WFMZ Adds Fourth Utah Scientific Master Control Switcher, Expands HD Offerings

Philadelphia’s WFMZ-TV has installed another Utah Scientific MC-400 master control switcher in its HD broadcasting infrastructure. The new master control switcher allows WFMZ to add a new sub-channel — and a new revenue stream — to its lineup.

WFMZ is an independent station with newscasts that focus on the northern tier of the Philadelphia market. WFMZ-TV is a long-time Utah Scientific customer and currently uses the UTAH-400 (144) digital routing switcher and three other MC-400s, as well as some older Utah Scientific analog units.

“When it came time to do an HD upgrade, we knew we’d need to upgrade our master controllers, and we wanted something that would interface with our automation system and existing equipment, including our Utah Scientific analog router,” said Brian DeWalt, chief engineer at WFMZ. “Installing Utah Scientific master controllers was simple and cost-effective because they use the same frame and infrastructure as the router. This cut down on external wiring and DAs that would otherwise be required for stand-alone master control switchers. It also meant that we could keep using our analog router during our migration from an analog plant to an embedded HD-SDI plant. Based on our experience with Utah Scientific equipment, we knew the units would be built to last and the company would support the equipment for decades to come.”

Adding a fourth Utah Scientific master control switcher not only enables WFMZ to add a fourth sub-channel to its main channel, but it also ensures compliance with Federal Communications Commission standards for the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

“I’m always very pleased to see our customers grow and be able to offer new products to their audiences like WFMZ is doing,” said Tom Harmon, president and CEO of Utah Scientific. “It’s great to be a part of their success, and great to see Utah Scientific units that were manufactured decades ago still in use right alongside our latest advancements. Durability, reliability, and ongoing support — that’s what we’re all about.”

The MC-400 HD/SD master control switcher represents a major step forward in signal processing functionality for live and automated master control systems. The MC-400 incorporates all its signal-processing technology into a single board that can be installed directly in an output slot of a UTAH-400 router frame. This direct connection gives the processor access to every signal within the router with no need for external connections. The MC-400 can stand alone or be used as part of a multichannel system within an MC-2020 network.

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