C100 Delivers the Digital Pathway Necessary for DTV Broadcasting in 2009

WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Solid State Logic, manufacturer of high quality digital consoles for the broadcast market, is pleased to announce the installation of a C100 HD console at WPTV News Channel 5. The station, an NBC affiliate and part of the Scripps-Howard network of stations, provides live local and national news coverage and weather reporting. The 32-fader, 64-channel C100 HD console supports the audio throughput of on-air news personalities and server based content, while streamlining the production flow of the station and delivering the digital pathway necessary for the all-digital broadcast mandate in 2009.

“The C100 is driving our news broadcasts and everything else we do out of our main control room,” says Paul Smircich, senior audio engineer for WPTV. “This involves five hours of live news programming per day. The engineers at Scripps-Howard have a well established relationship with SSL through C100 installations in other stations they own, so this was a natural choice for us. I must say, the C100 HD is like driving a Ferrari compared to the analogue board it replaced. The console has made a big difference in our workflow, which makes doing shows a whole lot easier. We’re very, very happy with the C100.”

The C100 lives in an audio booth within the main control room, servicing both the live news set and an interview set. The recall capabilities of the C100 allow the engineering staff at WPTV to easily move between shows and anchors. According to Smircich, the different engineers capture the settings for each anchor and microphone, greatly streamlining the changeover process. For the recent national election coverage, this capability was invaluable.

“For the presidential elections, I was taking over the coverage at 2:00 and the engineer before me was able to load up my settings in 10 seconds,” Smircich explains. “This capability was extremely important because in the past, it took up to three minutes of panic to reset the analogue board. With the C100 HD, when we went to break, we simply pushed a button and we were good to go for the next portion of the coverage. Since we started using the C100, the audio part of the production has always been ready, even with an emergency anchor changeover.”

According to Smircich, news production for the station is entirely accomplished through non-linear, server based content where video stories ingested into the server are accompanied by audio with varying, usually low, levels. With the old setup, the gain was fixed in the server. With the digital throughput provided by the C100, each channel has a gain control allowing Smircich to gently optimize the levels on the fly. This provides a consistency between packaged and live audio portions of the programs that wasn’t possible in the past. Smircich also appreciates the ease of use of the C100 and the excellent training the staff received from SSL. This training turned into a trial by fire for Smircich’s wife, Nita, who is also an audio engineer at the station.

“Four days before the C100 was to officially go on line, the analogue board it replaced died 15 minutes before a live program,” Smircich states. “My wife, who was working the upcoming show, jumped in with the C100 and turned in a perfect performance. She keeps telling me, ‘I love this board, I love this board.’ I’ve been doing this for 33 years and the C100 HD is the best thing I’ve ever laid my hands on.”

WPTV is the sixth Scripps-Howard C100 installation, joining WEWS-TV in Cleveland, Ohio; WFTS-TV in Tampa, Florida; WMAR-TV in Baltimore, Maryland; the Food Network in New York City and the Great American Country facility in Nashville, Tennessee serving the Country Music Cable Network.

Solid State Logic is the world’s leading manufacturer of analogue and digital audio consoles and provider of creative tools for music, broadcast and post production professionals. For more information about our award-winning products, please visit: www.solid-state-logic.com.