Excellence Awards SSL WHDH

Category New studio technology
— station Submitted by Solid State Logic Design teamWHDH-TV: Chad Murphy, technical dir./video switcher; Gary Cormier,
dir.; Donna Judge, Jeff Johnson, Jennifer
Murphy, Tony Caracciolo, audio ops.; Art Murphy
and Dick Ober, eng. crew chiefs; Rob Page, Bernie Solinger, Dave Lawry and
Ken Ford, maintenance
technicians; Mike
Williams, eng. op.
supervisor; Sam
James, news op. mgr.; Mike Smith, director of administration and
finance; Jim Shultis,
director of eng. Technology at work Avid
NewsCutter Adrenaline
Unity ISIS fi le system
Clear-Com intercom
Grass Valley Kalypso
HD Duo production
fl at-panel computer
Ikegami video monitors
PESA router panels
Solid State Logic C100
digital broadcast

WHDH-TV goes all-digital with its new production control room

WHDH-TV went on-air from its new production control room in December 2005. The Boston-based NBC affiliate transitioned to all-digital status with the creation of a new control room within its existing facility.

Rather than hiring a systems integrator, the station relied primarily on its own day-to-day operators for the control room’s design and layout. Likewise, the station’s maintenance staff handled construction.

The control room was designed with nonlinear/digital playback in mind. A Grass Valley Kalypso production switcher was upgraded to an HD Duo for improved DMEs and the enhanced operating flexibility allowed by more aux busses and internal memory.

The station also added additional Ikegami video monitors to the new control room, along with new Hewlett-Packard fl at-panel computer displays for operators. Additional equipment, including Clear-Com intercom panels and PESA router panels, was relocated from the old control room.

From the December 2005 opening through May 2006, the station was on the air with Sony BetaCam SX videotape playback. In June, the station transitioned to playback from an Avid Unity ISIS system — a major undertaking. The system includes two ISIS engines, 10 AirSpeeds — three for playback and seven for record — and 12 NewsCutter Adrenalines for editing.

The modest dimensions of the audio control room presented multiple challenges, which were met with several technical and creative solutions. With its small footprint, the Solid State Logic C100 digital broadcast console was literally a good fit. The console satisfies the demanding production needs of the station, where an average of seven hours of local news is produced daily. Other key features include the speed of its operating system, its flat-panel TFT displays, the flexibility of its metering and its reliability. In addition, the console will make the station’s transition to surround sound in a few years an easy one.

Other audio control room solutions include wireless computer keyboards, reducing desktop surface area needs. Rather than pivoting to a computer located to the side, LCD screens suspended over operators’ desktops can be positioned to the individual’s liking, saving additional space.