Viacom stations merge ops with PESA Cheetah

Viacom has installed a PESA Cheetah digital routing switcher at its WFOR-TV station in Miami to facilitate SD and HD broadcasting and simplify integrated production and playout for five stations.

WFOR-TV, the CBS affiliate in Miami, has installed a new PESA Cheetah digital routing switcher to facilitate SD and HD broadcasting and simplify production and playout workflows for itself and four other Viacom-owned stations from a single facility. Those other stations include WBFS-TV (UPN) in Miami, and WTVX-TV, WTCN-CA, and WWHB-CA, all in West Palm Beach, FL.

Viacom's Miami duopoly was formed in 2001 and has been operating from the WFOR-TV facility for the past four years. Also in 2001, operations for WTVX-TV were brought into the facility as well, allowing station engineers to consolidate production and playout tasks in a digital broadcast environment with HDTV capability. Expansion continues in 2005 with the integration of WTCN-CA and WWHB-CA into the Miami broadcast facility.

The Cheetah digital routing switcher installed at the station is a hybrid SD/HD system in a 512x512 frame featuring 256x192 SD and 128x128 HD/SD multirate modules. It is controlled via PESA's 3500PRO series system controller, which provides a Windows-based user interface to the company’s routing switcher control products. The Cheetah can handle SDI and HDTV (as well as other, non-standard digital signals) in the same frame,

The Cheetah also accommodates changing broadcast and production requirements with a versatility that provides an easy upgrade path from SDI to HDTV while also supporting applications using a wide range of non-standard bit rates. The Cheetah HD/multirate card set handles bit rates from 3Mb/s up to 1.5Gb/s, and reclocks at 144-, 177-, 270-, and 360Mb/s and at 1.5Gb/s for optimum performance.

PESA’s compact system controller card allows for either single- or dual-system controllers in the same frame. Control panels connect on four RS-485 control ports, and both RS-232 and RS-422 ports are available for external control/interface applications. Internal matrix frame controllers monitor the health of the matrix, power supplies, temperature, and other operating parameters. Optional Ethernet control connections are included on each frame for future networking capabilities.

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