Fisher Communications Employs Omneon Spectrum Servers
announced that Fisher Communications, Inc. is relying on Omneon Spectrum media
servers for an innovative application in which three CBS affiliate stations and
four Univision affiliate stations share a single remote master control
facility. Coordinated by Seattle-based systems integrator Advanced Broadcast
Solutions (ABS), the project connects KIMA (
Wash.), KEPR (
Wash.), KLEW (
KUNP (La Grand/Portland,
Ore.), KUNB (Boise,
Idaho), KKFQ, (Yakima, Wash.), and KVVK (
Wash.) to the master control hub located in
Commercial and programming content is centralcasted to the regional stations from
a 12-channel Spectrum system holding 300 hours of 12-Mb/s MPEG-2 content.
Meanwhile, smaller Spectrum systems operate as edge transmission servers at the
stations themselves, transferring local and interstitial content to the central
server via FTP. The edge servers also provide backup for the regional stations
in the event of a loss of communication. The centralcasting operation is controlled
by Sundance Digital automation.
Fisher Communications operates 19 television stations along with eight radio stations.
Seven of Fisher’s 12 full-power stations rely on Omneon Spectrum systems.
Besides KEPR, KLEW, and KIMA, these are: KBCI (
Idaho), KVAL (
Ore.), KATU (
Ore.), and KOMO (
Currently, the stations all broadcast in SD, but Fisher is preparing for HD, first
by adding HD programming at its flagship station, KOMO in
Seattle. With the modular Spectrum server,
the transition to HD requires no downtime or disruptive upgrade procedure.
Adding HD functionality is simply a matter of connecting a new Omneon MediaPort to the existing server while the system remains
“We are always looking at opportunities for growth and increasing our operating
efficiencies,” said Kelly Alford, vice president of engineering at Fisher
Communications. “And that means we absolutely require products and suppliers
that can accommodate growth and flexibility. The Spectrum system fits right
into that with its modularity and expandability. Omneon media servers and
active storage systems are products we know we can rely on from a company with