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PBS Deals ACE Card to Ascent Media

PBS has tapped Ascent Media Systems and Technology Services --formerly A.F. Associates--to serve as the primary systems integrator for its new IT-based ACE master control system at participating PBS stations nationwide.

Ascent also has been awarded a design and construction contract for the PBS network operations center (NOC) in Springfield, Va. The NOC--which will serve as the network's playout facility--is expected to go live in November.

The PBS ACE master control system enables stations to use advanced remote monitoring and troubleshooting tools at local and national levels. The first four PBS members to deploy ACE in the second half of this year include Iowa Public Broadcasting, Hawaii Public Broadcast, New Hampshire Public Television and WMHT in Schenectady, NY. Several more PBS stations are expected to join ACE by the end of this year

The all-digital PBS NOC will include the newest technology to facilitate remote broadcast and network monitoring and incorporate an exception-based monitoring system. The PBS NOC will originate all programming being distributed to public broadcast facilities. The NOC's system architecture integrates with the next generation interconnection system by streamlining the automation, monitoring and control of IP-based content distribution and delivery systems.

"We believe this system will serve the member stations well into the future and be a platform upon which PBS can continue to deploy advanced technologies," said Tom Canavan, executive vice president, systems and technology services, part of Ascent Media Network Services.