WBNS-TV technician, Randy Nice, operates the station’s new Pixel Power graphics system.COLUMBUS, OHIO—WBNS-TV is a CBS affiliate owned by the Dispatch Broadcast Group. As is the case with most TV stations, we have undergone many changes in recent years—digital, high definition, and most recently, a complete redesign of our broadcast plant, including an enhanced news studio and master control facility.
One of the important decisions in planning for these enhancements was selecting a new suite of graphics systems, as we found that the systems we’d installed with our HD upgrade no longer had the horsepower to do what we wanted.
We evaluated various graphics systems, in the hopes of finding one that was sufficiently robust and could handle demanding playout challenges.
We ultimately selected several products from Pixel Power, including their Clarity 3D graphics platform, LogoVision 3D branding and graphics playout systems and the Pixel Power Control Centre system for newsrooms.
In our study, we found that many products on the market are simply software platforms that run on servers. In contrast, Pixel Power uses a combination of robust dedicated graphics hardware coupled with optimized software.
We run multiple channels of HD, complex cell animations, and routinely air 20 or more graphics elements in a single news story. We can rely on Pixel Power to keep up with this.
REDUNDANCY ALONG WITH OPERATIONAL FLEXIBILITY
We were able to configure our systems to give our artists the freedom to work where and how they wanted. For example, a graphics artist normally works in our art room, but can just as easily modify their work while in the control room during a live show. Pixel Power enables unrestricted creation capability in both areas, providing operational flexibility and satisfying our requirement for redundancy. It’s important to note too that while the systems are being used for graphics creation or modification, we still have a fourth channel available for playout. This provides us with a tremendous amount of capability.
Pixel Power systems are delivered as turnkey, but also enable our in-house developers to create customized workflows to suit our exact needs. We’ve built custom workflows for election coverage, storm warnings and traffic and have easily tied these into our master control operation.
PLAYS WELL WITH ENPS TOO
That capability is evident in our newsroom, where numerous shortcuts interconnect our graphics environment with our news production environment. When we transitioned to ENPS, Pixel Power graphics fit right into the new signal flow. Pixel Power’s Control Centre system merged with the newsroom system to provide browsing and search capabilities, along with ingest and synchronization of graphics content. It’s highly automated and we took advantage of this to drive a secondary channel.
A final priority for us was product support. Pixel Power has certainly delivered this. We received our equipment about five weeks before our launch date. The company helped us get our new look on the air and worked along with us in this endeavour every step of the way. We’ve found that their staff in both the United States and the United Kingdom to be extremely responsive.
Patrick Ingram is director of engineering at WBNS-TV. He may be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact Pixel Power at 818-276-4515 or visitwww.pixelpower.com.
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