Omneon serves up multiple aspect ratios for WCAX-TV

July 21, 2008

WCAX-TV, the CBS affiliate in Burlington, VT, has selected an Omneon Spectrum media server system to ingest and play out material to support three DTV channels. The station broadcasts both syndicated programming and locally-produced news and other content in the 16:9 SD and HD, 4:3 SD anamorphic, and 4:3 SD formats.

The server enables WCAX to produce and distribute content in SD now and upgrade to HD production in the future. The station’s new infrastructure also supports a tapeless workflow and replaces two single-use playout servers (one for SD and one for HD) with a unified platform.

WCAX purchased a mirrored Omneon Spectrum media server system, including two MediaPort 4102 I/O modules to support up- and downconversion, and Omneon TrackTool to insert AFD information into clips to tag odd aspect ratios. Using TrackTool, the station’s operators can tag each program according to its formatting. If a clip is tagged incorrectly when it is ingested, TrackTool allows the operator to change the clip attribute in a matter of seconds without having to re-ingest.

The Spectrum system, running under the control of a Harris automation system, plays out three separate channels: WCAX’s main SD and HD program channels and WCAXtra , a second digital news and weather channel. Using the information set with TrackTool, SD content (4:3, 16:9, or Letter Box) is automatically played out with the correct aspect ratio on the upconverted HD outputs.

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