Cobalt Digital Engineers EAS Insertion, CALM Compliance for Chicago’s Weigel Broadcasting
Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting, which owns and operates stations in nine markets in addition to MeTV and other digital multicast networks, is using Cobalt’s software-defined 9922-FS-DSP platform for openGear frames to provide microservices for Emergency Alert System local insertion and CALM compliance for its terrestrial stations. Most recently, the company purchased five cards in March for KTLN, a Heroes & Icons and MeTV affiliate serving San Francisco (DMA #8).
“It’s one of the few cards of its kind that is flexible,” explained Kyle Walker, vice president of technology for Weigel Broadcasting. “It’s the Swiss Army Knife of cards. This card can literally do it all at the right price point.”
Weigel has deployed dozens of 9922-FS-DSP cards, which offer a combination of rich broadcast connectivity and flexible microservices that make them cost-effective options for many applications. The +EAS option allows Weigel to key EAS text crawls into active video and insert station logos. Some stations also add the +TTS option, which provides Text-To-Speech conversion of EAS text.
The 9922-FS-DSP also assists with compliance with the CALM Act, which requires commercials to be broadcast at the same volume as programming. Walker said a simple addition of a microservice for the 9922-FS-DSP makes it easy for Weigel to maintain CALM compliance for new digital subchannels and other broadcast properties.
For select remote locations, where an entire openGear frame is not necessary, Weigel uses Cobalt’s BBG-1022-FS-DSP, a standalone version of the 9922-FS-DSP. For installations that require cards from multiple vendors, Walker praised the openGear modular system. “It’s a great platform that allows several different vendors to play in the same sandbox,” he noted.
The 9922-FS-DSP offers a software-defined platform that supports multiple microservices such as automatic audio leveling, upmixing, Dolby encoding and decoding, automatic SAP generation, EAS insertion, logo insertion, Text-To-Speech, and more. The base platform includes advanced frame sync features with per-channel audio delay and routing, as well as audio/video offset adjustment. Presets allow custom card setup, while layered presets allow changes related only to a specific function. Access to full control and monitoring is available through Cobalt’s DashBoard™ software or remote control panels.