Fisher Communications Chooses Omneon Spectrum Servers

Fisher Communications Inc. has selected Omneon Spectrum media servers for an application in which three CBS affiliate stations and four Univision affiliate stations share a single remote master control facility.

Coordinated by Seattle-based systems integrator Advanced Broadcast Solutions, the project connects KIMA in Yakima, Wash.; KEPR in Pasco, Wash.; KLEW in Lewiston, Idaho; KUNP in La Grand/Portland, Ore.; KUNB in Boise, Idaho; KKFQ in Yakima, Wash.; and KVVK in Kennewick, Wash., to the master control hub in Seattle.

Commercial and programming content is centralcasted to the regional stations from a 12-channel Spectrum system holding 300 hours of 12 Mbps MPEG-2 content. Meanwhile, smaller Spectrum systems operate as edge transmission servers at the stations themselves, transferring local and interstitial content to the central server via FTP. The centralcasting operation is controlled by Sundance Digital automation.

"We are always looking at opportunities for growth and increasing our operating efficiencies," said Kelly Alford, vice president of engineering at Fisher Communications. "And that means we absolutely require products and suppliers that can accommodate growth and flexibility. The Spectrum system fits right into that with its modularity and expandability."

Fisher operates 19 television stations along with eight radio stations. Seven of Fisher's 12 full-power stations rely on Omneon Spectrum systems. Besides KEPR, KLEW, and KIMA, these are: KBCI in Boise, Idaho; KVAL in Eugene, Ore.; KATU in Portland, Ore.; and KOMO in Seattle. Currently, the stations all broadcast in SD, but Fisher is preparing for HD, first by adding HD programming at its flagship station, KOMO.