ATLANTA— WGCL-TV is the Meredith
Corp. television station here and recently
decided to move into automated operations.
After analyzing several automation systems
with our director of engineering, Gary
Watkins, we decided that Ross Video’s Over-
Drive was the best fit.
By integrating OverDrive, our production
operations have now become more
efficient, as we are able to perform multiple
duties from one position, consistently
and cleanly, with very little error. We often
joke about how the technical position
now looks like the cockpit of a 747. This
even extends to calling our back-up technical
producer a “co-pilot.”
Having the ability to control all of our
production devices from this position is
We use MOS protocol to interface
OverDrive with our iNews
system and our experience has
been very positive. OverDrive has
proven its ability to keep up with
the rundown changes sometimes
needed during our daily newscasts.
OverDrive automation and Ross
Video’s Vision production switcher
provide us with the best of both
worlds with the flexibility required
for major productions such as coverage
of the recent national elections.
Our automation installation began
in November 2011, and was
completely operational by March. Initially,
we took a conservative approach in transitioning
to automated operations by softlaunching
our newscasts one show at a time.
I have to admit that we did encounter
a few interface challenges at first, but Ross
worked with developers of other devices
and provided the knowledge needed to interface
all the equipment. We also ran into
some OverDrive bugs, but Ross pulled us
through, even going as far as providing an
onsite programmer to write code. This was
customer service at its best. And this level of
support has not diminished after the installation.
If we need assistance, I call Ross support
and receive a call back in less than an
hour—if not immediately.
EASY TRANSITION FOR ALL
After installation, our learning curve
was minimal since we were already using
Ross Video’s Vision production switcher,
with very intuitive operation. In the middle
of our training session, you could just
see the “light bulb” turn on for our technical
producers, and also observe the nervousness
some of our personnel had turn
to excitement. And while we do have an
OverDrive “guru” on staff to provide additional
support, all of our operators have
a good understanding of the system as a
whole and are comfortable with it.
It’s been really interesting to watch our
directors and TDs collaborate in creating
their new workflow. Although challenging at
first, our staff quickly overcame any growing
pains associated with the new workflows.
Ross Video has helped our facility join the
automated world while still maintaining the
integrity of our productions. I challenge other
vendors to provide the level of support
Ross Video does.
Gabriel Lopez is assistant chief engineer
at WGCL-TV and has worked in the television
industry for 11 years. He may be contacted
For additional information, contact
Ross Video at 613-652-4886 or visit www.rossvideo.com.