Ohio’s WTLW TV44 Completes Master Control Rebuild with Miranda Platform

Miranda Technologies, a Belden Brand, a global provider of integrated solutions for production, playout, and delivery systems for television broadcasters and multi-system operators, has announced a complete master control rebuild with Miranda’s iTX integrated playout platform at the core of WTLW TV44 and its second channel, the West Ohio Sports Net, TV 44.2, a full power, locally owned television station in Lima, Ohio.

The Miranda solution replaced aging analog equipment with an HD-ready workflow that supports file-based content and includes the iTX playout platform, an NVISION 8144 router with redundant NV9000 controllers, a dual-channel Vertigo character generator, Kaleido-X multiviewer and a Densité frame populated with Densité IRD cards.

iTX’s highly integrated, end-to-end workflow capabilities streamline all core playout processes for WTLW. WTLW made its purchase decision based on iTX’s low cost of ownership, simple scalability and superior playout performance.

Jeff Klingler, chief engineer at WTLW said, “After considering solutions from several major vendors, we selected Miranda to provide the key components of our new system. Most stations of our size are affiliated with a network, with lots of airtime filled with content from a network feed. In our case, though, much of our content is locally produced. Before iTX, our workflow was missing a very important component and iTX has proven to be the tool we needed to assemble everything we produce and get it on air. Our on-air HD picture looks like a million bucks.”

The six components of the iTX solution include infrastructure in the form of iTX framework servers for centralized system services, central content storage, HD/SD SDI encoding, digital file ingest, playout of dual 720p streams with embedded AES audio multiplexed to WTLW’s transmitter and controlled user access for any operation or service within the iTX system via three workstations.

WTLW broadcasts 24/7 to 220,000 homes in 14 counties across northwest Ohio and northeastern Indiana with a mix of in-house and on-location religious productions plus local community information, sports, talk and classic syndicated TV shows. WTLW is the only locally owned, commercially licensed television station in the Lima area and the only known locally owned station in the country that offers a 24-hour sports channel, WOSN (West Ohio Sports Network), which provides local high school sports coverage within a 40-mile radius of the station.

Before the install, workflow was a major concern for WTLW because the master control room is not typically staffed 24-hours a day, which drove the desire to take full advantage of iTX’s highly advanced automated playout.  Operators use the iTX client GUI to make required changes when manual schedule control is required or live segments need to be taken.

Klingler added, “The ability to have full control of our on-air playout from any location, be it office desk, hotel room or kitchen table at home is a tremendous benefit. One good example of how iTX has improved our situation is that after WOSN’s traffic manager leaves for the day, he can modify the schedule, organize sub-clips and air a high school basketball game that evening – all from his home.”

Flexibility and redundancy also factored heavily in WTLW’s decision. According to WTLW Engineering system designer Ken Vedder, “The pairing of the NVISION router and Kaleido-X multiviewer gives us flexibility in signal path and monitoring capacity, and the robust back-end design of the iTX system provides excellent reliability and stability for our on-air playout. Also, a single vendor solution not only ensures that our workflow is seamless from ingest to playout, but that everything is covered under a single support contract. In short, once loaded with a schedule and content, the Miranda system can pretty much run itself, which means our engineering staff can finally get a good night’s sleep.”