Thomson Design Team
Chas Callaway, VP of eng.;
Jamie Pyles, chief eng.;
Chuck Hisle, asst. chief eng.;
Tom Bennett, dir. of special projects Technology at work
AP ENPS newsroom
CGS NewsChief graphics
Chyron HyperX graphics
Evertz 700 series signal
Harris automation system
Sony PDWF330L XDCAM
HD camcorders Thomson Grass Valley
HDC robotic cameras
Ignite HD integrated
Jupiter router control
K2 media servers
WKYT-DT wins race to the finish line to broadcast local news in HD
Determined to be the first in the Lexington, KY, market to broadcast local news in HD in the spring of 2007, WKYT-DT engineers worked around the clock for several months to install and test a new infrastructure and an automated production system from Thomson. This was no small feat, as the station continued to broadcast the analog schedules of its CBS network affiliation and that of the CW Network (CWKYT).
The engineering team was tasked with moving the station’s operations from a part-time HD channel to 24/7 HD broadcasting without disrupting the existing operations. While the station is a 1080i house, signals of both the CBS and CW networks are converted to 720p in order to broadcast them from a shared transmitter.
They’ve built a completely separate HD facility alongside WKYT’s existing analog/digital production facility, without a systems integrator. Production activities were converted first, to get the station’s six hours daily of local newscasts (as well as one and a half hours of news for FOX) on the air quickly. Chicago-based Roscor was the major equipment supplier.
To facilitate this, a Thomson Grass Valley Ignite HD integrated production system was installed. Prior to the installation of the Ignite system, the station used three cameras in the studio, with operators and another camera in the newsroom. Now, five Thomson Grass
Valley HDC robotic cameras sit on fixed tripods in the studio and one in the newsroom. Master control switching is now performed with a Thomson Grass Valley Maestro master control system. Branding and ticker systems were provided by the CGS NewsChief system. Tying it all together from an operation perspective is a Harris automation system.
Signal routing is handled by a 192 x 192 Thomson Grass Valley Triton HD router, working in tandem with a wide range of conversion gear from Evertz. All of the standard-definition feeds that come in via satellite or microwave are converted to SD digital, if necessary, with embedded audio. Using the Thomson Jupiter control system, these sources are upconverted to HD on demand utilizing path finding. These sources, plus the native 1080i sources, are used live or stored on one of four Thomson Grass Valley K2 media servers. Evertz upconverters insert an AFD to tell the system to automatically insert, downstream of master control, sidebar graphics over the sides of any 4:3 material.
HD images are acquired in the field with Sony XDCAM HD camcorders, and then ingested into a 400-hour Thomson Grass Valley storage area network linking three K2 servers and six Thomson Grass Valley Aurora HD editing workstations for cutting news packages.
In a highly competitive market, this file-based workflow gets news to air faster, while WKYT’s investment and hard work has helped keep it a ratings leader.