Ross Video’s MC1 Powers WSYR-TV MC Ops

Ross Video’s MC1 user interface

EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y.—WSYR-TV is the ABC affiliate and top-rated news operation in this market. We also provide master control operations for sister stations in Elmira, Binghamton, and Watertown, N.Y. WSYR-TV originates a large quantity of live news content daily, along with a live one-hour variety show and weekend news programming. In addition, we do our share of special programs and live remotes, covering such events as the New York State Fair.

Our regional operations control room provides our group of stations with complete HD master control functionality. We ingest the programming, promotion and commercial feeds, do on-air switching, insert emergency and branding graphics, process the signal and encode it for air.


After several years of operation our centralcasting system was beginning to show its age. We depended on more than 50 tape decks for long-form programming and our video file server was limited to standard definition. Rising maintenance costs and decreasing availability of replacement parts made it a fairly easy decision to scrap what we had and convert to high definition. Of course, this meant that all master control automation, recording, playback, switching and graphics systems had to be replaced.

Such a major renovation posed challenges with the added complication of a hard deadline for completion due to the pending sale of our station group.

We decided to use Ross Video technology for the core of our makeover, as we knew that their MCI master control switching system provided a great amount of functionality.

MC1 interfaces seamlessly with automation systems and provides a flexible user interface. It also offered the graphics support we needed for EAS compliance, along with local branding and special graphics for school closings and similar displays.

Having used Ross’ XPression character generator for several years, being able to push graphics directly to the MC switchers without the need for additional CG hardware was another strong selling point.

Our facility includes five pairs of station feeds, with each station sharing a Ross 16 x 16 NK router which is controlled by two MC1 cards. This provides us with a total of five NK routers and 10 MC1 cards, along with ancillary gear for LAN interfacing and GPI/GPO modules for tally signals. All of the equipment incorporates redundant power supplies fed from separate uninterruptable power systems. Everything has worked flawlessly since installation.

I should add that we use Ross’ Dash- Board control system in rare instances when we need to override the automation, or manually control keyers. However, most of the time automation controls everything.


An important benefit we derived with the Ross system is the tight integration with XPression graphics. We developed a regional school closings system years ago using several racks of PCs populated with CG cards for on-air display. Today, a single PC running XPression Developer automatically pushes live school closings graphics to each station’s MC1 card, dramatically improving our look.

Ross’ MC1 has proven to be an outstanding choice. Integrating many key functions in a small, cost-effective package has made it practical to deploy quickly, and the quality and reliability have made it a pleasure to use.

Jeff Hartman is engineering project manager at WSRY-TV and is in his 31st year at that station. He may be contacted

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