Drewry Communications Standardizes on Utah Scientific for Routing and Master Control

Utah Scientific, a provider of routing and master control switchers, announced that Amarillo, Texas-based CBS-affiliate KFDA has upgraded its broadcast facility to digital operations with Utah Scientific routing and master control equipment. It is the first of what will be five installations for Drewry Communications Group, which has standardized on Utah Scientific equipment for digital upgrades of all of its stations.

KFDA has installed a master control system that includes four Utah Scientific MC-4000 units, an MCP-2020 panel, four master control MC-GUI systems, and software options on the MC-4000 for integrated DVE, logo, and EAS insertion. The Utah Scientific routing systems include a UTAH-400 3G HD/SD video router loaded 88×64, an SC-4 control system, multiple router SoftPanel-2 GUIs and various control panels, UTAH-100 3G digital distribution amplifiers, and a TSG-490 sync generator.

The new equipment enables KFDA to broadcast HD-originated content rather than upconverting from SD. In addition, because of the tight integration between the master control switcher and the routing switcher, operators have easy access to all sources connected to the router. KFDA and its four subchannels can consolidate their assets, and operators can manage everything from one place, making the system more flexible, compact, and easy to use.

“Previously, we had four different routers that really didn’t talk to each other, and none of the on-air switchers could share resources,” said Tim Winn, chief engineer at KFDA. “That made it difficult to do things that are important to us — like weather cut-ins, which we need to do frequently in this part of the country. The new system handles that sort of thing with ease — and on any combination of channels we want.”

Winn also cited Utah Scientific’s 10-year warranty and reputation for customer service as major drivers for the purchase decision.

“The 10-year warranty was so important. It means that we can reduce our operating expense because we don’t have to budget for maintenance for that system for 10 years,” Winn said.

“KFDA really needed a system that would allow them to respond quickly to changing situations, like breaking news and weather alerts,” said Tom Harmon, president and CEO of Utah Scientific. “Working closely together, we were able to design a system that could deliver a tighter, cleaner on-air look. It makes it easier for them operationally as well as giving their viewers a better experience.”