Lakeshore Public TV monitors multiple sources in new HD master control with Plura Broadcast

Lakeshore Public Television, a PBS member station based in Merrillville, IN, has made monitoring dozens of video signals easier in its new HD master control room with Plura Broadcast, a manufacturer of high-end professional LCD monitors for studio and field use. Three Plura PBM-147 47in LCD monitors are positioned side-by-side in separate equipment racks in the station’s HD master control room and are controlled through a multi-image processor, which saves space in the facility and eliminates the need for individual monitors for each source.

One of three PBS stations serving the Chicago market area, Lakeshore Public TV programming targets audiences in northwest Indiana. But unlike most public broadcasters, Lakeshore emphasizes local news and sports coverage. As a result, the station’s master control features a high number of satellite sources that need to be monitored.

Henry Ruhwiedel, Lakeshore chief engineer, said the Plura monitors provide excellent resolution and no visible artifacts, plus there is no problem when monitoring various signal types, such as 720p, 1080i and SD sources. “I needed something that was SMPTE accurate without image burn or aging,” he said. “It’s as close to a CRT as you’re going to get.”

Like many broadcasters, Lakeshore has a mix of new and legacy playback equipment, which means a variety of inputs is essential for monitoring purposes. The PBM-147 features HD-SDI and SD-SDI inputs, plus VGA, DVI and several analog inputs. Without these choices, facilities like Lakeshore would have to invest in numerous adapters.

Operators at Lakeshore can view multiscreen HD routed and on-air signals, switch to a VGA input to see automation or other computer screens, switch to an NTSC analog satellite feed, or compare pre- and post-up/downconversion using the SDI and HD inputs to check quality. “They have every imaginable input,” Ruhwiedel said. “These monitors accept every input type, and you don’t have to do anything special to get the picture on the screen. It eliminates the compromises you have to make on monitor choices to get the programming up that you need to see.”

Plura monitors also made room design easier, according to Ruhwiedel. Because the Plura monitors are mounted on the faces of their respective equipment racks, rather than inside the racks, Lakeshore engineers were able to use the rack space behind the monitors for additional equipment.