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WWNY-TV, a CBS and FOX affiliate serving the Watertown, NY, television market, has been casually upgrading its facility over the past few years from its analog beginnings to a digital future.

Unlike most television facilities, WWNY has enough space to accommodate changes without having to reconstruct existing setups or build additional space. When WWNY signed on as the local FOX affiliate, it could accommodate new digital equipment into existing master control space. The station added an Oxtel digital master control switcher as the centerpiece of its FOX operations. The CBS side of master control will be digitally upgraded shortly. WWNY currently uses an analog Thomson Grass Valley Master 21 switcher for its operations.

Just prior to launching its FOX operations, WWNY took a long look at its news production operations. With much of its staff moving on to retirement or new employment, and its legacy equipment aging to the point where manufacturer support had halted and parts were discontinued, station management decided to look into new options that would further its push toward a facilitywide digital upgrade. Their decision led to the acquisition of a ParkerVision PVTV News live production automation system for the control room upgrade.

WWNY installed PVTV News directly alongside the legacy equipment it replaced. The positioning of the system allows the director to be near where he or she was seated during traditional news production, with a clear view of the Sony monitor wall in master control. Of the equipment replaced, most notable was a Thomson Grass Valley 200 production control switcher and a Sony MX2000 audio console, both nearing 20 years in age and long discontinued by their manufacturers. Though still functioning well, the cost-effectiveness of the PVTV News system far exceeds the cost of what it would have been to repair and/or replace the legacy systems.

ParkerVision's Digital CameraMan 3-CCD robotic pan/tilt cameras and a Digital Shot Director multi-camera control system also played a vital role in the upgrade, replacing the facility's aging analog newsroom cameras, and several camera operators who had left or were ready to leave the station. The facility was also able to establish relationships between PVTV News and existing video production equipment, most notably its Chyron dual-channel MAX and Aprisa 100 still store. PVTV News is integrated via serial port control with both systems to talk to and call up graphics for air as needed.

The addition of PVTV News came at about the same time the facility added a Thomson Grass Valley Profile server. Integrated with PVTV News, the Profile server digitizes stories and floats them into the system, eliminating the need to trigger decks to roll video for a particular story. The facility also added a Thomson Grass Valley Vibrant nonlinear editor that it will integrate with PVTV News in the near future. The integration will allow a user to edit packages for news programming and send them directly into the system.

Equipment List

Thomson Grass Valley Master 21 master control switcher
Oxtel master control switcher
ParkerVision PVTV News
Louth/Harris automation
Thomson Grass Valley Profile server
Thomson Grass Valley Vibrant nonlinear editing suite
Auto Sat satellite program acquisition system
Thomson Grass Valley 7000 digital router (32×32) and analog router (48×32)
Pinnacle Alladin Pro DVE/title deko
Chyron Aprisa still store
Chyron MAX (dual channel)

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