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WFSB-TV-DT’s new facility accommodates disparate video and audio formats


Station automation

Submitted by The Systems Group Design Team The Systems Group: James Tome, sr. eng.; Bob Sharp, eng./PM; John Meusel, sr. PM; Rachel Pomerantz, proj. eng.; Bruce Giuriceo, test eng.; Jose Morales, integration supervisor; Trissa Dudzinski, proj. coord.
WFSB-TV: Victor Zarrilli, dir. of eng. and facilities; Mark Gordon, asst. chief eng. of ops.; Larch Purinton, Ed Longley, David Patterson, Nando Cialfi, Mark Healy, Joseph Petrolito, Richard Aude, broadcast engineers; Jim Gorham, creative svcs. dir.
Meredith: Joe Snelson, dir. of eng; Mike Rehm, corp. dir. of facilities Technology at work Evertz MVP multi-image display processing
Harris ADC 100 automation
Thomson Grass Valley
Aurora Ingest, Edit, Browse software
Encore monitoring Trinix router Concerto router Acappella router
Ignite integrated production
Maestro MC switchers

WFSB-TV-DT’s new facility accommodates disparate video and audio formats

After 46 years in its downtown Hartford, CT, building known as Broadcast House, WFSB-TV-DT decided to move its facilities to the suburb of Rocky Hill. Two project challenges were clear: first, the need to design a central routing platform that would accommodate the disparate video and audio formats, and second, a concise means of setting up control rooms and studios with the necessary production resources.

The facility infrastructure is centered on an SD or HD-SDI capable router with embedded audio. All widely-used devices or signals are converted to conform to this standard. Many remote cameras connect by external analog circuits, are routed through an analog video router, and converted to digital through a pool of composite decoders. A third router solely serves production set monitoring. Each of these routers is linked together through the use of encoders, decoders and HD upconverters to allow reuse of sources in any format. A Thomson Grass Valley Encore’s tie-line manager provides intelligent routing between the video formats and physical routers. In the end, the engineering quality control positions are easily able to look at HD sources, SD sources, and decoded analog sources through test equipment capable of all SDI formats.

WFSB’s production requirements provided a unique challenge for the team. Two identical Grass Valley Ignite-based rooms were built for scripted productions. A third traditionally-designed production room was built for larger complex productions. Each control room could, in turn, use one or both of the studios.

The complexity created by this interoperability posed questions of how to easily manage delegation of switcher aux busses to on-set monitoring, assignment of mixer mix-minus outputs to field IFB circuits, routing of program return audio and video monitoring to the studios, tally of cameras and on-air lights, and control of other common production resources (CPR). The solution rested largely in using the TSI1000 hardware built by Image Video. Its ability to retrieve cross-point data from routing systems and production switchers, expandable GPI interfaces, customizable control panels, and textual display capabilities made it an ideal choice. By means of a few push buttons and based on the status of particular router cross-points, the system determined through a series of customized, sophisticated logic statements how CPR should be assigned. Router cross-points are directly controlled, and GPI interfaces command all other systems. An interface to the Evertz MVP provides status information displays to users. The operations staff is able, without engineering assistance, to set up control rooms for live or recorded productions.