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Chicago Public Access Station Taps Utah Scientific for Multiformat Routing

SALT LAKE CITY—Public access TV station Chicago Access Network Television has installed a Utah-300 multiformat routing switcher as the core audio/video routing system in its cablecasting head-end.

“Prior to this upgrade, CAN TV was an analog shop, where we operated using composite video with stereo audio,” said Jason Bryant, CAN TV’s chief engineer. “We couldn't interface newer systems that support SDI, which was limiting our ability to remain technologically viable. Installing this platform — which can handle digital signals and embedded audio — is a major step forward in CAN TV’s continued evolution.”

CAN TV installed a UTAH-300 routing switcher in a 64 x 64 frame running with embedded audio. The router’s SD-SDI electronics are controlled by an SC-400 controller card in an MX-Lator chassis, with a secondary controller card running for failover. Two hardware panels and four custom touchscreen soft panels control the router, with the option to add more.

The routing switcher fulfills the station’s requirements for digital format support, embedded audio and flexible control options. As part of its HD transition, CAN TV now supports SD-SDI, and by moving to embedded audio, the station has cut its wire population by two-thirds. Its touchscreen control panels give the cablecast operators the ability to customize control surfaces for different tasks to increase efficiency.

“It creates an upgrade path to high-definition output and a higher source/destination density,” Bryant said of the routing system. “It also increases our signal quality and control opportunities. The architecture is scalable and expandable to support future growth. The fact that chassis can be linked under the control of one SC-400 card through the MX bus is a very attractive design feature. And it’s built like a tank — it could withstand anything.”

The Utah-300 was built using I/O blocks of 32 x 32 and handles formats, including serial digital video, analog video, analog audio and AES/EBU digital audio.

CAN TV’s five local, noncommercial channels reach one million viewers.