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Winner of new studio technology — HD

Submitted by
Heartland Video Systems

Submitted by Sony Electronics

WDSE-TV, the PBS affiliate in Duluth, MN, and Heartland Video Systems started planning the rebuild of the WDSE master control room in 2008. At that time, WDSE's digital broadcast stream consisted of an HD rebroadcast from PBS, an SD rebroadcast of PBS Create, an SD channel that also fed the analog transmitter and the MN Channel. The primary goal of the project was to provide a functional master control switcher for all four services, as well as to make all of WDSE's content available on all services.

All content is ingested into the server in 1080i, switched through all the master control channels as 1080i and then cross- or downconverted just prior to encoding and transmission using Miranda XVP-1801 cards. While this approach could have increased the cost of the project, it actually reduced the overall cost. Because a majority of the equipment already in the facility allowed for the output format to be set as HD regardless of the source material, the need for format conversion was greatly reduced. The Bitlink IRDs for PBS were all reconfigured at no cost, and the TANDBERG RX1290 receivers were licensed for upconversion. The remainder of the SD equipment uses a small pool of AJA FS1s for upconversion. This concept also provided a natural level of redundancy for bypass switching because everything is in one format.

The existing Omneon server was upgraded with new HD media ports and a modest amount of additional storage. NVerzion's TeraStore provided 72TB of nearline storage to handle all the HD content. An Omneon ProBrowse proxy server allows remote monitoring of content, and Utah Scientific's MC-400 switchers are fully SD/HD configurable and were set up to switch in HD. All of WDSE's local programming is now being done in HD. The Snell Kahuna allowed for reconfiguration of its output to feed HD to WDSE. At the input side, it accepts SD or HD sources and transitions between the two.