FLINT, MICH.— WJRT-TV is an ABC affiliate
that serves Flint, Saginaw, Bay City and
Midland. As director of engineering, one of
my greatest challenges is maximizing operational
efficiencies while simultaneously
meeting the needs of a bifurcated market.
The station transitioned to a file-based
workflow in 2001 and we were able to more
quickly and consistently get content on-air.
This step allowed us to reduce the number
of master control operators from three to
two. Another cost-saving measure was our
implementation of NVerzion’s Component
Level Automation System Solutions (CLASS).
Recently, the station decided to further
streamline operations by adding capabilities
to automatically transfer files from Pathfire
and PitchBlue content delivery systems directly
to our on-air server, as well as control
automatic scheduling of secondary and tertiary
events such as snipes and other graphics
from a new WideOrbit traffic system.
NO ‘STATION-IN-A-BOX’ FOR US
After a thorough examination of available
automation products, we chose to upgrade
our existing NVerzion system rather than
purchase a station-in-a-box automation system.
One of the primary reasons we selected
NVerzion’s CLASS automation system was
that it enabled us to work with a wide variety
of best-of-breed equipment manufacturers,
thus allowing us to capitalize on the return-
on-investment value for equipment we
already owned—including master control
switchers and graphics systems—as well as
support new components in the infrastructure
such as the WideOrbit traffic system.
This strategy has allowed us to achieve our
main objective and help us further increase
operational efficiencies and lower operating
HIGH LEVEL OF RELIABILITY
Another prime advantage inherent in a
traditional automation system such as NVerzion
CLASS is reliability. As we all know, in
broadcasting, reliability is the name of the
game, and with the CLASS modular-based architecture,
there is no single point of failure.
Should a component or module ever fail, we
can easily bypass it, keeping the signals fl owing
on-air and ensuring
a seamless broadcast
experience from both
an operational standpoint
and in terms of
what our viewers experience.
Currently, the NVerzion
controls our main
and the Live Well
we’re running; and
in the near future we
plan to extend its control
to our weather
subchannel. CLASS automation is highly
scalable, so it will allow us to easily control
this third channel without the added expense
of another workstation, once again
optimizing efficiencies and reducing operating
costs at the station.
Our latest NVerzion upgrade now completely
automates our master control and
traffic scheduling, further reducing the
number of staff required to operate our master
control and news operations from two
down to one. We’re now able to dedicate this
additional manpower to other tasks, such as
live shots which do require a live operator.
At the end of the day, NVerzion automation
has proven to be a reliable tool that is
saving WJRT-TV a considerable amount of
capital and operating expenses, while still allowing
us to deliver a high-quality television
to our viewers.
Skip Orvis is the director of operations
for WJRT-TV and has more than 30 years
of engineering experience in broadcasting.
He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact
NVerzion at 801-293-8420 or visit www.nverzion.com.