Professional Communications Systems helps WINK-TV convert to digital

WINK-TV, in Fort Myers, FL, has completed a conversion to digital operations with the help of systems integrator Professional Communications Systems (PCS). The plan called for the ability to simultaneously broadcast in SD and HD, both on air and to cable, and the ability to accommodate another SD channel in the future.

Now complete, the station has upgraded its broadcast control and operations centers to include a Thomson Grass Valley master control switcher, Concerto routing system and Kameleon and Gecko analog/digital conversion modules; a Miranda Kaleido virtual monitor wall (displayed on two 50in Panasonic plasma screens); Leitch Logomotion, synchronizer and bypass systems; and an ADC patch panel system, among hundreds of new components that had to work with the legacy system.

Signal upconversion is provided by a Snell and Wilcox HD6300 upconverter. Encoding of signals is accomplished through a TANDBERG 4:2:0 HD encoder base, 60Hz HD encoder and SD encoder.

Studio-to-transmitter link equipment from Microwave Radio Communications enables the station to microwave out to the transmitter site and back to the studio on the same microwave path. Leitch provided its Logomotion storage and distribution system, while an ADC patch panel system isolates component malfunctions to keep the station's signal on-air.

The upgrade has enabled the station to record both SD and HD feeds from CBS. The HD feed is provided over the air and is fed, via fiber-optic cable with backup, to the Fort Myers/Naples cable systems market.

HD is broadcast in Dolby 5.1 audio, which supplies surround-sound signals to home entertainment centers, and high quality stereo. Seventy percent of prime time HD is in Dolby 5.1. When not carrying HD programming, WINK upconverts 480-line video scans to 1080 lines to allow smooth transition between HD and non-HD programming. The HD/SD simulcasting is interrupted during opportunities to distribute original HD programming from CBS, as was done during this year's NCAA basketball tournament.

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