Winner: KIRO

by Sundance Digital

KIRO made a commitment to bring full digital automation to its newsroom. The station chose a solution based around its existing Avid iNEWs newsroom computer. From there, it replaced its tape editors and server/airplay system and brought in Sundance Digital's automation to tie them all together, handle playout and assure a growth pathway.

Efficiency was an important requirement. Previously, as many as five devices operated before an assigned story was ready for air. Now the edit moves from each stage while remaining in the same system.

During the news program itself, adding and dropping stories required many steps to remove old video and insert new video. Now, the producer simply revises the rundown, NewsLink immediately re-stacks clips for the AirSPACE, and the right video is always cued and ready.

With so much riding on the success of its news, KIRO insisted on physical redundancy for its playout. NewsLink assisted by automatically cuing the same ID in both primary and backup AirSPACE channels, and then by gangrolling them in locked sync.

A key part of KIRO's look evolved from using taped bumps to break. After the installation was under way, the station realized that the fourth AirSPACE channel it was dedicating for bumps and teases must always appear at the same switcher channel rather than automatically checkerboarding across channels after a rundown change. It was discovered that this capability was already available by using a NewsLink control initially designed for managing moving backgrounds. KIRO noticed the benefits of its new system during the November 2003 sweeps, when there was a new-found quiet in the control room. Instead of the traditional chaos associated with the urgency to align production devices and cue stories, the producer and technical director are able to discuss quality, content and effects issues.

Key technology: Sundance Digital NewsLink news automation, Avid iNEWs NRCS, AirSPACE and Unity servers, NewsCutter NL.

Runner-up: KCEN

by Professional Communication Systems

Key technology: Panasonic DVCPRO50 ENG, Sundance automation, Chyron Digibox graphics, Duet CG, Aprisa still store, Wheatstone TV-80 audio console, Axcera transmitter, NVISION 128×128 MC switcher routing and distribution, Thomson Grass Valley 3M/E, Zodiac, HDTV pass-through systems.