Ross Revolutionizes Bonten Media MC Ops

July 24, 2014
NEW YORK—The Bonten Media Group operates local television stations throughout the United States, affiliated with ABC, NBC, Fox, CW and This TV.

Three of our smaller California stations in Eureka, Chico and Redding had been operating with SD-era control rooms for a long time. To continue providing the highest- quality programming, we decided last year to upgrade the control rooms for HD and combine the separate facilities into a single master control with centralcasting originating from Redding.

The new Bonten Media Redding, Calif. centralcasting operation
We knew that combining the separate master control rooms into one would save on operating costs and allow us to retain more control over programming. It would mean only one facility to staff and maintain, and a single routing infrastructure to deal with, as well as only having to purchase HD equipment for a single site, rather than three.

As part of the upgrade, we installed a Ross Video NK router, along with Ross router control panels, 12 MC1 master control switching cards and associated openGear equipment. We backed this package up with Crispin automation, which integrates quite nicely with the MC1 system.

We chose Ross’s MC1 because it’s loaded with useful features, competitively priced, built to meet the demands of 24/7 operation, five-year warranty, and also provides complete program path protection via input bypass relays.

The system’s hot-swap capability that allows us to replace any on-air channel card with a spare MC1-MK card and have all of the channel’s parameters automatically assigned to the replacement card. The MC1 also has a very compact footprint, which allowed us to free up a lot of space—an important consideration given that we were combining three MC operations into one.

The new setup provides control of all primary and subchannels from the MC1s, which is very useful from a workflow perspective. And while our intent was to operate the MC1s as a fully automated system, I really like having the flexibility to control them directly with Ross Video’s Dashboard user-customizable control system that enables us to quickly create tailored control panels that make complex operations simple.

The support we’ve received from Ross throughout this entire project has been stellar. It’s like having a partner who is an expert in live production working alongside. An other big plus is the way that Ross keeps on communicating with its customers to find out what sort of new features they’d like to see. They then use this information to update their products—including the MCI—with additional features to make them even better.

Ross’s MC1 is revolutionizing the way people think about doing master control. It’s an MC switching system that’s hard to beat.

Tom Cupp is vice president of engineering at the Bonten Media Group. He may be contacted at [email protected].

For additional information, contact Ross Video at 613-652-4886613-652-4886 or visit

Receive regular news and technology updates.
Sign up for our free newsletter here.