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KDLT-TV Goes HD With Ross Carbonite

KDLT control room, featuring Ross’ Carbonite +2M production switcher

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.—KDLT-TV is an NBC network-affiliated local news operation with a large coverage area that includes eastern South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa, and some parts of Nebraska.

Early in 2014 we made the decision to move into the world of high-definition news broadcasting. At the time we were one of the few stations in this market that was still doing its news broadcasts in standard definition, and in order to remain competitive we really needed to convert to full HD origination.

As part of our makeover, we also wanted to redesign our facility to provide greater flexibility in operations, as this would allow us to make better use of our staff and enhance our overall productivity in assembling and airing news programming.

In launching this conversion project, we selected Alpha Video, a Minneapolis-based systems integrator, to assist us in accomplishing all of our objectives.

A key element in moving to HD was the addition of high-definition production switching capability, and we wanted to install a switcher that was going to be reliable, easy-to-use and cost effective. We’d been a Ross Video customer since 1983 and have always been satisfied with their products and great customer support, so it was a logical move to upgrade to their Carbonite +2M production switcher as part of the HD rebuild project.

We soon learned that among the many nice features associated with the Ross Carbonite switcher was its ability to directly control the Ross Video XPression character generator and graphics system that we’d installed prior to the HD upgrade project. Also, the Carbonite includes a built-in media clip feature that allows our operators to play out animated graphics without consuming storage channel capacity in the XPression system, providing us with more room for other content. This high level of system integration and interoperability, along with the integral clip storage and playout, were added bonuses, given that our primary goal was basically to upgrade our news control room for HD video operation.

The upgrade to a high-definition production switcher has really improved the overall quality of our news presentations and we’re now competitive with other HD originators in our market.

Throughout the makeover, the Ross Video team provided Alpha Video with assistance whenever it was needed and the installation, training, and deployment processes all went very smoothly. We were up and running in high definition in a relatively short time and owe a lot to Ross and Alpha for making things go so smoothly. As always, the Ross Video folks knew their product thoroughly and there was always someone available to hold hands when needed and ensure that all of our goals were met. From beginning to end, our project couldn’t have gone more smoothly and the Ross Video played an essential part in making this happen.

John Lane is chief engineer at KDLTYTV. He may be contacted

For additional information, contact Ross Video at 613-652-4886 or