Canada’s CHEK-TV Rebuilds Infrastructure Around OmniBus iTX Master Control System

CHEK-TV, the newly-independent Canadian broadcaster, has chosen the OmniBus iTX master control and automation platform as the core of its news and entertainment operation. Broadcasting from its base in Victoria to viewers across British Columbia, CHEK-TV delivers a news and entertainment channel with rolling newscasts during the day and evening.

Effectively starting from scratch after an employee purchase from previous owners, CHEK-TV had to build a cost-effective infrastructure to bring previously outsourced master control and news control room functions back in house. With a tight implementation deadline to meet and a lean and efficient operating model as part of the business plan, CHEK-TV turned to the iTX platform as the solution for its news-intensive service to audiences across the province.

Configured with one SD channel and a full backup channel, together with four additional ingest ports, CHEK-TV’s iTX installation also provides graphics for channel branding and sponsor bugs. Making extensive use of iTX’s ability to record content and play it out almost instantaneously, CHEK-TV’s schedule of rolling news coverage comprises a live segment of 20 minutes at the top of the hour, with the recording of the segment repeated twice over the next 40 minutes. During live operation, the news feed is routed to iTX from the news control room for direct playout to air, and each 20-minute newscast recording is then dropped onto the iTX timeline for subsequent automated playout. Additional material from satellite and tape is continuously ingested into the iTX system using the remaining four ingest channels, with commercials fed to the system from three distribution systems. Commercials from file-based distribution systems are dropped direct onto the iTX timeline and are then immediately ready for playout.

“We have achieved a very efficient workflow with iTX and the platform enables us to operate a fast-moving news service with a small number of multi-tasking personnel,” said Bill Pollock, operations/program manager, CHEK Media Group. “For a compact operation, this is a very effective way to do business, and it puts an independent station like ours on a very viable footing.”

OmniBus Systems’ iTX is a software-based television production and transmission platform built on standard IT hardware and advanced software technology. Broadcasters and media operators can use a single, integrated system to unify and streamline ingest, media management, workflow organization, schedule management, asset management, automation, master control and playout to television, radio and the Internet. Handling all stages of the production and delivery process under a consistent user environment, the iTX system delivers unprecedented increases in efficiency, scalability and speed of response for media businesses.

In September, OmniBus Systems was acquired by Miranda Technologies.