WJCL, WTGS Produce Local HD Newscasts With Broadcast Pix

Broadcast Pix announced that WJCL and WTGS Savannah, GA, are using its Slate 5000 video-production system to produce live local news in HD. Last year, the stations were the first in the market to launch local news in HD.

WJCL, an ABC affiliate owned by New Vision Television, and WTGS, a Fox affiliate operated by New Vision through a local marketing agreement, share studios and resources for local-news production. The facility produces four newscasts on weekdays. The stations simulcast a morning news show, WJCL broadcasts local news at 6 and 11 p.m., and WTGS offers a 10 p.m. nightly newscast. Each station also broadcasts its late newscast on the weekends.

According to Walter Bohlin, director of engineering for the stations, the Slate 5000 replaced an aging Grass Valley 3000 analog switcher. With Slate’s built-in Fluent Multi-View, control-room personnel monitor all video sources on one 52-in. LCD panel, which Bohlin said was a more cost-effective solution than building an HD-monitor wall.

Slate 5000 features like Fluent Clip Store and Watch-Folders are used during newscasts, and a Yamaha audio mixer is slaved to the Slate 5000 switcher so an audio-follow-video system can be used. Graphics are built through ENPS and Vizrt systems, and most editing for the newscasts is done through a Quantel Newsbox. The HD newscasts use Sony HD cameras in the studio and in the field. Bohlin said the station’s technical directors really like the new setup.

New Vision decided to provide local news in HD to provide a ratings spark. However, the move to HD news was not part of a facility-wide digital upgrade, and Bohlin needed to keep expenses and personnel costs down. He said the Broadcast Pix integrated production system was ideal for his needs.

“It’s expensive to make everything digital at once, but, in this world, you don’t have to. You can take a product like Broadcast Pix and integrate it into your plant,” he said Bohlin. “This was really the way to leapfrog into local origination in HD. It’s perfect for what we need to do.”

“The design provides an end-to-end HD upgrade and file-based workflow around the Broadcast Pix,” added Lynn Rowe, president/CEO of One World Technologies, which served as design consultant and dealer for the project. “We were able to achieve traditional quality and reliability at a fraction of traditional costs to design and implement.”

The Slate system is tightly integrated into the file-based workflow using Mediamano asset management, Rhozet transcoding, and Aspera FTP acceleration. Rowe said the transcoding allows access to content from file-based sources such as syndicators and on-site Omneon servers. Plus, the Slate 5000 can be used as a second-level backup to the Quantel and Vizrt systems, if necessary.

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