WJCT-TV becomes first in nation to integrate standardized BXF protocol - TvTechnology

WJCT-TV becomes first in nation to integrate standardized BXF protocol

Category Station automation Submitted by Sundance Digital Design Team WJCT: Bob Culkeen, VP tech. and ops.; Duane Smith, dir. of tech.; Alan Rhodes, sr. broadcast technician; Joe Cabral, technician/network analyst; Roger ...
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Station automation

Submitted by
Sundance Digital Design Team

WJCT:
Bob Culkeen, VP tech. and ops.;
Duane Smith, dir. of tech.;
Alan Rhodes, sr. broadcast technician;
Joe Cabral, technician/network analyst;
Roger Brillon, maint. technician

Sundance Digital:
Rick Stora, product mgr.;
Clark Tisdale, software eng.

Myers Information Systems:
Eugene Diana, dir. software ops.

Technology at work
Aphex 2020 audio processors
Apple Final Cut Pro Harmonic
MV 500 encoders
MV 100 encoders MN20 multiplexers
NMX control
Harris
IconLogo branding
Leitch 440 server
Myers ProTrack traffic SeaChange BMLe-24000 server
Sencore
3187 satellite receivers and 3384a off-air receivers
Sundance Digital
BXF Gateway
Titan automation
Thomson Grass Valley
Jupiter control
Saturn switchers
Venus routers

WJCT-TV becomes first in nation to integrate standardized BXF protocol

WJCT, a public broadcasting station in Florida, has a reputation as an industry trendsetter. In 1968, before the mini-cam, it devised the mini-mote — a compact, two-camera portable unit that permitted live broadcasting from any location. In 2005, the station launched a digital multicasting service, positioning itself ahead of the curve in digital offerings. Today, WJCT-TV operates one HD, five SD and one analog channel.

With a vision toward a streamlined future, the station aimed to improve automation efficiencies and processes in a multiplatform environment. In early 2008, following adoption of the SMPTE-2021 (BXF) communication protocol standard, WJCT volunteered to serve as a beta site for the integration of the nation’s first standardized BXF protocol. BXF promised to provide a seamless link between traffic and automation.

WJCT’s objectives included reduced overhead, automated processes, improved reliability and efficiencies, and advanced cross promotion of television, radio and other technologies, furthering ease of operations and training. It also offered compatibility with traffic, automation and storage systems. Sundance Digital’s BXF Gateway was selected to implement the ground-breaking technology and enhance the station’s operations.

Being a BXF beta site brought many technical hurdles, operational challenges and changes in traditional broadcasting roles. A strategic effort was required across departmental barriers to create managerial operational processes. Developing opportunities for underwriting in all content areas was a central issue.
WJCT was already operating with a Sundance Digital Titan automation solution and Myers Information ProTrack system for traffic, so the transition was simple. Following automation and traffic software upgrades and an automation hardware changeover, systems were ready to go. Additional requirements included cross-platform content delivery and the comprehensive file-based infrastructure needed for seamless operation; having skilled IT staff was instrumental.

The BXF Gateway enabled a highly efficient exchange between the station’s automation suite and traffic system, allowing WJCT to deliver a pristine image with seamless breaks and transitions. Daily, time-consuming, manual tasks burdened with opportunities for human error have been replaced with single-entry workflow processes that dramatically improve reliability and efficiency, resulting in substantially reduced man hours on QC in master control.

Though BXF is in its infancy, it is growing, and WJCT is continuing to work with its vendors to improve the operational integrity of its system.