| || |
|Submitted by |
| ||Harris |
|Design Team |
| ||WLEX: Sean Franklin, oper. mgr.; Tony Michalski, eng.; Brian Settle, eng., Sam Gordon, eng. |
Cordillera Communications: Andy Suk, VP of eng. & oper.
Harris Broadcast Communications: Brad Torr, dir., key accounts
|Technology at work |
| ||Chyron HyperX graphics |
Velocity NX editors
NEXIO XS servers
Newsroom Solutions Freedom HD graphics
P2 field cameras
Ross Synergy 4 switcher
As the NBC affiliate for Lexington, KY, WLEX-TV Channel 18 is the No. 1 source for local news in the east-central Kentucky region. To meet the needs of its growing viewership, WLEX renovated its broadcast facility to upgrade to HD and migrate its newsroom system to ENPS.
The design goal was straightforward: convert to HD using the existing building — including racks, control rooms and edit rooms — while continuing operations. Rapid completion of the facility was critical because WLEX wanted to launch its HD newscast in a matter of months.
The new WLEX broadcast facility features seven Harris NEXIO XS NX3600HDX servers — each supporting integrated, software-driven up/down/crossconversion for format transparency and true shared storage access — for news and commercial ingest and playback. The servers attach to a NEXIO SAN comprising three racks of 16 300GB storage drives each.
After acquiring the SD news feed using a Panasonic P2 field camera (50Mb/s at 16:9), Harris Velocity NX HD promotions and craft editors are used for news, promotion and commercial editing using legacy material from DVCPRO25, P2 and various news feeds. Velocity NX allows for real-time multicamera editing, color correction and multiple resolutions on the same timeline. The NEXIO XS server then upconverts the signal to HD for playback. The SAN also features NEXIO Rundown Manager as the MOS gateway, linking WLEX’s ENPS newsroom computer system with the NEXIO XS servers; the NEXIO PlayList application for sequencing and playing to air; and NEXIO Ingest Control Manager, which supports scheduled recording of line feeds and instant, ad hoc recordings to capture breaking news events.
WLEX worked through a myriad of challenges — from managing the multiple, simultaneous installs to scheduling the necessary training sessions. The old news set had to be demolished to accommodate the new newsroom set and lighting scheme, and a temporary news set had to be designed and constructed to accommodate demolition and installation. All of these tasks had to be accomplished while keeping critical equipment operational and without jeopardizing daily operations.
Several innovations were key to the success of the design: the mounting of two robotic cameras from the lighting grid in the studio and newsroom; the modification of a 2GHz microwave system to pass 16:9 for live news reports; and the use of a Harris Platinum router with the EDGE interface to the Grass Valley 7000 router.
Today, WLEX is reaping the benefits of its new HD SAN. The station went on the air with HD news on April 26, 2007, after only four months. All of WLEX’s locally produced news and programming is now broadcast in HD, and the station is also producing and airing many local commercials in HD.