Indiana University PBS Station Taps Utah Scientific for Mobile Production Unit

Utah Scientific announced that Indiana University PBS member station WTIU has installed two UTAH-100/UDS Universal Distribution System routers in its remote production unit based on the Bloomington, IN, campus. The UTAH-100/UDS units work together as the single nerve center of the mobile production setup, which produces complex multi-camera specials for the station and its robust client lineup. This includes the Indiana University Department of Athletics and its video board shows inside the University’s football stadium, basketball arena, and swimming and diving venue.

“When we added a replay system to our remote unit, we needed to add a router to speed up the connections between sources such as cameras and server I/O,” said George Hopstetter, WTIU director of operations and engineering. “Hard-patching the equipment and using the aux bus on the production switcher just wouldn’t work anymore. It just made sense to add a router rather than trying to find patch points every time we set up.”

The UTAH-100/UDS system replaced the patching function for the mobile production unit, saving time and effort during setup, and ensuring the flexibility to make changes or bypass problem areas during production. Additionally, having a router makes it easier to meet routing requirements when hiring out the equipment or working with outside broadcast entities such as the Big Ten Network, ESPN, and others.

“Figuring out where to patch to and from with a patch cord in hand is cumbersome and time-consuming, and once it’s set up at the event, that’s pretty much how it stays,” Hopstetter said. “But now we can reroute on the fly, which is essential in a fast-paced sports environment.”

WTIU relies on two 64×64 UTAH-100/UDS units — one to handle HD video signals and one to handle audio signals — as well as an SC-400 control system and five control panels. Experience and the Utah Scientific reputation gave WTIU confidence that the gear would be able to withstand the punishment of being torn down and rebuilt for each production. In addition, space in the mobile racks is at a premium, and the UTAH-100/UDS units meet WTIU’s need for a high density of inputs and outputs in a small footprint.

The UTAH-100/UDS system can also serve as a backup for the production switcher. If the production switcher were to fail, WTIU could continue with the production using the router as a switcher source.

“The compact UTAH-100/UDS saves space and weight, and fits perfectly for WTIU’s needs,” said Tom Harmon, president and CEO of Utah Scientific. “The best part is that the router saves operators from worrying about what to patch and how to configure at each location. Everything is easily routed, whether they’re working a game on campus, or setting up in someone else’s facility and sending the signals back via fiber.”

The modular UTAH-100/UDS system is based on I/O modules with 16 ports, interconnected by a crosspoint fabric that allows any input signal to feed any number of output ports.

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