New studio or RF technology — station
Burst Design Team
Tom Norman, sr. eng.;
Dave Stengel, proj. mgr.;
Letha Koepp, admin. proj. mgr.;
Christian Freeman, lead wireman;
Danny Rowland, wireman
Four Points Media:
Kipp Greene, dir of eng.;
Keith Betts, transmissions eng, WTVX;
Alan Scott, dir. of IT, KUTV;
Scott Nielson, sr. eng., KUTV
Technology at work
Avocent DSR8035 KVM
over IP switch
Digital Alert Systems DASDEC EAS system
EASI Sat satellite
Ensemble Designs Avenue
Liebert MP-SS138 and
400/64 routing switch MC-400 MC switcher
Four Points Media and Burst build a remotely operated master control for WTVX
At the end of 2007, Burst and WTVX-TV teamed up to design and build a remotely operated and completely unattended master control facility for WTVX and its low-power counterparts. The unusual design called for a master control facility at the WTVX transmitter site in the wetlands near Port St. Lucie, FL, operated from KUTV-TV’s master control in Salt Lake City thousands of miles away.
This design was financially and technically advantageous. WTVX could maintain a local presence and programming in West Palm Beach, FL, and KUTV’s engineering crew could manage operations from Salt Lake City.
The project called for off-the-shelf computers to control the unattended and remotely- operated master control facility (which is also remotely rebootable). Programming received via satellite at the transmitter site is transmitted live and recorded to the Omneon server to be aired later or file transferred to the sales office for post production.
The systems at the master control site are computer-based, and nearly everything can be seen remotely via IP. Systems that require KVM access are viewable via KVM over IP, and the IP infrastructure enables full control and monitoring, including KVM over IP connectivity.
Using a master control facility at a remote location where operators couldn’t see or touch equipment front panels proved challenging, as did implementing a reliable way to move feeds received at the transmitter site to the sales office edit bays in downtown West Palm Beach. Other challenges: determining the hosting strategy for WTVX’s low-power stations and identifying the best way to run the master control from a desktop PC located thousands of miles away.
Technologies used can be managed via LAN/WAN. Media arriving via MPLS WAN and Telestream’s Pipeline is stored on the Omneon servers, and media arriving via satellite may be file transferred from the Omneon servers or catch servers to the WTVX sales office in West Palm Beach. Most of the WAN file transfers originate at the sales office, also the point of origin for the microwave link. At the sales office, media can be posted in HD or SD formats and file transferred to the Omneon server for playout at times assigned by automation.
All control, monitoring and spot ingest is done via a 6Mb network connection. Cisco routers and switches, MPLS WAN technology, plus HughesNet for backup, permit the deployment of a flexible and robust network environment.
The unique solution that Burst proposed and WTVX implemented proved successful, and the station is enjoying the technical and financial benefits of the innovative design