KENW Portales, N.M., buys Utah Scientific gear for digital

KENW, a PBS affiliate located in Portales, N.M., has purchased a multichannel master control switcher and routing switcher system from Utah Scientific. The Utah-400 144×144 router consists of SD, HD and analog video sections and an audio section with both AES and analog stereo inputs and outputs. The master control system has two MCP-2020 control panels that share access to two SD channels and one HD channel. All three channels are equipped with Utah’s SqueezeMAX effects and graphics systems. The station is installing the equipment as part of the master control operations of its new all-digital facility at Eastern New Mexico University.

“Key to our purchasing decision has been the outstanding customer support we’ve received for our older Utah Scientific products,” said Jeff Burmeister, director of engineering at KENW. “We have an AVS-1 routing switcher and MC-500 master control switcher for which Utah has provided us support for 25 years. When you receive that kind of care from a company, you feel pretty comfortable purchasing more of their products.”

KENW is based at Eastern New Mexico University and the station works closely with the university to provide hands-on support to broadcast journalism students in the program. As part of this effort, it secured funding from the New Mexico state legislature to build a new facility that would support an all-digital infrastructure, providing a premier teaching environment for students as well as improved services for viewers of its programming, which is broadcast throughout southeastern New Mexico.

The station, which plans to have the new facility fully operational in the fall, will transmit two SD channels and one HD channel. It will use one of its MC-2020s to transmit its SD signals and the other for the HD signal. The Utah-400s—one for video signals and one for audio—will serve as the digital backbone through which the various signals are routed to master control for transmission, ensuring that feeds comprised of various formats and aspect ratios are automatically routed to the appropriate signal converters and then to the correct MC-2020 system. The SqueezeMax digital effects units will work directly with the MC-2020s to provide such graphics capabilities as the squeeze back of video on a screen to reveal a background for promotional or other information.

Utah’s MC-2020 SD/HD master control switcher drives all the switching and routing functions through one keyboard-like surface within a station’s master control facility. The UTAH-400 HD is designed as a scaleable matrix architecture that allows users to expand from 8×8 all the way up to 1152×1152, and features redundant power supplies, crosspoint cards and controller cards.

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