WTAT-TV completes a full Master Control Automation upgrade with NVerzion’s NControl solution
Salt Lake City, UT – August 28, 2023 - WTAT-TV of Charleston, South Carolina, has completed a full upgrade to their broadcast automation system by adding NVerzion’s NControl and EMC-NT to their local master control. WTAT had originally operated as a hub facility whose master control originated out of Chattanooga, TN. Much of the original equipment had been acquired from a separate Sinclair facility when master control was returned to the Charleston site.
Operating on a Windows 7 platform, the system was dated, with certain parts going back 20 years.
The station had migrated to Windows 10 for their servers, while the Automation system remained on Windows 7. The upgrade to Windows 10 went well, but legacy equipment configured around Windows 7 stopped functioning properly. NVerzion’s support team assisted with software patches to bridge the operating system gap between Windows 7 and Windows 10. This was critical in maintaining a cohesive operation until approval took place for the remaining equipment upgrade.
The facility recognized the need to upgrade in the wake of an Integrated Receiver Decoder failure. At this point the station reached out to NVerzion for upgrade assistance, since it was felt the automation equipment had performed well and the best option would be a continuation of NVerzion’s equipment for ongoing use. NVerzion’s staff worked with WTAT to personally ensure the upgrade was done as efficiently as possible, involving a replacement of the Xcoder, the NControl, and EMC-NT machine control. With NVerzion staff on-site, the equipment configuration and full hardware and software upgrade was handled within three days.
NVerzion’s automation essentially takes over the manual operation of WTAT’s on-air signals, with the operation maintaining automated playlists that contain the entire schedule for a 24-hour period. All material is sequenced-in and triggered by the NVerzion system before server play-out and delivery to air. NVerzion’s automation has merged well with WTAT’s OSI traffic system; editing is done on the fly, errors are minimal, and there have been no issues with the physical operation of the system.
NVerzion’s reliability and support are the top benefits for WTAT. Operational questions or concerns have been immediately addressed by NVerzion’s customer support, with technical response time within 30 minutes via remote communication with the system. Issue resolutions typically take place behind the scenes without any programming disruption. WTAT has stated that integration has been very smooth, facilitated through NVerzion’s solid working relationship with Heartland Video Systems, the primary source for the station’s equipment.
NVerzion’s hardware integrated nicely with WTAT’s Utah Scientific routing system, experiencing no conflicts among three different equipment vendors functioning within a single operation. Solid customer support is tremendously important to WTAT’s operation considering the facility’s broadcast size, with a very streamlined, three-person engineering crew inside the operation. As a 24-hour facility, technical expertise and support is vital, and the assurance of always-available technical assistance is highly beneficial, particularly where remote assistance is prevalent. “The reliability and support factor is important and unmatched,” said Stan Davis, Chief Engineer at Fox Charleston. “Any needed response has been absolutely on-time. NVerzion has it all wrapped up pretty tight.”
“The importance in rounding out WTAT’s broadcast automation was critical in getting the facility up to date with this upgrade,” said Reed Haslam, NVerzion’s director of sales. “It’s great to have been a part of such a successful system migration and to have been so closely involved in WTAT’s expansion. I look forward to the facility staying close with our technology and platform advances in the future.”
To learn more about NVerzion’s Automation and Video Servers and how it can streamline existing content record and playback operations, please visit https://www.nverzion.com.
WTAT-TV, a Fox-affiliated television station in Charleston, South Carolina (channel 24), is owned by Cunningham Broadcasting, a partner of Sinclair Broadcast Group. Known for extensive Sports coverage from NASCAR and the Daytona 500 to Major League Baseball and NFL Football, WTAT also includes extensive coverage of the Carolina Panthers. The studio is situated on Arco Lane in North Charleston, while the transmitter is in Awendaw, South Carolina.
NVerzion is a leading provider of cutting-edge broadcast automation, TV master control, and video server solutions that bring increased efficiency and cost savings to digital broadcasting and television stations. NVerzion enables broadcasters to control media content acquisition and distribution equipment, allowing intuitive operation, and taking the guesswork out of system implementation, along with worldwide training, service, and support.