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WETA re-modernizes with CEI

WETA is modernizing its production center and master control playout facility with digital technology.

With limited budgets compared to commercial broadcasters, public television stations struggle to keep pace with back-end technology and make progress in converting from analog to digital. However, WETA-TV, the public broadcaster serving Washington DC and the Virginia-Maryland parts of the capital’s metropolitan area, has found a way to make a fiscally and physically sensible transition, without interruption of service.

WETA has mapped out a long-range plan with Communications Engineering (CEI) to support the analog-to digital transition at the station’s production center in Shirlington, VA, as well as the modernization of the channel’s master control playout facility. Beyond budget constraints, CEI’s senior project manager Joe Strobel said project planning addressed “the real-world scenario of their production cycle — they’re servicing a live news show every night and have no opportunity to go dark.”

The scope of the project includes consulting, planning, systems design, installation and testing. CEI engineers have worked with WETA to prepare the comprehensive specification and multi-phased project plan that will serve as the blueprint for the conversion of WETA to an all-digital HD/SD broadcast center.

The first phase of the WETA-CEI technology transition is underway. It includes:

  • Grass Valley Trinix/Apex digital routing switcher upgrade
  • Evertz analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion equipment; and SNMP monitoring and control system
  • RTS digital intercom matrix upgrade
  • Evertz sync and reference generation upgrade
  • Ortonics category 6 certified structured cabling infrastructure
  • Physical renovations and additions to the overhead cable tray system
  • Abandoned cable removal
  • Power and lighting modifications
  • Isolated technical ground upgrade

More information can be found at

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