KCSM’s television and radio stations, licensed to the San Mateo County Community College District, made their broadcast debuts in 1964. From its broadcast facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area, KCSM-TV serves the nation’s sixth-largest TV and radio market. The station boasts a coverage area that includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma counties. Additionally, KCSM is carried on 60 cable systems in the Bay Area, and more than half a million viewers tune in each week.
The station broadcasts around-the-clock with a professional staff while also serving as a learning laboratory for students enrolled in the College of San Mateo Broadcasting Arts Department. It is particularly sensitive of the need to do more with less, even while meeting consumer demand for premium broadcast content. Thus, to take advantage of the cost and time efficiencies of file-based production and to make a smooth shift to HD, the station undertook a significant expansion of its Omneon media storage and processing platform.
To grow its proven operational model into the age of digital television, HD and distributed media, KCSM chose to leverage the success of its Omneon Spectrum on-air server, adding to its bandwidth, expanding its storage, adding HD capability and integrating the system into the station’s existing production environment. KCSM expanded its Spectrum system to accommodate eight HD/SD bidirectional channels and eight HD/SD playout channels, supported by automatic upconversion and operating under the control of Avid Sundance automation.
A new Omneon MediaGrid active storage system provides 240TB of raw storage and enables ready access to stored content via a high-bandwidth 1/10GbE network infrastructure. KCSM also purchased a new Omneon MediaDeck system to support live production, and the system provides four bidirectional channels with eight 500GB disk drives (a total of 3TB), as well as a complete ProBrowse system with two proxy generators to speed and simplify media browsing and access.
The newly enhanced Omneon platform has allowed KCSM to migrate smoothly away from costly videotape operations and to incorporate HD support without the need to invest in a new server system. The media storage and processing platform, delivered by systems integrator Advanced Systems Group, enables KCSM to digitize its existing video tape library; acquire, store, and broadcast both SD and HD video; and access all of its video assets with ease. Equally important, the upgrade has positioned the station to handle the new distribution and acquisition formats of PBS, Public Television and the San Mateo County Community College system.
Together, systems within the Omneon platform provide cost-saving efficiencies throughout the station’s workflow, in turn empowering KCSM to continue its dedication to providing a high standard of programming to viewers across the Bay Area and to serving the educational goals of the San Mateo County Community College District.
New studio technology — HD
Submitted by Omneon
ASG: sales staff
KCSM: Chris Phillips, eng.; Hanns Ullrich, eng.; Michele Muller, dir. of tech.; John Hall, KCSM sr. editor;
Marilyn Lawrence, gen. mgr.
Omneon: Eng. staff
Sundance: Eng. staff
Technology at work
Omneon: Spectrum media servers; MediaGrid active storage system;
Rhozet: Carbon transcoder
Sundance: Automation, archive manager