Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
West Virginia Media completes multi-station upgrades with IMT
In 2012, Integrated Media Technologies (IMT) modernized the master control infrastructure of West Virginia Media's (WVMM) eight television stations in the state's four DMAs utilizing Ross Video, Utah Scientific, Harmonic and other vendors, allowing for the transmission of HD content.
The first phase of the modernization included a two station upgrade of WTRF's (Wheeling) and WOWK's (Charleston) news production control rooms, utilizing the Ross OverDrive solution with Video Switcher, and XPression CG, controlling Telemetrics robotics with Panasonic cameras. The fully automated news systems allow WVMM to provide stunning HD newscasts to their viewers.
The recently completed phase two project allowed for WBOY (Clarksburg) and WVNS (Beckley) to automate their news production control rooms with Ross and Telemetrics camera robotics, as well. WVMM implemented the Omneon MediaDeck servers for news packages and clip playout. They've taken advantage of the Harmonic Carbon Coder transcoding system, too, providing a gateway for field produced content to be loaded into the servers, thereby maintaining a file-based workflow.
Bray Cary, President and CEO of WVMM stated, "All four news operations are now identical with respect to technology, workflow and operation. This was a primary objective when we began the process of modernization. The Ross automation systems are allowing us to generate news productions with higher quality and greater consistency from what we had been achieving with our previous systems. We are in very competitive markets and our new automation and fully HD master control systems provide us with a clear edge."
An integral part of the second phase of upgrade was the addition of Harmonic's Video-Over-IP equipment, which allows WVMM to transmit all content between stations in HD with high bitrates and low latency. WVMM selected the Harmonic Ellipse HD encoders and ProView 7000 decoders for this task. Encoders and decoders were installed across all stations, including remote news bureaus. This capability allows WVMM to leverage their television stations' statewide news programs, and to share all content between all stations.
IMT's VP of Business Development, Tom McGowan stated, "WVMM's selection of Harmonic's Electra series multiplexers allows WVMM to broadcast multiple channels over the same carrier. In each of the four markets the dot.2 channel carries another network affiliation. By incorporating the Harmonic Electra multiplexers all dot.2 channels are now broadcast over the air in HD. "