CV / resumé - Dan Gibson, Broadcast Engineer

CV / resumé - Dan Gibson, Broadcast Engineer
Curriculum Vitae / Résumé: Dan Gibson
Introduction
I started in broadcasting with around three years working for a TV broadcaster as an engineer/operator in various
areas including studio (sound and vision), off-line, outside broadcast, transmission and master control operations.
I then built upon this broad broadcasting experience through working with a digital broadcasting equipment
manufacturer and solutions provider, initially as a Field Support Engineer, then as a Systems Specialist.
The support role involved working with broadcasters around the world, fault finding and solving 'real-world', often
urgent, system integration problems. Other duties within this role included installations and upgrades, and providing
training (both writing and presenting technical training courses).
The System Specialist role involved integration of complex digital broadcasting systems, including broadcast control,
and conditional access (content security). A significant part of the role involved integration with third party systems
such as automation, programme scheduling, subscriber management systems, set-top-box integration and almost
any other aspect of digital broadcasting.
I then spent six months working as a senior broadcast engineer / engineering supervisor for MTV International (based
in London), and then took a promotion to manage the engineering team.
I moved from MTV to Viasat in 2007 to manage the engineering team in their UK, multi-channel play-out centre.
Each of these roles has given me exposure to, and required a working understanding of, a significant number of the
systems as used by all broadcasters, as well as account, project, and people management.
Personal Details
Name:
Dan Gibson
Date of Birth:
25th July 1972
Address:
Middlesex, UK
(e-mail for details)
Nationality:
British
Marital Status:
Single, living with
partner.
Driving License:
Smoker:
No
Full UK, clean.
with Advanced Driving
Test and Motorcycle
entitlement.
Languages:
English (native),
Italian, French
e-mail:
dan@gonmad.co.uk
Qualifications
Further Education
Lancaster University
1990-1993
Honours Degree in Electronic Engineering (with Physics and
Marketing)
Higher Education
Morton School VI Form,
Carlisle
1988-1990
A-levels: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, General Studies.
Compulsory Education
Morton Comprehensive,
Carlisle
1983-1988
GCSEs: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Technology, English Language,
English Literature, Geography, Art & Design,
Other Formal Training
Oracle 8i DBA, Informix database management and SQL, TCP/IP
Networking and Internetworking, Unix programming (C Programming
in a Unix environment), Web Technologies (incl. XML, Server- and
Client-side programming), Sony FlexiCart Mechanical maintenance.
Employment History
Current:
April 2007 –
Present
Viasat Broadcasting UK. West Drayton, U.K. Engineering Manager
BACKGROUND
Viasat is a multi-channel broadcaster broadcasting to 24 countries and 100 million
people across these countries. Viasat’s 30 channel, UK play-out centre employs one of
the most integrated file based work-flows in the industry. Broadcast quality material is
digitally shareable between broadcast TV, online services, on-demand services,
corporate desktop and post-production.
As Viasat’s audience is spread across such a wide geographic area, the majority of
channels are broadcast with multiple audio languages (up to 9 simultaneously) and
multiple subtitle services. This provides technical challenges on top of the political and
regulatory challenges normally associated with multi-regional broadcast.
GENERAL BRIEF
To ensure availability of technical systems and infrastructure providing 24x7 television
broadcast, post production and ancillary services.
To manage engineering projects at a high level (generally Programme Manager level
involvement) and delegate projects and project tasks within the engineering team to
ensure delivery on time and within budget constraints.
Design and cost new installations and system improvements.
Day to day management of engineering team including work allocation, recruitment,
freelance and contract hiring, budgeting etc.
Creation and implementation of new procedures and documentation standards.
MAJOR ACHEIVEMENTS
The on-time and under-budget design, build and launch of Viasat’s first HD channel,
including ingest facility and transmission system, all based on an HD/SD simulcast
model.
Build and launch of TV6 Hungary in just 6 weeks from project approval.
