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KMOV proves to be successful test bed for control room automation

KMOV, the Belo-owned CBS affiliate in St. Louis, is now on-air with a Grass Valley Ignite HD automated production system for its daily local newscasts, produced in 1080i.

KMOV's Ignite system went live Sept. 25, and the station has already benefitted from an improvement of its technical capabilities. Belo is using the Ignite system in the St. Louis market as a proof of concept for its 17 other stations, with a combined reach of 14 percent of U.S. TV households. According to station director of technology Walt Nichol, the Ignite system has helped the station realize cost savings.

The Ignite HD system at KMOV includes three M/Es, 16 control ports and is scalable from 24 to 96 video inputs and 24 to 96 audio inputs. The control room system consists of an integrated Grass Valley Kayak HD video production switcher and audio mixer that simplifies production and allows a single operator to run an entire newscast. Optional video and audio panels are available for those broadcasters, like KMOV, that want the option to employ a manually operated system.

The installation of the Ignite system at KMOV went smoothly, considering the station already had a Kayak HD video production switcher. The systems are paired with an existing HD robotic camera system, HD servers, HD news editing and HD graphics platform. The station also acquired a Klotz Digital audio mixing system for the Ignite to handle stereo audio feeds.

“Basically, we’re doing everything we did manually before we got the Ignite, and the newscasts are running smoothly on-air,” Nichol said. “We do very complex newscasts, so we’re pushing the system to its limits, and it is responding very well.”

This month the station plans to use the Ignite system manually to produce a one-hour local morning show called "Great Day St. Louis,” which airs every weekday.