Grass Valley Ignites WJAR HD Upgrade

WJAR Providence, R.I./New Bedford, MA markets and owned by Media General, has upgraded its standard-definition Grass Valley Ignite scalable automated production system to full high-definition (HD) capability to produce its local newscasts. The upgrade includes the addition of a third M/E channel to the Ignite system’s Grass Valley Kayak HD switcher and shows the ROI benefits that Ignite customers receive when migrating from SD to HD production as they preserve their initial system investment.

The newly configured Ignite system is part of the station’s HD migration that included the installation of a new on-air news set. In 2010, the Media General Broadcast Group, owners of 18 network-affiliated television stations across the eastern U.S., began converting the newscast production crew at three of its broadcast properties—WKRG Mobile, AL (CBS aff.); WSAV Savannah, GA (NBC aff.); and WJHL Johnson City, TN (CBS aff.)—to the latest version of the Ignite HD system.  The file-based system has facilitated a high degree of production control and efficiency at all of the stations and improved their on-air look. WJAR has experienced the same behind-the-scenes and on-air benefits.

“After nearly two years in operation, Ignite has turned out to be everything we thought it could be and more,” says Joe Doris, Operations Manager at WJAR. “It’s been very reliable and has helped us launch new programs that we probably would not have without the automated capabilities of our Ignite system. With our move to HD news, upgrading the Ignite was the next logical step for us.”

The Ignite system allows a single operator at WJAR to produce its daily newscasts in HD using a semi-redundant Grass Valley Ignite HD system with robotically controlled HD cameras.

“The Grass Valley Ignite system has allowed us to produce cleaner, crisper newscasts while enabling WJAR to commit additional resources to field news gathering,” adds Chris Lanni, News Director at WJAR.  “As a result, our expanded news gathering capabilities have also expanded the station’s dominance in the market.”

Jeff Rosica, Executive Vice President at Grass Valley , says the company is seeing stations making the transition to an integrated production system in order to produce more content with the same amount of people, while also improving their on-air look.”

Best of all, the Ignite system is not a news-only solution, so it can also support other scripted and non-scripted programs being produced each day,” he adds.

Coinciding with the new HD upgrade, management at WJAR has signed a Systems and Services contract with Grass Valley to have Grass Valley technicians help train operators and service the system when required.

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