Integration and installation of the UK’s (Europe’s?) largest single Final Cut Pro farm
(57 seats) with ‘edit-in-place’ shared storage and a fully file-based work-flow utilising
Viasat’s central digital media archive and Media Asset Management system.
Design of a common digital media delivery architecture to include XML based delivery
receipt functionality. The architecture was initially designed to support three particular
digital media delivery intermediaries, but also to be flexible and expandable to any
other supplier.
KEY TECHNOLOGIES (This list is not exhaustive)
Omneon Spectrum video servers, Harris D-Series play-out automation, Pharos
Mediator media management, Ideas Unlimited Content Probe compliance recording,
Miranda Imagestore branding, Final Cut Pro, Storagetek archive, Front Porch Digital
DIVA archive management, Screen subtitling, Evertz multiviewers, Quartz and Leitch
routers, PC & Mac (incl. the usual PC office software applications plus AutoCAD, MS
Project and Visio)
CV – Dan Gibson
Page 2 of 7
Previous
Employment:
July 2003 –
April 2007
MTV Networks Europe. London, U.K. Transmission Engineering Manager
GENERAL BRIEF
To ensure the provision of 24x7 broadcast services to MTV Networks Europe and their clients, maintaining
the highest possible levels of technical continuity and the day-to-day management of all associated
broadcast engineering staff.
MAIN RESPONSIBILITES
Management of a team of twelve engineers comprising 8 shift workers and 4 day / project engineers.
Overseeing all broadcast systems ensuring service continuity of approximately 60 24x7 TV channels from 4
transmission areas, 3 studio facilities, post production facilities, a master control room, and other associated
technical areas.
Overseeing the installation of new systems and expansion of existing systems for new channel launches,
channel enhancements, and technically complex live shows.
Co-ordination, motivation, and development of staff in an ever changing and expanding engineering
environment, including annual appraisals and objective setting, and day-to-day work allocation and
prioritisation.
Definition and implementation of problem solving policies and procedures.
Forming part of a core team responsible for the ongoing design and development of all broadcast technology
areas and systems.
Liaison with all areas of the company and external clients on both technical and strategic subjects at all
levels.
Working with the Head of Operations and Engineering to ensure the department operates within budgetary
constraints.
Management of the implementation of new technological developments.
MAJOR ACHEIVEMENTS
Overseeing the faultless transmission of, and managing the team responsible for, the transmission of four
successive MTV European Music Awards (2003-2006) – including the multi-venue Rome event - with a
potential audience of one billion people, and including MTV Europe’s first HD broadcast.
The successful, on time, and on budget launch of numerous new channels within MTV Networks Europe and
the Showtime Network including VH2, Paramount Comedy 2, Nickleodeon European, MTV Ireland, MTV
Sweden, MTV Portugal.
Specification and functional design assistance for Audio Description decoder/mixer card in Axon Synapse
range in conjunction with Axon and the BBC.
The design and specification of new EBU teletext subtitling functionality on the Publitronic Indigo platform
including integration of control protocol. This was then implemented across MTV’s Sky and Freeview
platform channels (MTV, VH1 and TMF brands).
Design and implementation of common control protocol for on-screen interactive graphics systems. This was
launched across numerous MTV, VH1 and TMF channels across Europe with two distinct interactive
entertainment systems (Yarosa Entertainment and Siren).
The recruitment and retention of a very skilled and motivated engineering team, maintaining a full head
count for the first time in many years.
Twice overseeing transmission engineering and studio support for the launch of the MTV UK flagship show
‘TRL’, once from local studios and once from a new facility in London’s Leicester Square.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
I was also a member of the ‘Playout and Broadcast Taskforce’ set up to investigate and make
recommendations on the future direction of the German music TV channels after MTV’s acquisition of Viva
Media.
Core member of the team set up to investigate, plan, and implement the replacement and expansion of
video server and automation systems within MTV Networks Europe’s main playout area (serving 30+ 24x7
channels).
