WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA – Randy Cress is a very busy man. He’s the sole engineer, fix it expert and all-around go-to guy for two low-power TV stations that supply family programming to Nevada’s Pahrump Valley. Reliable, capable servers are really important to him. That’s why, when he was looking to upgrade his two existing 360 Systems Image Server 2000 units, he went for the 360 Systems MAXX 2400.
“We’re putting more and more syndicated programming to offline storage and we wanted more capacity and two ingest channels,” said Cress. “The two Image Server 2000s we bought when they first came on the market were aging, so we upgraded with the MAXX 2400 because it would also help us to maintain the uniformity of our file formats.”
He likes the 2400 because it can handle two simultaneous records. Channel 3 is set on auto record to catch network delays, and Channel 1 ingests syndicated programming. A Harris automation system starts and stops the records, and a playlist switches between playout of network and syndicated shows.
In addition to the MAXX 2400’s feature set, Cress is also happy with the price. “360 servers are economical and give us the toys big boys have,” he said. The 2400 handles playout for KPVT channel 30, and the older Image Server 2000 runs KHMP channel 62. The second 2000 has been relegated to spare status to provide redundancy. KPVT is a FamilyNet and AMGTV affiliate, and KHMP is an America One affiliate with both stations available on CMA cable.
The MAXX 2400 gives Cress backward compatibility with existing files, 700 hours of file storage capacity and an easy interface with automation – simple cable and set-up change is all that’s needed. He reports there have been very few glitches, and software upgrades for the 2000’s have been very useful.
Cress runs both stations with one system out of a master control with 20 racks. Two edit bays use PCs equipped with Adobe Premier. One small downside is that his edit system can’t produce the MPEG-2 file format needed by the servers, so he has to go back to analog video and through a router – he says it’s a small price to pay for a corrected file format.
One thing that’s not on his mind is the transition to HD. The FCC does not require low-power stations to change, and his guess is that the market won’t transition for a year or two. Located outside of Las Vegas, the two stations run old Viacom-distributed shows like Gunsmoke, Beverly Hillbillies, Get Smart and Little House on the Prairie, so HD quality is not an issue. Cress says when the change is mandated, it will be a matter of adapting the transmitter rather than building out a whole new infrastructure.
About the MAXX 2400
360 Systems’ new MAXX-2400 is a two-channel video recorder, a four-channel playout server, a graphics store with linked key-and-fill capability, plus 700 hours of storage time. Standard features include composite and SDI video ports, a frame synchronizer for recording wild sources, and a complete set of audio formats, including Embedded, AES/EBU digital, and +4 analog.
About 360 Systems
The Image Server family of video and graphics servers continues a 360 Systems tradition of designing with advanced technology to produce enhanced performance, exceptional feature sets and substantially lower prices. 360 Systems brings legendary quality and reliability to broadcasting and Pro A/V projects. With 36 years of experience and 30,000 hard-disk products in service worldwide, 360 Systems leads the field in practical experience.
360 Systems is a leading developer of digital video and audio products for broadcasting and Pro A/V. The company has more than 30,000 installed hard disk units around the globe. Brands include Digicart®, Instant Replay®, Image Server™ and MAXX™ families of video servers. 360 Systems is a privately-owned corporation based in Westlake Village, CA. More information on its products is available at www.360systems.com.