The Ongoing Urge To Improve

A roundup of pre-NAB gear acquisitions
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Every year before the National Association of Broadcasters’ giant convention, technology providers push out announcements of deals they’ve made with station groups. But equipping stations is a business that goes on around the year. Here’s a quick look at pre-NAB gear acquisitions that are making news.

NewsKing rules at Granite’s KBJR

Granite Broadcasting station KBJR Duluth, Minn., has upgraded its existing Comprompter customer ENR newsroom software to Windows-based NewsKing newsroom automation. KBJR has installed Comprompter’s NewsKing tapeless newsroom system and is using it to automate a NewsBank server-based production system from Digital Broadcast. The combination of Comprompter software and Digital Broadcast software and hardware provides KBJR with a complete end-to-end digital solution for multichannel ingest and playout, editing and networked storage.

KBJR serves as Granite’s “Northland’s NewsCenter,” facilitating news production for three other broadcast properties in the Duluth/Superior region that Granite owns or operates and the market’s cable-based WB 100+ channel (soon to be The CW). The NewsKing and NewsBank systems help Granite produce over 50 hours of local news programming each week, and provide a seamless interface with KBJR’s existing Adobe Premier Pro editing workstations so that edited stories are easily transferred between the servers and the edit bays.

NewsKing allows producers to preview news clips from their workstations, and monitors and controls the playout of all video clips for each newscast.

“NewsKing and NewsBank make that kind of production consolidation cost-effective and practical,” says Northland’s NewsCenter News Director Derrick Hinds.

Trinity Taps Miranda for Branding Gear

Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) has purchased channel-branding systems and terminal gear from Montreal-based Miranda Technologies as part of a large station-automation project involving 30 TBN affiliates across the U.S. The installation, overseen by San Diego-based systems integrator TV Magic, will enable highly automated operations at each TBN affiliate, with remote monitoring from TBN’s hub facility in Tustin, Calif. The project is due to be completed by June.

“Our goal in upgrading all 30 TBN affiliates is to condense broadcast operations into a smaller footprint, automate functions such as station IDs and EAS, and establish monitoring and control capability from our network hub,” says Paul Crouch Jr., TBN’s VP of administration.

TBN is buying Miranda’s Imagestore automated master-control–switching and channel-branding processors for playing out graphics, and Densité interfacing systems for signal conversion, processing, distribution and monitoring. The Densité and Imagestore systems are being deployed in conjunction with Miranda’s iControl IP-based facility-monitoring and control system.

The iControl system can integrate third-party control applications to create an end-to-end facility-monitoring environment and provide for automated responses to failures.

Raycom’s WTVR Goes the Pro-Bel Route

Raycom-owned WTVR Richmond, Va., a CBS affiliate, has purchased routing technology from U.K. manufacturer Pro-Bel as part of a major facility upgrade. WTVR has purchased a Pro-Bel Sirius 128 x 128 video router and a Freeway 128 x 128 audio router, both of which offer analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion within the router.

WTVR has also installed Pro-Bel’s Procion software, which provides enhanced remote PC-based router control. The Procion software can be operated via a Web browser and has the ability to manage a wide range of technologies in the broadcast chain.

“By purchasing the Pro-Bel technology, we are able to operate more efficiently,” says Don Cox, director of engineering and operations at WTVR. “We can do things we couldn’t do before—for example, taking an analog source and going digital or taking a digital source and going analog. We can also route signals to places we weren’t able to before, giving us far greater operational efficiency.”

Harris Master-Control Unit Wins Fans

Broadcasters around the globe have purchased Harris Corp.’s new IconMaster HD/SD system for master control with embedded multi-layer branding. IconMaster orders have been received from CKSA (NewCap) in Canada; CBS affiliates WROC Rochester, N.Y. (Nexstar Broadcast Group Inc.) and KKTV Colorado Springs, Colo., (Gray Television Group Inc.) in the U.S.; Viasat Sport 1 (MTG Broadcast Centre) in Sweden; Milan Channel (AC Milan) in Italy; and the soon-to-launch MM TV news channel (Malayala Manorama) in India.

“We chose the IconMaster system because it enables us to meet both our current and future master-control and branding requirements,” says Raymond Green, chief engineer for NewCap’s Midwest broadcasting division. “With its integrated, multi-layer branding capabilities, Icon­Master will immediately upgrade our station and our on-air look. As our broadcasting needs grow into the HD world, its HD support will enable us to easily transition with no added costs or hardware needed.”

Based on the Leitch NEO modular platform, IconMaster combines critical master-control functions with multi-layer integrated branding and is fully configurable between SD and HD formats. It can also be combined with other Leitch advanced applications, such as the NEO SuiteView multi-viewer series, the NEO XHD up-, down- and cross-converters, and the M-Path (multi-path) converter series to create a plug-and-play system in the same frame.

The IconMaster system also supports internal routing using NEO routing modules and/or external routing with Leitch or third-party routers.

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