CV – Dan Gibson
Page 3 of 7
Previous
Employment
(continued):
January 2003 – MTV Networks Europe, London, U.K. Broadcast Engineering Supervisor
July 2003
GENERAL BRIEF
Ensuring all technical areas and services are maintained to the highest engineering standards. Responsible
for team and its outputs, reporting directly to the Transmission Engineering Manager.
MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:
To provide high level engineering support to all Broadcast Services equipment to ensure the highest
possible levels of technical and operational continuity to the MTVNE Network.
Supervise projects to ensure their completion, on time and to the highest standards, as set by the
Engineering Management.
Develop both Junior and Broadcast Engineers through continual training and support.
Provide proactive feed back to MTV Broadcast Services (via the Engineering Managers) of technical support
issues, potential problem areas or advancements in technology that may be beneficial to MTV.
Liaison with both internal and external clients for notification of fault conditions and their resolution.
To be responsible for the completion of all administration, documentation and shift reports.
Maintain and implement relevant policies and procedures and help with their production and ensure
acceptance.
Provide detailed high-level Engineering input into new and existing systems development.
In conjunction with Engineering managers provide Personal Development Review input and objectives
setting for the shift and junior engineering staff.
Take responsibility for prioritisation and resolution of all faults that occur on shift.
Some detail on main technical responsibilities:
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Maintenance of Broadcast Transmission Facilities (including Omnibus automation, Pinnacle/HP
Video servers, Sony LMS and Flexicart).
Maintenance of Post Production Facilities.
Maintenance of VT Dubbing Facilities.
Operation and maintenance of Broadcast Routers.
Operation and maintenance of Compression / Multiplex systems.
Operation and maintenance of Signal Distribution/conversion equipment.
Operation and maintenance of Talkback / IFB Systems.
Operation and maintenance of Vision / Audio Mixers e.g. GVG, Philips.
Operation and maintenance of graphics equipment e.g. Quantel, Publitronic, Miranda Oxtel.
Support of Satellite based broadcasting systems.
Use of PC based drawing packages e.g. VidCAD, AutoCAD.
MCR duties including lines routing and liaison with other broadcasters and service providers
around the world.
Approximately 50 channels are broadcast from the MTV centre, and this position involves shift work to
ensure these broadcasts are maintained 24/7.
CV – Dan Gibson
Page 4 of 7
Previous
Employment
(continued):
October 1999 – NDS Ltd., Southampton, Hants. U.K., System Specialist
December 2003 This work involved integration (system design, build, and configuration) of complex digital broadcast
systems. NDS supplies various solutions for broadcast systems control, and 'secure delivery of content'
(conditional access). It involved both lab and on site work and was essentially a more in-depth expansion of
the role I carried out in Field Service, with the added responsibilities of project management and initial
installation.
Additional responsibilities involved initial customer familiarisation with the system and its operation, and
system design work to make the system actually work to the broadcasters' requirements, and within the
specifications of the standards bodies such as DVB, ATSC, and MPEG.
The role also involved integrating with third party systems that provide, for example, broadcast automation,
subscriber management, programme scheduling etc.
As well as this technical aspect of the work, the role required project management skills, and in some cases
team/personnel management.
Some third party systems providers I worked with include:
Louth Automation (Harris), MediaGenix, Tandberg Television (previously NDS Broadcast), IBM (video
servers), Harmonic (Divicom), Italtel, Pace, OpenTV, and ADB.
Some broadcasters I worked with in this role included:
•
Madritel (Spain)
Spain's first digital cable operator, operating out of Madrid with a 12 multiplex, approximately
50 channel systems incorporating an NDS conditional access system with pay-per-view as
well as subscription based services. (Tandberg compression system)
•
OTE (Greece)
Investigation of set-top-box EPG issues, and general system support on site in Athens
(2000).
Integration and build of new commercial broadcast system comprising four transport streams
and approximately 50 channels including interactive channels, subscription channels, and
pay-per-view channels (2002). (Tandberg compression system)
•
RTN (USA)
Build and integration of a Tandberg TV compression system with NDS 'Data Broadcast
Network' equipment for this Pittsburgh based broadcaster of enhanced educational TV
services. With particular responsibility for the compression system build.
