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DNF Controls Universal Switch Panel Simplifies WBAL-TV Workflow

SYLMAR, Calif. — Jan. 12, 2008 — DNF Controls today announced that WBAL-TV, a Hearst-Argyle station and NBC affiliate serving the Baltimore area, has incorporated two Universal Switch Panel (USP) systems into its new HD production control room to facilitate simple and immediate control for the station’s delay box. The USP-8 units give WBAL-TV staff a clear, hands-on means of controlling delay when profanity or other undesirable audio or video content arises during a live broadcast.

“The USP-8 from DNF Controls was the best fit for WBAL-TV’s newly upgraded HD production control room because it provided all the control and tally functionality needed at an attractive price,” said Herman Reynolds, assistant director of engineering for Communications Engineering Inc. (CEI), the systems integrator that installed the systems. “Rather than fabricate a system from scratch, we were able to go with a tested and proven system from DNF Controls. The unit’s IP-based control and configuration tools made it easy to adapt the USP-8 to the specific needs of WBAL-TV’s broadcast workflow.”

DNF Controls’ USP-8 is a panel of eight multipurpose, configurable push-button switches, each of which features a backlit LCD display — capable of displaying red, green, and amber colors, flashing or solid — that displays “on” and “off” text legends and indicates tally status. The USP-8 emulates the operation of mechanical push-buttons while adding a high degree of flexibility and application-specific functionality not available in conventional push-button panels.

The two units installed at WBAL-TV are situated to either side of the switcher and multiviewer wall. Because the two boxes are wired in parallel, they mimic one another; Ethernet support enables the interconnection of multiple units so that the push of a local USP button can control USP switch closure on a second unit. The system’s backlit switch faces provide convenient information about control status while enabling users to trigger video, audio dubbing, or delay mode with just one button press.

The panel’s isolated relay contact switch closure (GPO) simplifies the unit’s interface, while an opto-isolated tally input (GPI) allows for real-time status of external devices. The USP is easily configured using an off-the-shelf Web browser such as Microsoft® Internet Explorer®, Netscape®, Firefox®, or other commonly available browsers. These configuration settings are retained in nonvolatile memory, and any changes are made effective immediately.

More information about DNF Controls products is available at www.dnfcontrols.com.

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About WBAL-TV
WBAL-TV, channel 11, is a Hearst-Argyle Television station and NBC affiliate serving Baltimore, Md. The station has long been a market leader, introducing color television to Baltimore viewers in 1953 and later becoming the first station in its market to launch mobile satellite news gathering. More information about the station is available at www.wbaltv.com.

About Communications Engineering Inc.
Communications Engineering Inc. (CEI), located in Newington, Va., is an award-winning broadcast and multimedia systems integrator that offers complete equipment service, support, and training. Its subsidiary, CEI Sales, supplies products and services to a wide range of clients, and to federal agencies and organizations through GSA. CEI has helped to define the leading edge of systems engineering and implementation for the communications industry since the mid-1980s. More information is available at www.commeng.com.

About DNF Controls
DNF Controls is a leading provider of hardware- and software-based control solutions for equipment used in the television broadcast, audio/video production, post-production, and graphics markets. By partnering with industry-leading manufacturers and customers, DNF provides innovative, reliable, precise, and easy-to-use products that are used in point-to-point control as well as in facilitywide multipoint control applications. DNF Controls’ customer list includes all major U.S. television broadcast and cable networks, domestic and international television stations and production facilities, mobile production trucks, stadiums, and arenas. DNF Controls is headquartered in Sylmar, Calif. More information is available at www.dnfcontrols.com.

ENDS

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