Trinity Broadcasting Network inspires with automated master control across 32 affiliates
Two years ago Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN) needed to fi nd a way to comply with new FCC regulations for digital television. TBN also wanted to use this upgrade to enable affi liate stations to receive network feeds and insert local programming and interstitials.
The exceptional size and scale of the project led the network to seek out help from systems integrator TV Magic. TV Magic designed an inexpensive but fl exible automated master control system that supports fi ve DTV channels and allows for unattended operation. TV Magic also installed that system across all 32 of the network’s affi liate stations throughout the United States. The time frame from design to installation for the project was 18 months.
For each unique TBN affi liate, a separate full-power master control system was designed, built, tested and confi gured. TV Magic coordinated its fi eld crews with stations to ensure timely receipt of gear, installation, cutover and training. TV Magic crews traveled from site to site to install the new systems into each station, often working around obstacles including limited space and ongoing operations. The systems integrator performed on-site operator training as part of the install, and TV Magic engineers provided telephonebased technical support for any operations or engineering issues at the affi liate stations.
Each system includes a multichannel server with ingest and playout, branding with squeezeback, a character generator and logo insertion, plus EAS, and other FCC compliance — controlled through a fl exible automation system. A customized Sundance Digital Titan automation system enables the unattended operation capability desired by TBN. The integrated broadcast system also incorporates Miranda terminal gear and Imagestore channel branding processor, Masstech loggers, 360 Systems or Omneon media servers, and Keywest Technology secondary logo insertion and EAS systems. The system is housed in two full-sized APW racks.
While TBN stations will continue to do some local ingest and production, the automation system was built with Miranda’s iControl system so that the network can develop remote monitoring capabilities that will provide much greater control over station operation from the network’s new master control facility in Tustin, CA. This will enable off-site engineers to see and fi x problems before affecting the on-air signals.
The automation of all 32 affi liate stations presented a technical challenge in designing a system that could be adapted to each facility’s existing infrastructure, and installed in a compact time frame. The new automation supports the network’s current broadcast goals and will facilitate more sophisticated control capabilities in the future.