•
Digita Oy (Finland)
Finland's first digital terrestrial broadcaster. Initially a two multiplex system carrying a small
number of channels, but the complexity is due to increase over the next 18 months as the
project moves into the later phases and this has had to be planned for from the beginning.
Following the initial installation, I also managed system upgrades and expansion. (Tandberg
compression system)
•
GloboCabo (Brazil)
Before the economic crash, this was to be potentially the largest digital cable broadcaster in
South America. The system was to include distributed headends and both digital and
analogue channels. My role was that of system integrator for the stream management system
and SI generation. A working trial system was delivered. (Harmonic compression)
•
Stream (Italy)
During a 6 month secondment to the customer's site in Rome, I took the role of senior
account engineer responsible for the day to day support of a complex 'triple-crypt' conditional
access system. As the senior engineer I was also responsible for establishing procedures,
shift patterns, and handling relations with the customer. (Tandberg compression system)
CV – Dan Gibson
Page 5 of 7
Previous
Employment
(continued):
February 1997 - NDS Ltd., Southampton, Hants. U.K., Field Service Engineer
October 1999
Worldwide field support and telephone support for digital television compression and broadcasting
equipment.
Including faultfinding, upgrades, field repair, NDS (now Tandberg Television) and third party integration, fault
investigation, installation, and reconfiguration. Most of this work is carried out on live revenue sensitive
systems. Also presenting training courses for both colleagues and customers.
During 1998 I spent four and a half months in California setting up the US support operation. This involved
establishing procedures for fault reporting, logging and tracking; equipment repair and tracking; arranging
engineers for site visits; acquiring equipment for engineering labs; and the general running of the support
operation until a permanent support manager was hired for the region.
I also maintained the department intranet site (which involved HTML scripting, shell scripting, Perl5
programming, cgi programming, and system administration), and sat on the company Intranet Steering
Group.
Through the various aspects of the job, the following operating systems were used - SunOS / Solaris, Linux,
HP Unix, Windows 95 and NT.
Customers I worked with were very many, but included:
Fox Television, NBC, BSkyB, BiB, NTL, Channel 5, Star TV, SkyLA, EBU/UER, MultiChoice, Tele+, Canal+,
France Telecom, MTV, Bezeq, DMX, TCI, Castle Transmission International, NTV Russia, Matav, Foxtel,
BT, BBC, Reuters, Deutsche Welle. With specific responsibility for Globecast N.E. and Stream, Italy.
Systems supported include:
Direct-to-Home broadcast systems (satellite, cable, and digital terrestrial) with both standard and high
definition (see achievements); Data Broadcast Networks (multicast and unicast); contribution and distribution
systems; satellite news gathering and mobile contribution systems; broadcast and multiplex control systems;
conditional access systems (both NDS and third party vendors).
Note: The digital compression hardware business has since been sold to Tandberg Television, for
information of the systems I supported during my time in this position, you should visit their website.
June 1993 February 1997
Border Television, Carlisle, Cumbria, U.K. Technical Operator / Engineer
Wide range of engineering duties including:
VT engineering, dubbing, editing, vision engineering (live programmes, 5 remote controlled cameras), sound
engineering (live programmes), sound assisting (pre-records), graphics, installations and maintenance,
MCR/Transmission operations (including vision mixing on local news bulletins), compliance and technical
previewing.
Also PC/network support and development (Unix, Mac and DOS/Windows, TCP/IP Ethernet), and telephone
exchange maintenance.
