With the broadcast industry continuing its move toward DTV implementation, Syracuse, NY-based WCNY had some vendor and implementation decisions to make — quickly. Faced with a Nov. 1, 2002, deadline to provide a DTV feed to the local cable operator, WCNY made the decision to work with Leitch to implement a turnkey DTV system with Leitch's AgileVision at the core. In a record four-day installation, commissioning and operator training deployment, WCNY was able to successfully meet its deadlines for a demonstration to its board of directors and for provision of its DTV cable feed.

WCNY needed a system that would allow it to transmit its multiple-channel, standard-definition content from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., as well as the PBS network's high-definition feed after 7 p.m. Requirements included local HD logo overlays for branding purposes and storage of off-satellite HD feeds for later playback and branding. The multiple-channel SD content consisted of two feeds from the PBS satellite network feed and one locally generated NTSC feed that was to be MPEG-2/ATSC-encoded and statistically multiplexed with the other SD content. With future plans to encode more local content and originate data broadcasting applications, WCNY needed an extensible platform that would allow expansion in a seamless fashion.

Leitch's AgileVision system was chosen for its ability to help WCNY achieve its objectives in an operations-friendly and straightforward way. Because the system allows for processing of SD and HD signals while they are still in the MPEG-2 compressed domain (“flow through MPEG-2 master control”), WCNY was able to avoid a costly investment in SD and HD decoders, traditional baseband video master control switchers and routers, MPEG-2 real-time encoders, and re-multiplexing systems. Additionally, given the multiplexed nature of MPEG-2 signals, the station cabling was reduced dramatically in comparison to a traditional baseband system.

With the AgileVision industrial- and defense-grade platform, real-time MPEG-2 encoders and over 1.5TB of storage were integrated natively onto the 9RU rack-mount platform. The combination of flow-through MPEG-2 master control and the integrated nature of the AgileVision system (“DTV in a box”) enabled WCNY to avoid considerable complexity, capital investment and operational expenses, and ultimately accelerated “time to air” on a constrained budget.

Along with the AgileVision system, WCNY deployed the following additional systems in preparation to go on-air with DTV: Leitch's NEO platform, which includes the 8×1 SDI and HD-SDI NSM-8×1SHD routing switcher, and a Sencore HD decoder with ASI input for monitoring purposes.

Public broadcasting was introduced to central New York on Dec. 20, 1965, when WCNY-TV signed on the air. Today, WCNY operates three FM stations and a 24-hour cable channel in addition to its WCNY-TV station.

Leitch provides design, development and distribution of high-performance audio and video infrastructure to the professional video industry.

Design Team

John Duffy, vice president of engineering
Ernest Darrh, engineering technician
Steve White, engineering technician
Terry Long, engineering technician

Robert Millis, engineering and project manager
Brent Lyon, customer support

Equipment List

Leitch AgileVision system
Leitch NEO 3RU infrastructure platform
Sencore HD decoder

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