WFMZ Adds 4th Utah Scientific Master Switcher

Maranatha Broadcasting’s WFMZ Allentown, Pa. (Philadelphia, DMA 4), has installed another Utah Scientific MC-400 master control switcher. The new unit allows WFMZ to add a new subchannel — and a new revenue stream — to its lineup. 

WFMZ is an independent with newscasts that focus on the northern tier of the Philadelphia market. It is a long-time Utah Scientific customer and currently uses the Utah-400 (144) digital routing switcher and three other MC-400s, as well as some older Utah Scientific analog units.

The MC-400 HD/SD master control switcher incorporates all its signal-processing technology into a single board that can be installed directly in an output slot of a Utah-400 router frame. This direct connection gives the processor access to every signal within the router with no need for external connections. The MC-400 can stand alone or be used as part of a multichannel system within an MC-2020 network.

“When it came time to do an HD upgrade, we knew we’d need to upgrade our master controllers, and we wanted something that would interface with our automation system and existing equipment, including our Utah Scientific analog router,” said Brian DeWalt, WFMZ chief engineer. “Installing Utah Scientific master controllers was simple and cost-effective because they use the same frame and infrastructure as the router. This cut down on external wiring and DAs that would otherwise be required for stand-alone master control switchers.

“It also meant that we could keep using our analog router during our migration from an analog plant to an embedded HD-SDI plant. Based on our experience with Utah Scientific equipment, we knew the units would be built to last and the company would support the equipment for decades to come.” 

Adding a fourth Utah Scientific master control switcher not only enables WFMZ to add a fourth subchannel to its main channel, but it also ensures compliance with the FCC’s Emergency Alert System standards.


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