WLOS-TV’s migration to HD required integration of new legacy systems

Category New studio or RF technology — station Submitted by TI Broadcast Solutions Group Design Team Sinclair Broadcast Group: Del Parks, VP eng.; Harvey Arnold, dir. eng.; Don Roberts, dir. TV sys. TI Broadcast Solutions ...
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New studio or RF technology — station

Submitted by
TI Broadcast Solutions Group Design Team

Sinclair Broadcast Group:
Del Parks, VP eng.;
Harvey Arnold, dir. eng.;
Don Roberts, dir. TV sys.

TI Broadcast Solutions
Group: Michael Wright, program mgr.;
Phil Popp, sr. eng.;
Brian Kincheloe, installation foreman

Technology at work
Avid
Deko CG
Thunder clip player
Autoscript teleprompter and tally light
Cabinetworks custom consoles
Miranda Kaleido-X monitor wall processor
Terminal gear
Panasonic AKHC931 cameras
Snell & Wilcox Kahuna production switcher
Vinten Osprey Elite pedestals with Vector 90 heads

WLOS-TV’s migration to HD required integration of new legacy systems

WLOS-TV 13 is the ABC affiliate serving Asheville, NC, owned by Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group. Sinclair has placed a significant emphasis on HD news production in its top four markets during 2008. WLOS was the last to go live. It was preceded by Sinclair-owned stations in Baltimore; Columbus, OH; and Pensacola, FL.

From the beginning, it became clear that this migration to HD would encompass everything in the studio. The field acquisition and newsroom editing systems, however, were a different story. Existing Avid NewsCutters could not yet be retired, existing microwave links were not HD-capable and field acquisition gear was not yet HD.

Enter the Snell & Wilcox Kahuna. By now, many in the broadcast community have seen the glowing reviews of this product from Mark Nadeau, Sinclair’s top news director. The switcher had to be flexible, handle both HD and SD content with ease and offer a full range of features and effects. All major manufacturers were considered, but Snell & Wilcox stood out. The Kahuna became the cornerstone of the multidefinition design.

The production control room was originally laid out in 2000 with a traditional “glass in the racks” monitor wall at the front, two console rows in the center and an audio booth in the rear. All operators were on the same floor level, and sight lines were difficult. The new design featured an 11in indentation in the floor where the new front console could rest, creating the desired improvements in sight lines and curb appeal. Also, because the previous monitor wall had been composed of CRTs mounted in racks, it became necessary to devise a clever mounting rig for the four new 52in displays that would be used for the monitor wall. Using T-slotted aluminum material from 80/20, a mounting system was fabricated to hold the displays, the program audio speakers and all the fiber extension gear. The system was designed to stand off the front wall and hold the displays at the perfect distance and angle from the TD and director.

The producers were also provided with an upgraded home on the second row featuring their own 22in monitor wall display mounted on an articulating arm as well as an audio listen station for any source on the wall. This is particularly useful when communicating with a remote crew just prior to going live.

Panasonic AKHC931 cameras were selected through a shoot-out process; Miranda’s Kaleido-X was selected for its image quality and programming ease; Avid Deko and Thunder were chosen for their tight integration with the NCS; Evertz gear was chosen for clock and sync functions; and custom consoles were purchased from Cabinetworks, a long-time supplier to Sinclair.