KLRU-TV Multichannel DTV Project

KLRU-TV concluded its planning in late 2002 for a phased transition to a multichannel DTV operation. KLRU has become an adopter of what evolved to be the classic model of a large-market PBS multichannel DTV operation.

KLRU wanted to install an all-digital production environment solely in pre-existing rack space, and to do the work without interruption of its current station backbone. The system also needed to enhance and introduce functionality in a variety of ways, while balancing and maximizing future workflow. Along with the ability to multicast and to broadcast in HD formats, KLRU's primary project design goals included increasing from two to four channels under automation control (two NTSC, two DTV), with the option of increasing in the future as DTV needs change and adding the ability to store and trim NTSC, SDI, HD-SDI, and ASI files on a server. Increasing server I/O capability and adding automated file transfers between traffic and automation, as well as an interface to the DTV MPEG-2 multiplexer system for smooth dayparting reconfigurations was also important. Implementing transparent file transfer from the traffic system and an interface to the DTV MPEG-2 multiplexer for smooth dayparting reconfigurations also was necessary.

After an extensive review process, KLRU selected SignaSys in early 2003 to provide overall project management, transition planning, system engineering, technology integration, system installation, and testing services. SignaSys delivered a plant-wide automation system, as well as comprehensive integrated ATSC encoding and transmission server systems. Director of engineering David Kuipers decided on SignaSys after he visited the Multi-Channel Broadcast Alliance (MBA) lab in its San Jose, CA. headquarters. The MBA Lab demonstrated multiple software interfaces to control, monitor and day-part multiple channels. This system emulated a complete master control operation, thereby KLRU could evaluate its DTV system architecture needs before spending money on technology.

At times, a project's accomplishments are emphasized by overcoming unforeseen crises. KLRU and SignaSys faced an obstacle partway through the project: The initially chosen automation manufacturer discontinued its product and downsized its operation to “support-only” mode. As the centerpiece of the new DTV facility and the core enabler of efficient workflow, this development could have turned the project into a disaster for SignaSys and become a long-term burden for KLRU. SignaSys promptly identified Crispin's System 2000 as the replacement for KLRU's distinct automation requirements within the project schedule and the budget constraints.

SignaSys completed KLRU's transition in early October 2003. KLRU's DTV facility now has an integrated 4 SD + 1 HD encoder and mux system, an automation system with a traffic interface, a dynamic PSIP, ‘glass cockpit’ MCR monitoring, closed captioning, and last of all, DTV EAS capabilities.

KLRU is located in Austin, TX. Broadcasting for more than 40 years, KLRU continues to be a leader in providing public television programming, community services, and public events.

Studio photo courtesy of Scott Newton at Austin City Limits.

Design Team

David Lingenfelter, prog. mgr.
Stan Becker, sr. systems architect
Jim Bostrom, sr. systems eng.
Don Fox, installation group mgr.
John Denito, lead install. tech.

David Kuipers, dir. eng.
Brad Wilkinson, proj. consult.

Equipment List

AVP Digital Audio/Video Jackfields

Crispin System 2000 automation

Evertz HDTV logo inserter, HDTV caption encoder, multiformat HD test signal generator

Miranda virtual monitor wall

Omneon mediaserver 2101

Sencore ATSC receiver/decoders

Tandberg Television 5821 HD and 5710 SD encoders
5000 Mux transport stream

Tektronix Test & QC

Teranex Volare 210 upconverter

Triveni Digital ATSC PSIP
ProTrack interface module