Rhode Island’s WJAR Upgrades Grass Valley Ignite System to HD Operation

The newly configured Ignite system is part of the station’s HD migration

WJAR, the NBC affiliate serving Providence, R.I./New Bedford, M.A. markets and owned by Media General, has upgraded its standard-definition GrassValley™ Ignite™ scalable automated production system to fullhigh-definition (HD) capability to produce its local newscasts. The upgrade includes the addition of a third M/E channel to the Ignite system’s Grass Valley Kayak™ HD switcher and shows the ROI benefits that Ignite customers receive when migrating from SD to HD production as they preserve their initial systeminvestment.

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The newly configured Ignite system is part of the station’s HD migration that included the installation of a new on-air news set. In 2010, the Media General Broadcast Group,owners of 18 network-affiliated television stations across the eastern U.S., began converting the newscast production crew at three of its broadcast properties — WKRG, the CBS affiliate in Mobile, Ala; WSAV, the NBC affiliate in Savannah, GA; and WJHL, the CBS affiliate in Johnson City, Tenn. — to the latest version of the Ignite HD system. The comprehensive file-based system has facilitated a high degree of production control and efficiency at all of the stations and improved their on-air look. WJAR has experienced the same behind-the-scenes and on-air benefits.

“After nearly two years in operation, Ignite has turned out to be everything we thought it could be and more,” said Joe Doris, Operations Manager at WJAR.“It’s been very reliable and has helped us launch new programs that we probably would not have without the automated capabilities of our Ignite system. With our move to HD news, upgrading the Ignite was the next logical step for us.”

The Ignite system allows a single operator at WJAR to produce its daily newscasts in HD using a semi-redundant Grass Valley Ignite HD system with robotically controlled HD cameras.

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“The Grass Valley Ignite system has allowed us to produce cleaner, crisper news casts while enabling WJAR to commit additional resources to field news gathering,”said Chris Lanni, News Director at WJAR. “As a result, our expanded news gathering capabilities have also expanded the station’s dominance in the market.”

“Even as the economy continues to improve, we’re seeing stations making the transition to an integrated production system in order to produce more content with the same amount of people, while also improving their on-air look,” said Jeff Rosica, ExecutiveVice President at Grass Valley. “Best of all, the Ignite system is not a news-only solution, so it can also support other scripted and non-scripted programs being produced each day.”

Coinciding with the new HD upgrade, management at WJAR has signed a Systems and Services contract with Grass Valley to have Grass Valley technicians help train operators and service the system when required.

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