Pixel Power Solves Problems at WMGT-TV

We arranged a head-to-head shootout pitting the latest offerings from the maker of the old graphics gear against Pixel Power's Clarity.
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Kiia Jackson (L), WMGT-TV's GFX/video operator for the station's 6, 10 and 11 p.m. shows, and Barry Stubbs, director of engineering
MACON. GA.
WMGT-TV is the NBC affiliate here and is owned by Morris Multimedia. I recently oversaw an overhaul of our newsroom graphics environment, with aging gear being replaced with new system based on Pixel Power's Clarity 5000.

WMGT-TV first moved to a MOS-based newsroom workflow in 2004. Over time, our operations became completely dependent on the MOS workflow, and this enabled us to run an efficient operation that required little or no technical staff to create and deliver news graphics.

TIME FOR A CHANGE

When that graphics system began to develop technical problems, we learned that adequate support was no longer available. This was more than just frustrating—we were forced to revert to a traditional graphics workflow where a dedicated operator created the entire set of graphics.

The problem with that scenario was that we no longer had a fulltime graphics operator. That meant double duty for someone else involved in the production. After listening to me express my frustration about this situation, another broadcast engineer recommended Pixel Power Clarity. He pointed, in particular, to Pixel Power's reputation for delivering flexibility, ease of use and reliability. Then, one of my most trusted vendors, Michael Smith, President of Command Corp., independently made the same recommendation.

Still, I needed to see for myself how Clarity would compare with the MOS configuration we'd previously enjoyed. We arranged a head-to-head shootout pitting the latest offerings from the maker of the old graphics gear against Pixel Power's Clarity. There were many considerations, but reliability and price were critical elements.

One of the things that struck me immediately was the knowledge and attention demonstrated by the Pixel Power support team—Pixel Power and Command Corp. clearly dedicated themselves to our success.

FLEXIBILITY IS INHERENT

At the heart of our installation is the Clarity 5000, a flexible, dual channel production graphics system. Currently we have it configured for dual channel SD, but it also supports dual channel HD (or simultaneous HD and SD). A dedicated preview output with key can be configured as an additional program channel with text and stills as needed. The four inputs on each SD channel can be configured as two video (plus key pairs) or four discrete inputs, each with 2D DVE capability and automatic relay bypass.

The newsroom is driven by the server-based Pixel Power Control Center which integrates the Clarity graphics system with our ENPS newsroom system via MOS. This system provides dynamic previews to newsroom desktops where we installed the Pixel Power ActiveX plug-in. This provides our staffers with an easy-to-use interface for browsing the graphics database of templates and graphics elements hosted by the Pixel Power Control Center. They can search for prepared graphics templates and then fill in the blank fields, which are presented in continually updated thumbnail views, as well as in a full resolution preview. The plug-in also lets them drag stills into their story, automatically adding them to the rundown.

Overall, I could not be more satisfied with my decision to switch to Pixel Power. The product put our newsroom back on track, provided a roadmap for addressing future needs and has given us reliability and support on which we can depend.

Barry Stubbs is director of engineering at WMGT-TV in Macon, Ga. He may be contacted atbstubbs@wmgt.com

For additional information, contact Pixel Power at 818-276-4515 or visitwww.pixelpower.com.