On 8/29/12 we switched from our old Sundance/Avid Master Control Automation System to a new System by Harris Broadcast. Besides the overall Automation System we also implemented the following new equipment:
1. New Digital Transport Stream Multiplexers from RGB Networks.
2. New HD Encoders from Elemental Technologies.
3. New HD Digital Video/Audio Router from Miranda Technologies.
4. New HD Digital Video Servers from Harris Broadcast.
I have attached a picture of a portion of our new system. This system was installed by KTVZ’s local Engineering Team. Then an integrator out of Seattle, WA was hired to wire and power up the entire system. Once the system was wired up and powered on technians from Harris, Elemental and Miranda all came to our location to commission their respective equipment. This upgrade was a companywide project that took place across all the stations owned by the NPG Broadcast Group.
Once the system was handed back to us Engineers at the local level, we found a multitude of problems:
1. Many of the Automation computers were not configured correctly and would crash/lose network connection frequently.
2. The automated control of satellite recordings failed and lead to us having to air incorrect programming at incorrect times.
3. Several issues with the integration of the local News product caused problems from video freezes to lack of the Time/Temperature Logo.
4. Changes to the delivery system of the Transport Streams to the Transmitters (especially the remote translators) caused several outages and channel guide issues.
5. Issues with the recording of some syndicated programming caused audio dropouts or the service would just go to black.
This is but a short list of all the issues we were dealing with during the entire month of September and the beginning of October. Many of these issues were intermittent and very difficult to troubleshoot, especially when we are dealing with a new system that we are still learning to maintain.
It’s not all bad news. Now that the system is starting to stabilize we will be able to focus on fine tuning the issues that have been plaguing us for the last 6 weeks. At the top of that list are dealing with audio issues, eliminating clipping video and resolving the freezing issue on the local news. We are now at a point where we can begin updating the On-Air Issues on a regular basis. Especially during that first month, our Engineering Department was working around the clock on several different issues and there was never any time to do anything else but find problems and resolve them.
I want to apologize for all the technical difficulties and how they have affected our viewers. I know that it has been extremely frustrating and while we are not able to answer all calls and e-mails we hear your voices and take your viewership very seriously.