Virginia's WDBJ deploys BXF interface for Crispin automation

WDBJ, the CBS affiliate in Roanoke, VA, has implemented a real-time BXF interface between its Crispin Corp. ( master control automation and WideOrbit traffic systems. The BXF interface provides an automated and dynamic information exchange between WideOrbit traffic and Crispin automation that replaces the manual exchange of files with a real-time data interface.

In addition to replacing some of the previous manual tasks with automated messages, the BXF interface adds new functionality such as live playlist editing from traffic to automation and real-time frame-accurate metadata exchange.

Alan Novitsky, director of engineering at WDBJ, said the interface is saving a lot of time for both its engineering and traffic departments.

Previously when spot changes are made by sales and traffic, those changes had to be made manually by master control operators using a printed report, or a phone call, which was both time-consuming and potentially prone to error.

"Now when traffic wants to change something, the message is received right away in master control with a pop-up message," Novitsky said, "and the operator can choose to accept the change and the list is changed automatically."

Novitsky said the real-time AsRun and reconciliation feature is also saving traffic managers a lot of time. Before BXF, the full day of AsRun was sent as a file back to traffic and reconciliation was often arduous and time-consuming. Now the AsRun information is sent after each executed event, providing the traffic system and users real-time feedback and the ability to respond more quickly with programming changes in response to discrepancies, unexpected time shifts due to live events and so on. The dub list and purge lists are much more accurate now, too.

The BXF interface allows Crispin to send all correct frame-accurate media timings after prep to traffic so that the WideOrbit system always has an up-to-date picture of the material present in master control. These frame-accurate timings help traffic users to schedule a complete, frame-accurate playlist initially that requires fewer edits and corrections by master control operators after it has been loaded into automation.

Rodney Mood, chief operating officer and CTO of Crispin, said it started delivering BXF systems in early 2007 and BXF customers have continued to respond positively with stories of how they are operating much more efficiently and more accurately.

In addition to the recent joint development to deliver the first BXF system to WideOrbit customers, Crispin also supports a full-featured BXF interface with Myers Information Systems ProTrack traffic system.