Studer Unifies Television and Radio Production at KPBS Public Media

San Diego public station KPBS has made the decision to replace its legacy digital mixing console with a complete Studer broadcast audio mixing solution. The new Studer mixing system enables KPBS to unify the recording and production workflows across the entire facility, efficiently mix a wide range of productions and quickly share media between the television and radio stations.

Located on the San Diego State University campus, KPBS Public Media operates three media organizations out of a single production facility, including NPR radio station KPBS-FM, PBS television station KPBS and the online news website KPBS-Digital. With so much media being created under one roof, KPBS needed a broadcast mixing solution that would streamline production and enable the separate news divisions to seamlessly share original content.

The new KPBS broadcast mixing system includes a Studer Vista V console with a fully redundant Infinity Core 400 processing engine, 5 Studer D23M I/O Systems and 5 Studer Compact Stageboxes deployed throughout the facility, enabling the different studios to record audio using the system’s DSP processing. Finally, a Studer Vista Compact Remote Bay is deployed as an extension of the Vista V, which provides additional redundancy and allows KPBS staff to control the console from any of the other studios or newsrooms.  

Studer solutions are I/O agnostic, which enables the Vista system to accommodate any I/O standard. At KPBS, the Vista V console is augmented by 5 D23m I/O systems with with various I/O card configurations, including 35 embedder and de-embedders that allow production teams to strip audio from up to 35 separate video streams. The radio station can use audio pulled from a video stream to create soundbites for radio show, and the TV station can use the embedders to combine audio clips with a video stream. Media assets are shared instantly between the radio and TV departments using audio over IP networking, which is facilitated by a Liveware card in the D23m.

With a live televised nightly newscast and multiple live radio shows, system redundancy is critical at KPBS. The Studer system was designed with multiple layers of redundancy, so that even in the rare possibility of catastrophic system failure, the station will not experience any loss of audio. The Vista V features Quad Star technology, which uses four processors to achieve aviation-standard levels of redundancy in the control surface. Furthermore, CPU-based DSP makes it viable to provide two completely independent DSP cores running in parallel, with instant change over in the event of a problem.

The KPBS facility is located on San Diego State University campus, and student interns assist on numerous television and radio productions. KPBS needed an intuitive mixing system with the flexibility to accommodate users with a wide range of skill levels—from professional engineers with decades of experience to student interns who are beginning their careers in broadcasting. The Vista V features Studer's revolutionary Vistonics interface, which provides fast and intuitive control for users of all skill levels. In order to simplify productions for students, KBPS engineers create snapshots for different shows that the students can quickly recall.

The Studer Broadcast Academy also provides KPBS with a valuable teaching resource. Through interactive online courses, students work through lessons and follow along with the provided Virtual Vista software. Students are tested at the end of each lesson, and after all courses are completed, they receive official Studer Vista Online certification. This enables KPBS to ensure that interns know how to operate and control the Vista V system before they ever touch the console in the studio. 

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