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RALEIGH, N.C.—WRAL-TV was the first commercially licensed HDTV station in Raleigh when it launched in 1996.

In 2007, we began a large scale renovation of our entire technical facility to simplify workflow and day-to-day operations.

When we first launched HD more than 15 years ago, it was on an experimental basis and developed incrementally with the addition of each new piece of equipment. As a result, the facility became a conglomeration of products of various vintages from multiple vendors, which led to a very inefficient, complex and somewhat awkward operation that created problems as new projects were launched.

We set a goal of gutting and rebuilding some 20,000 square feet of the 75,000 square-foot facility. The project included an all-new master control facility for switching five channels, three additional control rooms, the renovation of one older control room, construction of three additional studios, and the installation of an entirely new tech core.

The master control operation at WRAL-TVWe decided to use a single vendor for the major broadcast technology components so that everything would tie together. We evaluated offers from various equipment manufacturers, but essentially the selection process boiled down to choosing a reliable company willing to deliver a cost-effective product. After we had looked at all of the options available, Evertz came out on top, and the company won us over with their innovative and cost-efficient solutions.

The result of this is that the new WRALTV high-definition facility is now fully equipped with Evertz routing, master control, branding, multidisplay monitoring, fiber gear and “glue.”

We selected the Evertz 3025EMC master control switcher, as it fulfilled all of our playout and branding needs. This is a modular 3G/HD/SD master control switcher that has four external keyers, DVE, as well as EAS, and advanced audio capabilities. One of the main features of the 3025EMC that tipped the scales was its built-in graphics engine. This provides us with the capability for multilayered graphic objects including static logos, animated sequences, and dynamic texts and crawls. Putting the branding engine inside the master control switcher processor is a great feature, as it greatly simplifies operations, providing single button macros, or automation calls. This functionality is really a game changer when it comes to getting breaking news or weather information on the air quickly.

The main goal in renovating our facility was to improve workflow, and now thanks to Evertz master control and associated routing solutions (digital glue, core routing, and monitoring/display), we have all but eliminated the workflow evils that existed in the past with our earlier incremental approach to facility construction. The new setup has improved our efficiency, helped us reduce costs, and has prepared our operation for the next 15 years.

Peter Sockett currently is director of engineering operations at Capitol Broadcast Company WRAL-TV/WILM/WRAZ and has been with the company for the past nine years. He may be contacted

For additional information, contact Evertz at 905-335-3700 or