By: Editorial Staff Five remote print sites to be involved sp.
FRIDAY THE 13TH is the May start-up date for a new page transmission system from the Toronto Globe and Mail to its five remote print sites. Unfazed by the unpropitious day and the scramble to work around a satellite failure last month, the Canadian national daily will employ new equipment that can transmit page facsimiles faster and exploit pagination through use of remote typesetting. It also will move to new frequencies, allowing it to return to its original Anik E1 communications satellite and deliver a cleaner signal to its most distant print site. Outbound compressed page data will move in shorter time by satellite from an Information International Inc. InfoFax II system. Inbound signals from remote sites will travel on landlines. The new system will support, when needed, a change in transmission from page facsimile mode to PostScript language or other page data format, thereby eliminating the need to scan pages that are output in Toronto. With the narrower bandwidth required by the compressed data, the paper "can transmit any time we want, as opposed to a broadband transmission in fixed time periods," editorial information systems manager Don Grey said. When the triple-I InfoFax network replaces the Eocom system installed in 1980, production director Thomas Hogan said, Globe and Mail page transmissions to Nova Scotia, Qu?bec, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia will move up to Ku-band satellite frequencies. They also will be able to move back to Telesat Canada's Anik E1 satellite. The spacecraft, which failed for most of eight hours Jan. 20, absorbed priority traffic from its E2 neighbor when that sister satellite failed about an hour after service was restored on E1. Most E1 clients were bumped in the process. Even though E2 service is not expected to resume for six months (thereby freeing E1's transponder capacity for its former users), Hogan said, the E1 has data-messaging availability. In contrast to its C-band transmissions, which crossed paths with terrestrial transmissions and hindered transmissions to Vancouver, British Columbia, Hogan said, the Ku-band's 12-GHz uplink and 14-GHz downlink are free of noise because they are reserved solely for satellite communications. The InfoFax order calls for receive-record installations at the five remote contract-print sites (as well as the Toronto scan-send installation). But Hogan said two more receive systems are anticipated when the paper closes its old letterpress shop and switches printing to two new commercially operated color offset sites in the Toronto area. The yet-to-be-built plants primarily will handle Globe and Mail printing, most of it for the paper's southern Ontario circulation, Hogan said. The Thomson group's flagship paper runs approximately 220,000 copies daily on its Toronto letterpresses. The third leg supporting streamlined production is pagination. In addition to the prepress efficiencies associated with full-page electronic output, those pages, which will be assembled on the paper's Harris system, will require no output, scanning and facsimile transmission. As a "digital fax" system, InfoFax will allow completed pages to be sent directly from prepress to remote recorders ? triple-I 3850s for speedy output of color separations. As the paper is able to move further in this direction, the 3750/F scanners can be converted from facsimile duty to prepress work such as capturing full-page ads. Hogan said the goal is to be able to transmit only PostScript page information directly from the prepress system.