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Master Control display at WOUB
Photo above: Automated master control monitor at WOUB

WOUB Upgrades Operational Technology


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Fully automated systems installed for television and radio

 ATHENS, OH – WOUB Public Media now has a fully-automated master control system that aligns with industry standards. Master Control is the technical hub of the television broadcast operation and is responsible for monitoring the quality and accuracy of the on-air product for all the station’s channels to ensure the transmissions meet government regulations and the experiences are satisfying for viewers. The move to the new state-of-the-art system occurred in early December.

“The change to the new master control system was seamless for viewers, but was a culmination of months of planning, installation and testing. WOUB had been working with equipment in Master Control that was about 15 years old,” said Chief Technology Officer Steve Skidmore. “In today’s media world, 15 years is an eternity. Technology has changed drastically in that time. This update was overdue and creates many opportunities for operational efficiencies.”

Additional advantages of the new system are that it is capable of supporting future content platforms such as “NextGen” over-the-air broadcasting which is on the horizon. Although measures have been implemented to prevent system failures, it also allows remote access to quickly address issues when they occur to ensure minimal disruption to the viewer experience.

“This change allows WOUB to stay ahead of the curve as new television technology emerges,” said Skidmore. “For many of our viewers WOUB is the only television signal they receive. We want the people in our region to have the highest quality service and be able to access all programming as it becomes available. This new system will ensure that happens.”

WOUB also recently upgraded its radio operations systems to allow for full automation as well. The ENCO system began operations in August. The automation system allows WOUB to easily transition between network programming and local content. In the future, the system will allow WOUB to provide additional audio internet streams to create more niche local programming.

“Systems like ENCO increase reliability while creating workspace flexibility and increased operational efficiency. We are excited to see what doors open and what opportunities become available for our viewers and listeners as a result of these upgrades.”