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ABS Designs, Builds New Master Control Facility for KBNZ

SEATAC, WA — When Zolo Media purchased KBNZ in 2010, master control for the CBS affiliate in Bend, Ore. (DMA #193), was handled through another station in Portland. An ambitious project to build an on-site master control facility was approved in early 2011, with a firm Sept. 1 start date for 24/7 operations. With a tight deadline and no finalized plan in place, professional video and audio systems integration firm ABS (Advanced Broadcast Solutions) was tasked with designing and building the facility.

“I really appreciated ABS’ understanding of our perspective,” recalled Conor Miller, chief broadcast engineer. “We had to build a very efficient, scalable, and cost effective master control. We never got the sense that they were just pitching products. They helped us design the project in the best way for our business.”

Originally, ABS had been hired as consultants when the small market station was exploring its master control options. Before taking over the project, ABS provided a site survey, offered recommendations on space and power, and calculated costs for both the build and continuing operational expenses. “Having ABS involved from the beginning was priceless,” Miller said. “It gave our leadership team peace of mind, gave us another set of professional eyes on the project, and then gave us an advocate for all the vendor relationships.”

KBNZ’s master control was built in an area of the facility that had been filled with office cubicles. Once the walls were built, there was only a 13×15-foot room for master control, so efficient use of space was essential. Racks were pre-wired with equipment and tested at the ABS facility in SeaTac, then moved to KBNZ for permanent installation.

Based around Harris ADC playout automation, the native 1080i HD master control features an embedded audio workflow. There are two Harris NEXIO four-channel playout servers, one for each channel. Content is mirrored on both servers for redundancy. A Harris IconMaster master control switcher provides two layers of automation and integrated graphics. Other equipment includes an Evertz Xenon routing switcher, Evertz VIP-X multi-viewer, two Samsung 58-inch commercial LCDs, Linear Acoustics audio processing and Wohler audio monitoring gear, and a Argosy custom console.

The new facility handles master control for KBNZ and COTV, a PEG channel located in the same facility and operated by sister company BendBroadband, a locally owned cable television, digital phone, and high-speed Internet service provider in Central Oregon. “It was a very smooth and successful project that came in on budget and on time,” Miller said. “ABS fills a really great market need right now for coming in and building efficient, reasonably scaled projects.”

About ABS:

Based in SeaTac, WA, ABS (Advanced Broadcast Solutions) delivers customized, technologically superior solutions for broadcast, corporate, house of worship, entertainment, government, and educational facilities – from design and integration to installation and support services. Since 1982, its experienced technical staff has installed more than 700 systems for clients including Fisher Communications, Cowles California Media, Real Networks, Cisco Systems, and Microsoft Studios. For more information, call 206-870-0244 or visit www.advancedbroadcastsolutions.com.

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