BeckTV Opens Up Truly HD World for Hearst’s WPBF Palm Beach Station
Systems integrator BeckTV has completed an upgrade of the control room and technical core at Hearst Television station WPBF in West Palm Beach, FL. BeckTV worked closely with WPBF engineers to ensure a smooth transition from old facilities and equipment to new future-proof facilities and systems without disruption of the station’s on-air broadcasts.
“BeckTV was involved in every step of this project, from planning through implementation, to ensure that we could meet our new technical and operational goals,” says Cliff Thomas, chief engineer at WPBF. “With their help, we have built a new facility that will withstand the test of time, and we did so while staying on budget and on schedule.”
Completed through a phased approach, the WPBF facility upgrade brought station operations into a new engineering wing with new control rooms and offices, a new technical core, and a more robust HVAC system. Together WPBF and BeckTV chose new rack systems and designed and built a new electrical distribution system to support the demands of today’s IT-heavy broadcast infrastructure. BeckTV optimized the control room environment by custom-building all of the control room cabinetry and by situating noisy equipment away from the operational environments.
“The planning started more than a year before the project started,” Thomas says. “BeckTV engineers sat down with us, went over our existing workflow, detailed the facility we were using, and then worked out our transition from old to new equipment, as well as the changes that would take place in our day-to-day workflow. The company was obviously very experienced at doing this type of work, and for us the process was nearly painless.”
Though WPBF already provided an HD broadcast output, upconverted from the SD output of production control, this upgrade enabled the broadcaster to shift to a full HD workflow. Thus, in addition to establishing a much more reliable and flexible infrastructure for HD production, the broadcaster was able to boost the visual quality of the HD content it offers to viewers.
“We have worked with many Hearst Television stations to assure that they transition smoothly to HD and that their investment in new facilities and systems meets their requirements while providing the headroom for further growth,” says John FitzRandolph, VP and senior engineer at BeckTV, Denver. “Though the scope of this project was substantial, our experience and WPBF’s engagement in the process allowed us to meet all of its objectives successfully.”