Eye on Radio
For the video control point, a cubicle formerly used for call screening was removed. This sat directly outside the studio and provided the space to build a complete video control center. An Omnirax Presto workstation was chosen for its small footprint, dual four-space equipment racks and countertop for video monitors. A Panasonic WJ-MX30 digital A/V mixer was chosen as the primary controller for video and camera sources. Two Lietech Xpress 12×1 video routing switchers were installed to accommodate for all of the video sources. Ikegami rackmount quad LCD screens provided individual camera preview shots. An Ashley LX 308B line-level audio mixer was used to provide the video producer with audio monitoring selections. Two standard DVD players and a Dell PC with a composite video card were used to provide additional graphics and video footage. Plenum-rated RG-59 cabling and Canare true 75 ohm BCP-C1 BNC connectors helped provide clean video signals at all connections. A Telos Switch Console with Assistant Producer software was installed at the Dell workstation and provided the call-screening needs of the station. The workspace ended up providing easy and ergonomic operation by one or two people.
SimulcastingTo deliver the video and synchronized audio to WBKI-TV, a pair of Terrawave Communications TW-400 IP-based STL transmitter/receivers were used. The Terrawave accepted a standard-definition video input, balanced stereo audio inputs and converted the media to IP. Because the STL was bi-directional, a confidence return feed was delivered back to WQKC via the TW-400 outputs. To handle the bandwidth requirements, a 10MB synchronous point-to-point fiber circuit was constructed by the local telecom company and installed with Cisco 2400 routers at each end. The signal quality was excellent and delivered in real time with extremely low-latency.
One of the difficulties of simulcasting the live show was handling local content. Each station needed to run separate local commercials, liners, news-feeds and promos. To achieve this, we treated the TV station like an affiliate. A mix-minus was set up, providing the TV station with only the program material it needed. Liners and radio-only audio elements were excluded from the mix. WQKC uses the Broadcast Software International and Cumulus developed automation system, OpX to generate relay closures that would trigger the TV stations commercial breaks.
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