Chicago Public Access Station Upgrades to Utah Scientific for Multiformat Routing

Public access TV station Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV) has installed a Utah Scientific UTAH-300 multiformat routing switcher as the core audio/video routing system in its cablecasting head-end.

Utah“Prior to this upgrade, CAN TV was an analog shop, where we operated using composite video with stereo audio,” said Jason Bryant, CAN TV’s chief engineer. “We couldn’t interface newer systems that support SDI, which was limiting our ability to remain technologically viable. Installing this platform — which can handle digital signals and embedded audio — is a major step forward in CAN TV’s continued evolution.”

CAN TV installed a UTAH-300 routing switcher in a 64 x 64 frame running with embedded audio. The router’s SD-SDI electronics are controlled by an SC-400 controller card in an MX-Lator chassis, with a secondary controller card running for failover. For now, two hardware panels and four custom-built touchscreen soft panels control the router, with more to be added later.

The UTAH-300 routing switcher fulfills CAN TV’s crucial requirements for digital format support, embedded audio, and flexible control options. CAN TV now supports SD-SDI as it moves toward an HD infrastructure. By moving to embedded audio, CAN TV has cut its wire population by two-thirds. In terms of control, Utah Scientific’s touchscreen control panels give CAN TV’s cablecast operators the ability to customize control surfaces for different tasks, which helps them reroute signals more quickly and effectively.

“The UTAH-300 routing system gives us many advantages over our old system,” Bryant said. “It creates an upgrade path to high-definition output and a higher source/destination density. It also increases our signal quality and control opportunities. The architecture is scalable and expandable to support future growth. The fact that chassis can be linked under the control of one SC-400 card through the MX bus is a very attractive design feature. And it’s built like a tank — it could withstand anything.”

The UTAH-300 is a cost-effective routing solution for medium and large applications that use both analog and digital video signals. Built using I/O blocks of 32 x 32, it handles multiple formats, including serial digital video, analog video, analog audio, and AES/EBU digital audio.

“The UTAH-300 multiformat routing switcher has just the right combination of features and expandability to meet CAN TV’s requirements and its budget,” said Tom Harmon, president and CEO of Utah Scientific. “It’s the perfect choice for midsize operations that need a reliable, flexible routing system.”

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