Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Illinois stations automate content handling with 360 Systems servers
Central Illinois-based FOX affiliates WRSP-DT, in Springfield, and WCCU-DT, in Urbana/Champaign, and CW affiliate WBUI-DT, in Decatur, are all using 360 Systems MAXX 2400 servers to provide mutual backup, controlled by a Sundance automation system. The servers are used to store and play out all commercials and half of the stations’ content.
Chief engineer Scott Washburn’s transmitter sites are 100mi apart, so he programs full-power repeaters. The MAXX 2400 servers replaced two outdated video servers that had minimal storage capacity. Washburn now has all three MAXX 2400s integrated with a single Telestream TrafficManager system, and content ingest is fully automated.
The 360 Systems MAXX-2400 server is a two-channel video recorder, a four-channel playout server, a graphics store with linked key-and-fill capability and features 700 hours of storage capacity. Standard features include composite and SDI video ports, a frame synchronizer for recording wild sources and a complete set of audio formats, including embedded, AES/EBU digital and analog.
Washburn said that the stations’ ADI covers a large geographic area with diverse demographics, making programming a challenge. Springfield, the state capital, has a lot of white-collar workers, while Decatur is blue-collar industrial, and the University of Illinois in Champaign has a student population that fluctuates. Revenues in the last year have increased considerably under the new ownership of GoCom Media of Illinois, and they are moving aggressively to serve more of their communities’ needs, possibly through the use of DTV channels for localized programming.
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