Automation projects in the United States

A look at some of 2007’s installations reflects the diversity of requirements for automation.
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In the United States, many installs have been part of digital and/or HD upgrades to local stations readying for the analog shutoff. They typically comprise four playout channels with satellite delivery management, tape ingest and playout stations, often with an archive manager to control a tape robot.

When WKTC, in Columbia, SC, wanted to automate three channels of playout, it opted for the System 2000 from Crispin. The MyNetworkTV affiliate uses RapidPlayX to control three on-air playback channels, a 16-port DeviceServer for real-time device control and TurboBrowser to insert alternate events or entire blocks of material to accommodate last-minute changes to the schedule.

WKTC also uses Crispin AssetBase media management to monitor assets on various video servers, archive storage systems and nearline disk arrays. Mapper, Crispin's traffic interface, converts WKTC's daily traffic schedule into an automated playlist, ready for on-air playback.

DIRECTV has embarked on a larger project, dubbed CONUS, which will deliver 100 HD channels to air. The project, managed by Accenture, will use 80 Omnibus iTX automation and playout systems and will be deployed entirely on industry-standard HP ProLiant and BladeSystem servers. Omnibus has also added Dolby Digital capabilities to the product, which DIRECTV will use as part of its surround-sound broadcast capabilities.

Sundance had successes with the U.S. Government with systems for the Air Force, Navy and Pentagon. The Pentagon Channel broadcasts military news and information 24 hours daily to 2.6 million members of the U.S. Armed Forces using FastBreak NXT automation, including four Media Prep Stations for content management and traffic log processing and the Intelli-Sat option to manage the scheduling and recording of incoming satellite feeds.

The Navy is now using Titan automation for the Direct-to-Sailor TV, and the Air Force News agency is commissioning 10 eight-channel Titan systems for military sites worldwide.

Editor’s note: For more, see “ Automation projects in Europe and Asia” in this week’s edition of Automation Technology Update.