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The KTVA production control areaANCHORAGE, ALASKA—KTVA is the CBS affiliate for the Anchorage market and like most stations these days, news is a big part of our operation. However, our news production system really lagged behind the times; our operations were SD analog-based and ran without any automation whatsoever. By today’s standards, things were quite antiquated and we were really in need of a modern newsroom system. So, as part of an effort to bring our newsroom into the modern age of news production, we elected to rebuild things from the ground up.

As part of the newsroom upgrade, we elected to automate our news production. After evaluating several competitive systems, we decided that Ross Video’s OverDrive APC was the best fit for our particular needs, based on its high interoperability, good support and reliability, as well as an intuitive user interface and overall cost effectiveness. Another big factor was ease of use; it had to have an intuitive user experience that would make it easy to train our operators.

We found everything we were looking for in Ross Video’s OverDrive automated production control system. We like the fact that Ross offered a turnkey system, as we had also purchased their XPression graphics system, BlackStorm server and the Cam- Bot robotic camera system. Ross’s system approach allowed all of these products to easily interconnect with each other. Another really big benefit for our news operations is that Ross’s OverDrive also connects with Sienna and AP ENPS, (this was actually a major reason for selecting this automation system). With Sienna, ENPS, and OverDrive connected, we now have a very reliable and smooth running system. Interoperability and ease of use are items that OverDrive really delivers.

We’re also using the custom control features on our production switcher in combination with OverDrive. We have a lot of monitors and use them to view a lot of sources that are essential to our operation. Automating signal assignments through OverDrive is another very important element of the system.

Additionally, OverDrive has enabled us to reduce the amount of staffing needed to manage news production, thus allowing our personnel to focus on other operational elements and making our staff more productive. The system has streamlined our workflow and production processes, making us far more efficient on all fronts.

When it was time to make the transition, Ross personnel came in and set up the new automation equipment and worked with our operators until they were completely comfortable with the new system.

From installation to deployment, Ross was always quick to respond to any questions or concerns. Our experience with Ross has shown that they always stay on top of things, and are constantly evolving their broadcast automation and other products to make them better and to adapt them to the ever-changing broadcasting landscape. Going into the project, our expectations were high, and Ross met them beautifully.

David DeGraffenreid is manager of broadcast operations at KTVA and has been in the television business for 25 years. He may be contacted

For additional information, contact Ross Video at 613-652-4886 or