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Ross Readies Vegas PBS for Future

Joe Cordova, senior telecommunications technician at Vegas PBS, operates the new Ross OverDrive system.
LAS VEGAS — Vegas PBS opened its new facility in 2009 and began broadcasting in May 2010. We transmit 12 unique streams of programming within the Clark County School District, provide emergency datacast support to first responders, produce original programming, and serve as a broadband media distribution facility for more than 300,000 students and staff.

No two days are the same for me at the facility, as I often bounce between broadcasting, emergency response, facilities, public relations, and working closely with the co-located Virtual High School staff and its students.

I’d been under the impression that it normally takes six months from introduction of a major new technology until the time that people reach individual comfort zones with it, and based on my own experience here at the new facility, I think it’s true. Its design took into consideration enhanced workflow and production efficiencies, and while this did require extra attention at the beginning, once the tools were in place, we haven’t looked back.


One of the technologies implemented was Ross Video’s OverDrive Automated Production Control (APC) system. It provides us with the best effects, transitions and techniques for every show in a reproducible and understandable way. Any TD/director can look like a pro and concentrate on the art of production more than the mechanics of setting up and executing video effects. OverDrive makes our shows look clean and professional.

The ability to control multiple live production devices from one central location is another one of OverDrive’s strengths. Rolling clips and inserting graphics from a single GUI helps keep the productions clean. And if necessary, additional operators can jump right in and direct control of the Vision switcher and other devices at any time. This powerful feature allows us to scale our crew size to meet production demands.

Installation went smoothly and without major incident. It did require a little time to develop software for connection to our SSL C-10 audio console, (as we were the first OverDrive user to connect with a C-10), but when it was delivered everything worked beautifully right out of the box.

I’d wanted more time for training, but the demands of getting a new facility launched left us with very tight windows and Ross was very helpful in getting us up and running smoothly.

We currently do a daily hour-long show using Over- Drive, with other programs being switched conventionally. However, plans call for more of the daily productions to move to OverDrive.

Our biggest challenge in the transition to APC was in taking a team that had never used automation, servers or routers in daily production work, and transforming their understanding and habits to the new technology. It was a bumpy road at times, but one worth taking.

Our adoption of OverDrive technology will assist us in our future production needs. As we grow and new employees enter our workforce they will operate within an environment that’s increasingly automated and fast-paced. OverDrive is a great way to get ready for the future, and to stay a step ahead of today.

George J. Molnar is director of engineering at Vegas PBS. He may be contacted at

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