As part of larger HD upgrades, three Media General broadcast stations have implemented Utah Scientific's Dot.Box master control and routing to support cost-effective multichannel operation. The three stations to install the system are WBTW in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, WJHL in Johnson City, Tennessee and WKRG in Mobile, Alabama.
"At Media General, we look for solid equipment that gives us bang for our buck, and that's Utah Scientific," said Matt Heffernan, general manager of broadcast operations at Media General. "With the Dot.Box, we got all the functionality we could ask for in a master control and routing switcher combination. It easily handles both SD and HD content, and it's scalable so we know we have the ability to grow the system."
Media General uses a hub-and-spoke approach for centralized monitoring and control of its stations, with the hub for its ABC, CBS, and CW affiliates located in Spartanburg, South Carolina and the hub for NBC affiliates in Columbus, Ohio. Utah Scientific's MCP-GUI software controllers at the hub can control the switcher in the event communication is lost with the automation system.
"Another plus for us was the Utah Scientific MCP-GUI because it works so well with our centralized master control system," Hefferman added. "There are other systems out there, but for us the choice of Utah Scientific came down to functionality, scalability, support, and price."
The Utah Scientific Dot.Box comprises a UTAH-400 HD/SD routing switcher and two MC-400 master control processor boards with MCP-400 master control panels. Both WBTW and WJHL are relying on 64x64 frame routers wired for the easy addition of I/O and master control channels.