ABS completes newsroom production facility upgrade AT KBCI-TV

integration firm Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS) has completed an extensive
upgrade of the newsroom production environment at KBCI, the CBS affiliate in

KBCI began broadcasting live newscasts from its upgraded facility on June 23,

At the
heart of the upgrade is a Grass Valley Ignite integrated production system that
links KBCI’s production control room with its AP ENPS newsroom computer system
as well as a new, dual-channel Avid Deko live graphics system. Through their
seamless integration, these systems enable KBCI to realize greater efficiencies
through an automated newsroom production workflow.

upgrade represents a significant investment in KBCI by its parent company,
Fisher Communications, Inc., in


WA, a station group comprised of
12 full power TV stations, seven low power TV stations, and eight radio
stations. “Fisher recognizes the value of investing in KBCI’s facilities
and the growing Boise TV market. We projected a return on investment
within 1.5 years due to new found efficiencies in this automated news production
workflow,” said Kelly Alford, Fisher Communications’ Vice President of
Engineering. “The KBCI upgrade was also motivated by the desire to boost the
station’s ratings from third to first place for local news in the competitive

Boise market.”

upgrade represented a quantum leap forward from the aging video production
infrastructure that KBCI had been using for decades. Before being
acquired by Fisher Communications, the station ran on an antiquated

1680 production switcher and single channel Chyron Max, both of which have been
discontinued by their respective manufacturers. Fisher Communications called
upon ABS to remedy this dire situation because of the company’s specialized
expertise and proven track record in systems integration for broadcast.

“At the
time we stepped in, KBCI was technologically exposed and gambling with every
live broadcast. If that ‘1680’ switcher ever went down, there would be no way
to get it back up and running and live production would invariably come to an
abrupt halt,” said Mark Siegel, president of ABS.

“The need
to replace the ‘1680’ was so urgent that we and Grass Valley loaned KBCI a
Grass Valley Kayak production switcher to hold them over for six months until
the new Grass Valley Ignite system could be installed in the Spring of
2007.” Since the Ignite system has a built-in 2-M/E Kayak enhanced by
automation and control software, the loaner Kayak was removed and returned to

when the Ignite installation was completed.

“There was
also a pressing need to replace the single-channel Chyron Max because the
legacy character generator imposed many technical and creative limitations that
detracted from the appeal of the live newscasts,” said Siegel. “The addition of
the new, dual-channel Avid Deko was huge because it allows graphics operators
to compose contemporary, multilayered 3D animated graphics with full motion
video, and employ automated graphics composition tools, such as templates for
generating realtime driven data displays.”

With the
Ignite, Deko, and the ENPS in service, KBCI was able to reduce its head count
in the production control room from nine to three people, freeing up resources
that could be used for further station improvements. Fisher also hired a
new producer, director, news director, and general manager who would bring a
fresh approach to daily station management.

said, “This fully automated newsroom production environment has given us
greater control over the look, quality, and consistency of the elements in our
live newscasts resulting in a dramatically improved on-air presentation.”

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