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.