Technology

Wrangling New Workflows

Stations are upgrading automation to streamline systems or launch HD newscasts 2/13/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

BXF Finally Takes Off

A number of stations are also looking at tighter integration between their master control and traffic and billing systems using the Broadcast Exchange Format (BXF) standard.

BXF implementations have been around for a number of years but are only now becoming more widely adopted. Rodney Mood, COO and chief technical officer at Crispin, notes that the company completed a BXF integration of its automation system with the WideOrbit traffic system at WDBJ in Roanoke, Va., last fall and has since seen a significant increase in interest. “BXF has eliminated or at least streamlined the interface between master control and traffic,” Mood says. “We now have two big station groups looking at it, in addition to a lot of individual stations.”

Harris, NVerzion and Grass Valley also report increased demand for BXF integrations between their automation systems and whatever traffic system the station is using. “It is becoming the expected method of how things should work,” notes Ed Casaccia, senior director of marketing at Grass Valley.

Those integrations also reflect growing interest in solutions that can automate more of a station’s infrastructure. To help meet that demand, Grass Valley acquired the Dutch company Publitronic and has used its technology to launch a new product family, the K2 Edge, which offers integrated playout solutions.

“We’ve already had some notable wins for the K2 Edge,” notes Casaccia. “There is a huge demand for self-contained solutions for automated playout of a channel or groups of channels.” —GW

Many TV stations are committing to the installation of
new automation systems or upgrades as part of the launch of
high-definition newscasts and to streamline their file-based
workflows, a number of stations and vendors report.

Last fall, for example, Fisher Communications’
ABC af! liate KOMO and
Univision affiliate KUNS in Seattle began
implementing Sony’s Enhanced
Live Production Control (ELC) automation
systems.

Since then, the station has automated
about seven hours of newscasts at
KOMO and KUNS each weekday, with
plans to finish automating the rest of
its news shows by the third quarter,
says Brian McHale, VP of technology
for Fisher Communications.

McHale stresses that the new automation
system has been very easy to
use, but they are moving to it gradually
because of the scale of the upgrade,
which includes the installation of a
new Sony MVS production switcher,
Sony HD cameras, Miranda graphics and other equipment.

“We’ve basically done a forklift upgrade, and wanted to give the staff
time to get used to everything,” McHale says.

Young Broadcasting, meanwhile, is implementing Crispin’s master control
automation and media asset management systems at its stations as
part of larger HD upgrades, notes Rodney Mood, COO and chief technical
officer at Crispin. Young’s KELO in Sioux Fall, S.D., will be the first to go
live with the Crispin automation system.

In addition to the Crispin solutions, the upgraded master controls will
include Omneon video servers, Miranda graphics and routing and Elemental
transcoding servers.

A key driver for the automation project has been the move to file-based
work" ows. Used in tandem with Crispin’s automation and its Digital Transfer
Agent and DigiPrep solutions, “the upgrades [at the Young stations] will
allow automated delivery of catch server
content from such providers as Pitch
Blue, DG and Pathfire,” Mood says.

A similar dynamic also helped convince
KAIL Fresno (Calif.) to upgrade to
the latest NCompass software platform
for its NVerzion playout automation
software system. “The need to streamline file-based work" ows is one of the
major trends driving demand for automation,”
notes Reed Haslam, director of
sales and marketing at NVerzion.

Several Sinclair Broadcasting stations
are installing the Ross Overdrive production
automation system, with upgrades
just completed at Fox affiliate KABB San
Antonio, reports Allan Pepper, marketing
product manager-technical for the
Overdrive system at Ross Video.

This drive for greater efficiency continues to spread into smaller operations
and religious broadcasters. For example, Adventist Media Productions,
which is owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, recently
upgraded its infrastructure with Harris equipment so that it would add
two new channels.

“They were traditionally a Harris ADC [automation user], and as part
of the upgrade we layered in the asset management systems so they could
more efficiently move files through their facility to different distribution
channels,” says Jason Salyards, product line manager for automation in
the broadcast communications division of Harris Corp.

BXF Finally Takes Off

A number of stations are also looking at tighter integration between their master control and traffic and billing systems using the Broadcast Exchange Format (BXF) standard.

BXF implementations have been around for a number of years but are only now becoming more widely adopted. Rodney Mood, COO and chief technical officer at Crispin, notes that the company completed a BXF integration of its automation system with the WideOrbit traffic system at WDBJ in Roanoke, Va., last fall and has since seen a significant increase in interest. “BXF has eliminated or at least streamlined the interface between master control and traffic,” Mood says. “We now have two big station groups looking at it, in addition to a lot of individual stations.”

Harris, NVerzion and Grass Valley also report increased demand for BXF integrations between their automation systems and whatever traffic system the station is using. “It is becoming the expected method of how things should work,” notes Ed Casaccia, senior director of marketing at Grass Valley.

Those integrations also reflect growing interest in solutions that can automate more of a station’s infrastructure. To help meet that demand, Grass Valley acquired the Dutch company Publitronic and has used its technology to launch a new product family, the K2 Edge, which offers integrated playout solutions.

“We’ve already had some notable wins for the K2 Edge,” notes Casaccia. “There is a huge demand for self-contained solutions for automated playout of a channel or groups of channels.” —GW

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