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WMTJ Migrates to Digital With Grass Valley

The Grass Valley Maestro MC switcher

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - WMTJ is a PBS-affiliated, educational station that is part of the Ana G. Mendez University system here. We carry a full slate of U.S. and domestic programs, including news, entertainment, and sports.

As part of a facility-wide upgrade to digital operations in 2009, we installed a variety of Grass Valley products to support our signal distribution, production, and channel branding. This package included a Grass Valley Maestro master control and branding system, several Grass Valley K2 media servers and a Concerto Series digital video router. Our new master control system now manages three SD channels and one HD channel.

The master control suite is equipped with the Maestro multichannel system, which is supported by a Grass Valley Concerto series router that's configured for SD and HD.

The main SD channel and the HD channel of the Maestro are fully equipped with branding and DVE features to help us add sponsorships and other on-air graphics as needed. The system is directly tied to a Grass Valley K2 storage area network that provides eight bidirectional standard-definition channels, two high-definition ingest channels and six high-definition play-out channels.

Both of our production studios record on standalone SD and HD servers, which are supported by the main Concerto routing switcher system.When we purchased the Grass Valley equipment, we knew about the reliability of the company's technology. Three years later, I can say that we have never experienced a system failure. In addition, our transition to digital television has been very smooth. We feel that we have more than received a return on our investment from the Grass Valley equipment. It really is that good.

One of the reasons for our easy transition is the very comfortable relationship that we have with Grass Valley, and we particularly appreciate the after-sale support received from the local Grass Valley representatives.

Our success in this transition and modernization program was made easier through this relationship. We also know that we will continue to have the support of the Grass Valley team whenever we may need it.

A big plus in connection with the Grass Valley equipment was how easy it was to learn and train others in its operation. A lot of staff members were using the new equipment within the first week. That's the fastest we've ever trained anyone on any gear that we've ever acquired.

To be successful a broadcast facility needs to operate as smoothly as possible. That's why many of our content handling tasks are now being performed in a highly automated way. This streamlines the flow of programs and increases our productivity significantly. We owe a lot to our Grass Valley equipment for making this all possible.

Ariel Diaz Osorio has been the chief engineer at WMTJ for 25years. He may be contacted at

For additional information, contact Grass Valley at 800-547-8949 or visit