WOIO Deploys Streamlined Production Control System For OTT Use

CLEVELAND—WOIO, the Gray Television-owned CBS affiliate serving the Cleveland-Akron, Ohio, market, last month deployed a new JVC ProHD Studio 4000 live production and streaming studio as a scaled-down, cost-effective control solution for its OTT media platforms, JVC said today.

“We saw it as a way to drive our OTT with a control room-type look that would not require a control room to do,” said Bob Maupin, director of technology for WOIO and WUAB, a CW and MyNetworkTV affiliate also owned by Gray Television. “We hope to drive all our digital platforms with this.”

WOIO’s inaugurated its new OTT control system Dec. 18 with live coverage of a press conference in Akron and the sentencing of a murderer in a Cleveland courtroom, the company said. (WOIO was a Raycom Media station at the time of this deployment. On Dec. 20, 2018, Gray Television’s bid to buy Raycom Media received regulatory approval.)

Coverage was delivered via that station’s website, mobile apps and Facebook Live. It included double boxes, graphics, phone commentary from a reporter and other familiar production elements used in linear newscasts. One person ran the production system via touchscreens, and special workflows were developed to provide “rather comprehensive” coverage, said Maupin.

The ProHD Studio 4000 is located in the WOIO newsroom. The self-contained setup includes a dedicated JVC KY-PZ100 robotic PTZ camera suspended from the ceiling in front of the production workspace. An operator can also serve as on-camera talent. A 70-inch LCD monitor provides a video backdrop, and newsroom personnel are prevented from accidentally walking in front of the camera during a live webcast by a retractable rope.

Learning to use the new system was easy for operators, said Brian Sinclair, WOIO assistant news direction. A second touchscreen was added to the system to allow operators to access WOIO’s virtual router control panel and ENPS via a separate computer. A keyboard and mouse are only used to type CG content or to search the station’s ENPS system.

Individual sources assigned to the ProHD Studio 4000’s four inputs include the PTZ camera and an NDI source and two content sources routed through the stations video router. An operator can add graphics, bugs, archival footage, live Skype feeds and web pages during a webcast as well as adjust audio levels.

The station intends to make extensive use of the ProHD Studio 4000. ““We want our digital platforms to have as much live breaking coverage as we can provide,” Sinclair said. “We’re hoping the JVC system can make a difference in the market with obvious viewer benefit,” he said.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.