Parkersburg, WV-based WTAP-TV — an NBC, FOX and UPN affiliate — is continuing its transition to HD programming. WTAP is an early adopter of HD broadcasts in the state, and the station is still in the process of development of its HD broadcast infrastructure.
The company recently purchased master control and routing switchers from Utah Scientific to help make the transition. As part of its new production system, the station has installed four Utah Scientific MC-2020 SD/HD master control switchers and a 144 by 144 UTAH-400 HD routing switcher.
WTAP cited the switchers’ ability to process the various feed formats entering the facility for its four broadcast streams serving the mid-Ohio Valley as reasons for purchase. NBC signals are broadcast on WTAP-DTV and WTAP-HDTV, as well as the station’s UHF channel. WTAP’s two other channels, FOX and UPN, are currently broadcast in SD.
The HD routing switcher at WTAP handles analog, SDI and HD formats, and has been set up to route the various signals to format converters as necessary. In addition to investing in the MC-2020 switchers and the UTAH-400 router, WTAP’s new system also includes Omneon Spectrum video servers and Harris automation.
The HD/SD-2020 digital master control switchers provide WTAP with a full range of mixing and keying functionality, and drive all the switching and routing functions within the station’s master control facility. Each master control unit features two keyers per channel, which allow for a flexible approach to clean-feed and regional-feed applications. The switchers also provide WTAP with full audio mixing capabilities using embedded audio, ensuring that timing between video and audio will always be in-sync.
The UTAH-400 routing system offers flexibility in building large switching matrices for SD, HD or mixed-signal environments. The router is designed as a scalable matrix architecture that allows users to expand seamlessly from 64 by 64 to 1152 by 1152 and beyond, resulting in improvements in rack space and power requirements.