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01.11.2006
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
WGVU-TV shifts to a server-based operation

Station automation



WGVU-TV shifts to a server-based operation



WGVU-TV, a service of Grand Valley State University, is a PBS television station based in Grand Rapids, MI, that provides educational, informative and entertaining programs and events.

This fall, WGVU completed a transition of its broadcast operations from analog to digital.

Systems integrator SignaSys was chosen by the facility to assist with design, integration and installation of new broadcast technologies in an upgraded master control room that would enable the station to meet the FCC digital mandate, improve overall efficiency of operations and leverage resources more fully.

In a shift to server-based operations, WGVU replaced the 15 tape machines that previously supplied material for playout with a new Omneon Spectrum media server system that supports both SD and HD workflows within the facility. The support system enables efficient ingest and accurate program transmission. And its open architecture allows the system to support a broad variety of third-party applications, including Sundance Digital’s highly-scalable Titan automation solution and Pictron digital asset management.

The facility’s Titan package includes the Sundance Archive Manager, which provides interface between the automation and archive systems, Program View to enable viewing of video server content from any desktop in the facility, MediaCacher for batch ingesting media from tape into the server, and Intelli-Sat to manage the satellite feed recording process.

The automation system controls the server and manages playout of four SD channels, which allows the facility to program streams that support its daytime instructional television service for area schools. Evening programming includes one HD channel and one SD 480I service. The SD service is designed for viewers with ATSC set-top boxes connected to NTSC television receivers and to provide a feed for WGVU’s analog transmitter.

Local programming is an important part of the station’s broadcasts. Maintaining the facility’s assets is accomplished by a Pictron digital asset management system. The Pictron Media Gateway Suite automatically encodes and indexes video so that it is searchable and accessible to station staff via LAN and Internet.

The software suite includes tools that segment video into meaningful, searchable clips by detecting video scene changes, analyzing audio and extracting text — all of which is indexed automatically. Pictron allows editors to find clips and create Avid-compatible edit decision lists for program creation.

The close integration of the server system, automation and Pictron systems allows the station’s staff to focus on maintaining on-air channels rather than on moving things to air.

A Miranda Technologies’ Kaleido multi-image display processor allows the operator to switch from monitoring all streams in the broadcast signal to a single stream with just the push of a button. Miranda’s I-Web allows WGVU to monitor processes in its distribution infrastructure including it’s A/D conversion equipment.

Design Team Technology at Work
SignaSys: Cisco networking
Steve Hoffmann, proj. mgr. Evertz sync generators
Jim Borgioli, sr. proj. eng. Marshal monitors
Jim Baird, network systems eng. Miranda Technologies
Scott Polzin, installation sup. Imagestores
WGVU: Distribution amplifiers
Bob Lumbert, dir. of eng. I-Web
David Oliver, eng. supervisor Kaliedo displays
Allegro streamers
NVISION routing
Omneon Spectrum media server
Pictron Media Gateway Suite
Raritan KVM
Sony:
HDCAM VTRs
Luma monitoring
Spectralogic LTO3 digital library
Raritan KVM
Sundance Digital:
Archive Manager
Titan automation
Program View
TANDBERG Television encoding
Tektronix WFM
Videotek VTM
Wohler monitors

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