Equipment worked with includes:
Grass Valley Master 21 presentation mixer, Sony BetacamSP VCRs, Sony DigiBetacam VCRs, Sony 1"
VTRs, Rank Cintel Mk3 Telecine, Quantel Paintbox, Aston Motif/Ethos, Aston 3B, ESS3 framestore, Sony
and JVC studio and ENG cameras (CCD and tube), BASYS/AVID newsroom automation systems, ProBel
video switchers, ACE video mixers, audio desks, audio carts, disk carts, test equipment including waveform
monitors and vectorscopes, talkback systems (local, and remote via telephone lines), Micron radio
microphones. (This is not intended to be an exhaustive list)
I also had limited exposure to non-linear editing systems (Avid and Lightworks), video servers (Tektronic)
during trials of these systems, but I moved to NDS before Border made the purchases.
1986 - June
1993
Various part-time and holiday work
Including:
Clerical assistant (local authority), sales assistant, ski instructor (groups and individuals, adults and
children), postman, process worker, warehouse worker, and nightclub DJ (actually ran a night in a nightclub
for two years, see positions of authority below).
CV – Dan Gibson
Page 6 of 7
Other Information
Interests:
My main sporting interest is snow skiing, a sport which I have enjoyed since the age of 6.
Since then I have competed on a national level for both my school and University, and
instructed at my local dry ski slope for around 7 years.
I also fly light aircraft and ride a motorcycle purely for pleasure. Among my other 'part-time'
interests I would include travel and DIY. I have also completed a couple of parachute jumps intact!
I have computers at home which I use for 3D graphics and animation, video editing (Avid
Liquid, Adobe Premiere), music, programming, and web publishing / design (see
http://www.gonmad.co.uk)
Through my web work and computer programming I have gained experience in C, C++,
HTML, DHTML, cgi, Perl, JavaScript, ASP, PHP, and MySQL.
Non-professional
positions of authority:
Race Captain, Lancaster University Ski Club.
As captain, I arranged training sessions and teams for racing on a national level with the
'Kings Ski Club' national league. During my term, I took the team to the national finals after
qualifying through our regional division.
Live Events Manager, University Radio Bailrigg.
The Live Events Manager was responsible for providing equipment and personnel for any live
events (discos, rallies, and live promotions) arranged by the University radio station (or other
student union body). Responsibility extended to servicing and purchasing sound and lighting
equipment to provide the best service available on campus.
During my tenure, this position also involved the running of a student night at a local
nightclub. This night was so successful that the Student Union nightclub suffered a major loss
of customers, and tried to close down the radio station as a result! It also involved organising
a one off event for 1300 people from scratch to promote the radio station.
Vice President, Lancaster University Ski Club.
This position involved the general duties of running the university ski club, and assisting the
president. As well as co-ordinating meetings and communication between members, it also
involved arranging the annual club trip to France (for around 40 people).
Achievements:
Obtaining my PPL
In April 2001 I finally obtained my Private Pilots' License, something I had wanted to do for
many years but had been unable to complete due to work commitments.
WXYZ, WJBK, & KTLA.
In October 1998 I installed and put on air the U.S.A.'s first fully operational High-Definition
digital TV service. The station was WXYZ, an ABC affiliate in Detroit, Mi. The system installed
was an NDS E5810 encoder/compression system running at a 720p60 resolution.
This was followed two and a half days later by WJBK Fox 2, Detroit's second fully operational
HD digital TV station (although they were actually first to broadcast an HD digital signal from
pre-encoded material).
A couple of weeks later, I also installed California's first HD digital TV service - Los Angles'
KTLA 5, a Warner Brother's affiliate, and part of the Tribune broadcasting group. This station
was the only station to broadcast direct to the 1998 SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and
Television Engineers) Conference in Pasadena, Ca. just prior to the nation-wide official
launch date for digital TV on 1st November. The broadcast showed the historic return to
space for senator John Glenn in the live Shuttle launch from the Kennedy Space center in
Florida. It was broadcast in 1080i resolution, the highest resolution available at the time from
any digital TV system.
Additional information and recommendations can be found on Linked-In:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/dangibson
For further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the e-mail address above.
Thank you for your interest.
CV – Dan Gibson
Last update:
April 2008.
Page 7 of 7
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