NJN Upgrades With Sundance

Sundance Digital's ability to work out any issues specific to a PBS member station attracted our attention. We needed to fit within a PBS model and Sundance knew how to do that.
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by Bill Schnorbus
Deputy Executive Director In Charge of Engineering
Rick Williams
Assistant Director of Engineering
NJN Public Television and Radio


TRENTON, N.J. NJN Public Television and Radio (NJN) is New Jersey's public broadcasting network and currently operates four analog and four digital TV transmitters that serve all New Jersey households, with or without cable, and cross into Philadelphia and New York as well.

Lack of resources had previously inhibited NJN from moving out on automation, but we used this delay advantageously when it did come time to choose a system. During the selection process we were able to benefit from a PBS pool of experience that included numerous Sundance Digital installations. We evaluated all the major players, but because the PBS community is so small, we knew what the other chief engineers were doing and any issues they may have encountered. Thanks to their experiences, we were immediately drawn to Sundance.

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The NJN headquarters in Trenton PBS SPECIFICS

Sundance Digital's ability to work out any issues specific to a PBS member station attracted our attention. We needed to fit within a PBS model and Sundance knew how to do that.

Prior to the installation of our new automation system, NJN's multichannel environment was controlled by a collection of home-brew elements that dated back through the past 20 years or so. We brought Sundance Digital's three-channel Titan automation system on-board to consolidate NJN's numerous control mechanisms into one platform and streamline workflow. In particular, we wanted to boost our ingest and play-out efficiencies and the new system has helped very nicely in all these areas.

The Sundance Digital Titan system that we choose has been a critical component in NJN's overall upgrade and digital transition that has included automation of all the network's television, acquisition and play-out roles.

In making our decision, we also considered Titan's strong ability to interface with NJN's ProTrack traffic system and facilitate the flow of information from PBS to ProTrack to Sundance. With a few very minor tweaks we are ingesting content that just has to be lightly prepared for air. That is a major change in our operation. We were previously a completely hands-on operation, and now we look forward to non-real-time delivery of content.

The three-channel Titan system is driving NJN's 24/7 programming play-out operation. This consists of one HD channel and one SD channel, along with the capability for bringing another standard-definition channel online sometime in the future. A full complement of our equipment falls under Titan control, including Omneon Spectrum video servers, an NVision router, Miranda Master Control switcher, Miranda ImageStore with DVE, EAS, CG and audio, Miranda KX multiviewer and Masstech/Spectralogic archive.

Our choice has been a sound one and we're looking forward to many years of excellent service and support from Sundance Digital.

Bill Schnorbus is the deputy executive director in charge of engineering for NJN. He may be contacted at bschnorbus@njn.org. Rick Williams is the assistant director of engineering for NJN. He may be contacted at rwillia@njn.org.

For additional information contact Sundance at 972-444-8442 or visit www.avid.com/sundance.asp.