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Fisher Communications’ Stations KATU And KVAL Convert News Operations To Panasonic P2 Solid-State Memory System

Seattle-based Fisher Communications, Inc. has purchased DVCPRO P2 series solid-state memory format products for news operations at ABC affiliate KATU (Portland, OR) and CBS affiliate KVAL-TV (Eugene, OR) in a sale valued at more than $850,000. Fisher operates 10 television and 27 radio stations throughout the Northwest.

In total, KATU and KVAL-TV are currently taking delivery of 29 fully-equipped AJ-SPX800 P2 cameras, 29 AJ-PCS060 P2 Store drives which are now shipping, seven AJ-SDP850 decks with built-in DVD recorders, 17 AJ-PCD10 drives and a large number of 4GB P2 cards.

Kelly Alford, Director of Engineering, Fisher Communications, said, “At KATU and KVAL, we were faced with an immediate need to replacing aging analog gear, and the decision to go tape-less was driven by the desire to move closer to more IT-related systems, in keeping with Fisher’s overall file-based infrastructure.”

He continued, “We chose P2 based on its total absence of any moving parts and its ability to treat everything as a file. The format’s extremely file transfer rate is a huge competitive advantage—it’s all about getting stories on the air faster.

“P2 likewise provides seamless integration with our existing BitCentral media asset management system, which also features Canopus editing tools. With P2, we can file transfer directly into the BitCentral system, and either play out to air or even move news content in a file format across our network of stations. Ultimately, we view these P2 installations at KATU and KVAL as trial balloons gauging our ability to transition to IT/file-based news operations at all our stations.”

Commenting on the purchase of ultra-rugged AJ-PCS060 portable 60GB drives, Alford said, “The introduction of the P2 Store drive allayed any concerns we had about moving files off the cameras in the field. Equipped with the rugged drive, an ENG crew can clean out its camera, move on to the next story and continue shooting.”