Jun 29, 2023

Austin’s ATXN Selects Canare for 4K Upgrade

The government access channel used Canare's 12G-SDI cables, video patchbays and BNC connectors to go all 4K

AUSTIN, Texas—The government access channel ATXN has made the move to being completely 4K with the aid of Canare 4K-capable 12G-SDI cables, video patchbays, and BNC connectors.

The station's chief engineer, Garry Wilkison, and local integrator Kvasir Systems, who led the upgrade, said they selected the brand for its reputation as a leading manufacturer of professional audio and video products designed for the pro AV industry.

"I’ve been using Canare for years," Wilkison said. "In my role, I usually specify all the equipment for an install, and I have been going back to Canare since the old analog days. Years ago, Canare created a cable stripping tool that was perfect for just about every use. That's what initially sold me on the brand. Today, I especially like Canare cables as they meet all the performance specifications I require. Also, the connectors, particularly the BNC-type connectors, are wonderful. I spec Canare whenever possible, and it's one of my top choices."

According to Wilkison, the greatest challenge with the upgrade was the size and scope. "This is a huge facility," he added. "We have three studios within the building and four remote locations from which we go live. So, we have more facilities and coverage than any broadcast station in the area. We also operate four streaming channels, many of which are live at the same time, several times a week."

To provide unfettered coverage across multiple feeds daily, Wilkison knew that ATXN needed cables it could rely on and he let Kvasir Systems know that Canare was his choice for the upgrade. The result was a variety of Canare 12G-SDI patchbays, coax cables and BNC connectors.

Included among these were the new SMPTE-compliant 32MCKA-ST patchbay, which offers fully normalized capabilities without the need for patch cords or looping plugs. Available in a variety of rack sizes, the 32MCKA features Canare's micro-video ports and standard BNC rear connections, as well as a newly developed touch spring-type switch and dust-proof shutter design on the front patch, Canare reported.

As longtime specifiers of Canare equipment, the team at Kvasir Systems supported Wilkison's choices. "Canare has competitive pricing and great stock availability for gear with solid performance and technical specifications," says Jim Zeiner, account executive at Kvasir Systems. "When it came time to upgrade ATXN to an HD 1080 workflow that could migrate to 4K/UHD/12G as needed, we knew that Canare's 12G/4K patchbays and cables would be the perfect solution. Canare delivered in sales and service, as always."

In the main studio, the team also integrated the L-CUHD Series Coax Cables, which are specifically designed for 12G-SDI applications and feature a maximum transmission distance of 100m or longer.

As the move to 4K required a complete renovation, the ATXN broadcast team continued to work and produce in the same facility while changes happened around them. With a majority of the new Canare equipment already installed in the facility, the network was able to continue to run daily until the upgrade was complete. Additionally, the brand's cables, panels and connectors made for quick installation and reliability that ensured that the station could quickly move into the future of broadcasting.

"Canare is a great company," shares Wilkison. "I have always been successful working with the brand, as well as the technical staff and salespeople at Canare."

ATXN is the City of Austin government access channel (formerly known as Channel 6). Programming includes City Council meetings, public meetings, news conferences, CityView news and educational programming about city departments and initiatives, which can be seen here:

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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.

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