Oregon’s KBNZ now under new master control

KBNZ, a low-power CBS affiliate serving Bend, Oregon, is now operating out of a new master control facility designed and built by system integrator Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS) that handles all ingest and playout functions for the station.

When Zolo Media purchased KBNZ in 2010, master control for the station was performed by KOIN-TV, the CBS affiliate in Portland. New management decided to bring the operations in house at its Sherman Road studios. The project to build an on-site master control facility was approved in early 2011, and was on the air on September 1, 2011.

“We had to build a very efficient, scalable, and cost effective master control,” said Conor Miller, chief broadcast engineer at the station. “ABS helped us design the project in the best way for our business.”

Originally, ABS had been hired as consultants when the small market station was exploring its master control options. Before taking over the project, ABS provided a site survey, offered recommendations on space and power, and calculated costs for both the build and continuing operational expenses.

KBNZ’s master control was built in an area of the facility that had been filled with office cubicles. Once the walls were built, there was only a 13x15-foot room for master control, so efficient use of space was essential. Racks were pre-wired with equipment and tested at the ABS facility in SeaTac, then moved to KBNZ for permanent installation.

Based around Harris ADC playout automation, the 1080i HD master control suite features an embedded audio workflow. There are two Harris NEXIO four-channel playout servers, one for each channel. Content is mirrored on both servers for redundancy. A Harris IconMaster master control switcher provides two layers of automation and integrated graphics. Other equipment includes an Evertz Xenon routing switcher, Evertz VIP-X multi-viewer, two Samsung 58-inch commercial LCDs, Linear Acoustics audio processing and Wohler audio monitoring gear, and an Argosy custom console.

The new facility now handles master control for KBNZ and COTV, a Public, Educational and Governmental access (PEG) channel located in the same facility and operated by sister company BendBroadband—a locally owned cable television, digital phone, and high-speed Internet service provider in Central Oregon.

The project went very smooth and came in on budget and on time, according to Miller said. “ABS fills a really great market need right now for coming in and building efficient, reasonably scaled projects.”