BeckTV and KING Take Less-is-More Approach

Seattle broadcaster’s recent move is another example of downsizing trend
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SEATTLE—From the way Dick Trumbo, technology manager for KING, KONG and NWCN TV stations in Seattle, puts it, the old offices offered everyone their own makeshift space, but the tradeoff was having to pack a snack for the trek to any other part of the building. “The facility was ginormous,” Trumbo said.

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KING's new studio is located near the Seattle sports stadiums.

The old headquarters of KING Broadcasting Co. housed all three stations, but after KING Broadcasting was sold and the stations eventually landed with Tegna, the building, which KING had owned, was too spacious. Located in prime Seattle real estate, the building was sold and KING located a smaller location that would allow for better collaboration, as well as updating the full stock of broadcasting equipment. KING turned to a previous collaborator to help with this project, BeckTV.

“A big part of what broadcasters are doing now is being more efficient in less space,” said Brendan Cline, project engineer for BeckTV. Moving from an entire five-story building that it owned to three floors in a leased office building was in line with that strategy.

It wasn’t just space that KING wanted to upgrade in the move.

“Because the building had been in existence for so many years, it was like a museum timeline of evolution of technology,” Trumbo said. “You could literally walk in to the central equipment room and see equipment that was installed in 1972 working side by side with state-of-the-art equipment that was installed six months ago.”

Getting on a common platform was key for KING. The heart of this new system is an an Evertz EQX 288x288 router. The router can provide access to multiviewers in all control rooms while also switching inputs to the switchers. BeckTV set up the router and switcher similar to a truck design, allowing for easy rerouting for whatever show being produced. The Evertz Xenon was also installed as a subrouter.

Other equipment brought in included a Logitek mixer; Grass Valley Vertigo and Intuition for graphics; an Abekas Trio for clip playing in control rooms; an IHSE KVM system; Sony ELC switchers and a Sony Media Backbone Production system that KING used in its previous location; an Image Video tally system; Sony HDCP1 box cameras for the studio; and Ross Cambot system for camera robotics.

“We tried to build it to be versatile and to have future growth overhead in the router; we built future air paths that once they add dot-three channels, or add another air path for commercial split, they have that available to them,” Cline said. “In 10 years time, I guess you can look back and say we can do a few things to upgrade this, but I think a large part of that infrastructure is not going to need to change.”

KING, KONG and NWCN have been in their new home since Feb. 13, and while the space still needs some getting used to, the fact that the stations are no longer “living in this 40-year-old timeline of technology” has been a big lift as Trumbo described it.