ntsc: end of an era (part 2)

WKRC-TV Master Control c. 2001

Today is the last day of NTSC (ana­log) broad­cast­ing in the U.S.—for real this time. Pic­tured here is a typ­i­cal mas­ter con­trol room built with 1990s tech­nol­o­gy. A Grass Val­ley mas­ter con­trol switch­er dom­i­nates the desk (along with the sta­tion log). In the left rack you see a screen with bul­letins from net­work con­trol, the Emer­gency Alert Sys­tem con­sole (with a paper tape print­er!), a patch pan­el, and an inter­com sys­tem. Below the pre­view mon­i­tor are con­trols for the upcon­vert­ed HDTV broad­cast. Below the pro­gram mon­i­tor, a pair of timers. In the right rack, we have a remote con­trol con­sole for the Har­ris trans­mit­ters (indi­cat­ing 100% for­ward pow­er), oscil­lo­scopes dis­play­ing a hor­i­zon­tal video line and Lis­sajous fig­ures of the stereo audio sig­nal, and a Leitch logo insert­er (aka “bug” gen­er­a­tor). To the right is the con­trol con­sole for a Sony Betacart, which is a remark­ably reli­able 40-slot 4-deck robot­ic tape play­back sys­tem. This equip­ment is prob­a­bly all in a dump­ster now.

I took this pic­ture in late 2001, four min­utes before the end of my shift.

One Comment

  1. Mike Henning June 15, 2012

    How do you think I feel about the end of NTSC. The 1600-4S was my baby before it was born and I took care of them until the last one went off the air.

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