WMCN Measures Success With Harris Broadcast

Videotek signal monitoring in use at WMCN-TV

CHERRY HILL, N.J.—WMCN-TV is a full-power independent operation that serves the Philadelphia DMA. We’re constantly monitoring and evaluating our signals to ensure that we provide an uncompromised viewing experience and comply with government broadcasting regulations, that affect audio levels and closed captioning.

Harris Broadcast supplied the lion’s share of the infrastructure for our new HD facility that was finished last June, including a Platinum router with multiviewers, IconMaster master control switcher, and the company’s Selenio media convergence platform for signal processing. We also use their Nexio servers and Invenio Motion digital asset management system.

With this Harris Broadcast-centric package, it made sense to choose the company’s Videotek test and measurement systems for our facility.

We have to stay on top of the quality of media ingested and produced in our facility, as well as our transmitted signal, and this monitoring has been flawlessly automated and managed by our complement of Harris Broadcast Videotek test and measurement gear.

We rely on the Videotek ASI-STAR to monitor ATSC transport streams for over-the-air transmission, as well as our carrier-transmitted feeds to Comcast Xfinity and Verizon Fios.

The ASI-STAR handheld device measures ASI streams and verifies transmission of data services such as PSIP and SI tables. And the Videotek HD-STAR analyzes and troubleshoots HD/SD-SDI video and embedded audio throughout the studio. It provides waveforms, vectorscope, and necessary HDTV test signals along with other tools that are essential for proper signal verification.


The Harris Videotek VTM-2400 and TVM9100PKG devices are critical to HD/SD-SDI signal monitoring within our plant, helping to ensure that we’re in full compliance with the CALM Act.

We produce many original half-hour series, including local sports, public opinion and public affairs shows, hosted by Phillyarea TV, radio, and sports personalities as well as syndicated shows that arrive via Pathfire and PitchBlue cache services. And we still receive older programs delivered on videotape. It’s important that all of this content be quality-checked before it is ingested for playout.

The Videotek VTM-2400 and TVM9100 also shine in this area. They display complete picture information that includes signal waveforms, vector information, RGB gamut, timing and other data, either in a full-screen display or simultaneously in screen quadrants. This is a great help to me and our chief engineer, Gary Reed, in terms of delivering a top-quality signal and also to show local producers the kind of signal quality we expect them to deliver.

Our Harris Broadcast Videotek test and measurement gear has proven to be reliable, easy to operate, and is indispensable at spotting and troubleshooting problems before they impact our on-air product or bottom-line.

Mark Chesterton is operations manager for WMCN-TV and served as project manager for the station’s relocation and HD build-out efforts. He may be contacted atmchesterton@wmcn.tv.

For additional information, contact Harris Broadcast North America Sales at 800-231-9673 or visitwww.harrisbroadcast.com.