WVIT NBC Connecticut
NBC owned-and-operated WVIT NBC Connecticut engaged KMH AV Integration in July 2008 to begin the planning and design for its new HD facility located in West Hartford, CT. Led by Keith Barbaria, director of technology and engineering for WVIT, design and operational goals were set in place to establish a wideband routing and distribution core, HD news production from the studio facility, and a migration to a tapeless editing and playback system using video server technology and shared storage. Additionally, WVIT required cabling infrastructure that would allow for maximum flexibility supporting today’s high data rate signals while at the same time providing future growth and compatibility. To this end, a combination of single-mode fiber and Category 6A cable was installed throughout the facility with project partner Bascom Technologies.
KMH also needed to account for various analog 4:3 and 16:9 widescreen SD signals that would be integrated into the newscast. Equipment list development and systems design was completed in December 2008, and after a short period of equipment procurement, off-site staging began at KMH sister company Broadcast Integration Services (BIS). Approximately 70 equipment racks and more than 10,000 cables were prefabricated and loaded in racks and jackfields at the BIS facility, located in Union City, NJ, to be delivered in phases at the station in Hartford. KMH provided project management and coordination between the integration effort and the various construction trades, allowing the installation to progress smoothly. More than 90mi of cables were installed throughout the facility, including multiple system interconnect (BSP) locations on the studio and news floor, conference rooms, truck docks, satellite farms, and a roof location.
KMH began systems testing in late April 2009, with systems training and commissioning commencing in mid-May. To help WVIT ease into the migration to a server-based workflow, KMH used parallel installation teams to bring specific systems online to support user training and the timely ingest of tape-based media that would form the foundation of the first HD broadcasts from WVIT. With WVIT’s engineering team maintaining two facilities and working with KMH during integration, rehearsals began in mid-June. Station engineering with KMH began the phased transition from the old facility to the new one by executing a series of well-coordinated system cut-overs maintaining divergent, redundant transmission paths until the move to the new building was completed.
With Phil Speliopoulos, WVIT production manager, heading up the training effort, the station quickly began to refine its operational workflow. A successful launch was executed on July 16, 2009, and without skipping a beat, WVIT NBC Connecticut delivered the first HD newscast to eager audiences. Subsequent successful launches of the DTV subchannels 30.2 Weather Plus, 30.3 Universal Sports and 30.5 WVIT (Web) were executed shortly thereafter, allowing WVIT to say goodbye to its old facility and become the first station in Connecticut to offer HD newscasts to its viewers.
New studio technology — HD
Submitted by Broadcast Integration Services
KMH AV Integration: Kevin Henneman
BIS: Joseph Policastro; Adam Semcken, lead design eng.
WVIT Engineering: Joe DiMaggio, Mark Chase, Ed Rankin, Jack Kane, Karen Bradshaw
Technology at work
Evertz: Reference headend
Grass Valley: K2 Classic under Aurora Play
iNews: News automation
Miranda: KX multi-image monitor processor, Densité, Symphonie, NV9000
Ross Video: Vision mixer
Sony: HDC-1000, Bravia production monitor
Tektronix: WVR-7120 T&M
Wheatstone: D-10 audio mixer