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After leaving WNYG, we went to visit the WLIE (540 Islip) towers, where I did not take any photos, and then we went on to visit the shop of one of Mike's mentors, Jerry Mehrab at HBO. What's a cable channel doing on a Web site devoted to broadcast stations, you may ask? Well, although cable networks do not operate like typical local broadcasters, they do use a broadcast technology to distribute their programming: satellite. Here in Hauppauge, N.Y., Jerry Mehrab supervises the RF operations of HBO's satellite uplink facility, along with the other Time-Warner Entertainment channels (Cinemax and Comedy Central) and from time other cable channels on a contractual basis. Viacom's MTV networks uplink from a similar facility located just down the street.
As of the time these photographs were taken, all of the programming on all of the HBO and Cinemax channels -- except for the two West Coast feeds -- came of banks of videotape players like these. Live programming is either fed from HBO's Manhattan studios, or downlinked here from satellite. Although it is not pictured here, there is a special control room used just to manage continuity for HBO-West before and after live events -- at all other times, HBO-West is feed off a hard drive from programming recorded three hours earlier when it was uplinked for the East Coast.
Copyright 2003, Garrett A. Wollman. All rights reserved. Photograph taken 2003-01-13.