Harris Aids KREX-TV's Recovery From Fire

Matters were made worse by the fact that we were supposed to carry the Super Bowl in just two weeks time, and being off-air meant that we would be letting our off-air viewers down.
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One of the lineup of Harris Videotek VTM series of signal monitoring systems. GRAND JUNCTION, COLO.
Hoak Media of Colorado has five stations that operate from a central master control and technical operations center. These facilities are based upon a comprehensive, end-to-end Harris infrastructure, with Harris Videotek test and measurement products installed for QC and monitoring purposes.

We have the Videotek TVM9140PKG multiformat HD/SD-SDI video and audio signal analyzer for use in connection with our path to the transmitter site.

Our engineers also carry the Videotek HD-Star handheld HD and SD generator and monitor. This compact portable, battery-powered unit allows us to test signal integrity at any one of our locations. It provides waveform monitoring, test signal generation and audio analysis.

Within our TOC and master control areas, our operators use Videotek VTM4100PKG multiformat on-screen monitors on a daily basis. It allows our operators to check and confirm every signal and source, including the 1080i HD signals we carry for CBS, as well as 720p for Fox—all from a single interface.

The VTM monitors tie in with our entire facility, including a wide array of other Harris systems.

THE BIG FIRE

However, we have a bigger story to tell in connection with our Grand Junction outlet, KREX-TV. This test and measurement gear I've been describing was part of a package that Harris brought to us immediately following a devastating fire that knocked all five of our channels completely off-air. Matters were made worse by the fact that we were supposed to carry the Super Bowl in just two weeks time, and being off-air meant that we would be letting our off-air viewers down, in addition to losing all the local ad revenue.

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Philip Mowbray operates the KREX-TV facility that was created after a devastating fire destroyed the original facility. The damage we faced was beyond what any station could have coped with. However Harris stepped in, and under the auspices of Skip Erickson and Craig Beardsley, served as a systems integrator, installing gear and offering their expertise to assist our rebuilding efforts.

With Harris helping, we set up a temporary master control and TOC in a 60-foot trailer. Their engineers even worked with our traffic vendor, Summit, to tie the new Harris ADC-1000 automation and auto ingest systems to our existing traffic software so we wouldn't have to do retraining. (KRMJ, the PBS member station in Grand Junction, also deserves praise for providing us space for our news and studio operations.)

With all this help we were able to get back on the air within one week following the fire, and were able to meet our Super Bowl commitments. The disaster also prompted us to make a quantum leap to an all-digital, tapeless workflow that has since saved us significant operational costs and increased our revenue through its efficient operation.

While the test and measurement systems arrived as part of a complete package, I know that if I'd been in the market for only test and measurement products, I doubt I would have selected anything else. The gear covers everything that we need to measure and monitor. At the one-year anniversary of the fire, we're extremely pleased with Harris' infrastructure products and broadcast expertise, and in particular, with the test and measurement gear, which has performed flawlessly.

Philip Mowbray is chief engineer for Hoak Media of Colorado LLC, which includes management of five TV channels: KREX-TV, KREY-TV, KREG-TV, KFQX television and KGJT-LP. He may be contacted at pmowbray@krextv.com.

For additional information, contact Harris Corp. at 610-327-2292 or visit www.harris.com.