Chuck Pagano: ESPN’s master Of HD control

Mar 24, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Title: ESPN’s senior VP, technology, engineering and operations
Background: Mr. Pagano has been with the sports network since it launched in 1979 with a slow-pitch softball game. He was originally an ENG editor.
Up Close: On March 30 ESPN will go high-definition with the Anaheim Angels/ Texas Rangers baseball game, the first of about 100 sporting events it will present in HD over 12 months.
The HD Challenge: “The real challenge [in converting to HD] is not the technology but really time and cultural implications on the business-new learning curve, getting used to new sets of tools, new methodologies and work flows. Those are what I see as the challenges.”
Digital House: ESPN broke ground in late 2001 on a 120,000-square-foot digital center that will operate at full capacity by the end of 2005. It will house seven control rooms, three large studios and a host of master-control suites. The entire facility will be HD, and ESPN will then be able to downconvert for its standard-definition channels when it needs to, Mr. Pagano said.
End of Sneaker.net: As ESPN transitions into its new digital HD facility, starting in 2004, the network will migrate from video tape to a server-based system, eliminating the need for shuttling videotape around, a process commonly referred to as Sneaker.net.