Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
KHQ adopts centralcasting model
For about three years, KHQ in Spokane, WA. (DMA #75), relied on upconversion to deliver its HD content to audiences. With the help of systems integrator Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS), the station upgraded its master control earlier this year to handle full HD and converted the operation into a centralcasting hub for two other stations, KNDO and KNDU. The station also handled additional multiplexed channels that served the Yakima and Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland) regions in Washington (DMA #126).
The three NBC affiliates are owned by the KHQ Television Group, a subsidiary of Cowles Publishing Company. The facility also handles master control for KGPX, an ION Media Networks station located at the facility but operated separately.
The channels are distributed via a 100 Mb/s fiber loop between the three regions, with a redundant digital microwave path for back up.
ABS handled most of the design work, project scheduling, equipment recommendation and procurement, and installation. The upgraded control room is built around a new Evertz VIP-X integrated routing platform and multi-image display system. Pixel Power BrandMaster master control switchers with integrated graphics for branding were installed for each of the three main channels, while Pixel Power LogoVision branding devices were added for other channels.
Additional I/O ports were added to an existing Omneon server for playout, and KHQ’s Avid Titan automation system was upgraded to handle the additional traffic. Audio is handled through Linear Acoustics processing gear and TSL audio monitoring units.