarming

News-Press & Gazette selected Utter Associates to provide key consulting, design, and integration services for 10 properties with over 40 channels that will be centralized out of a Broadcast Operations Center in Colorado Springs.

Seattle Public Schools operates its own cable channel and airs a variety of educational and informational programs including school board meetings. 

Utter Associates provided consulting, design, and integration for this project which included a studio, production control room, master control and edit suites.