Digital Convergence Alliance (DCA)

Hub/Spoke Centralcasting System Equips Digital Convergence Alliance for Future Growth

With the recent merge of several PBS stations across the country to form Digital Convergence Alliance (DCA), there was a need for a new system to connect and centralize in Jacksonville, Florida. DCA had the desire to share resources, cut costs and provide a service for other PBS stations who might find the system an attractive model. These stations pooled together resources and, with the expertise of Diversified, created a Hub/Spoke centralcasting system. Of the various challenges that a multi-location project of this scope represents, the largest hurdle was completely constructing the system in their Atlanta facility, testing it end-to-end, and then deconstructing and reconstructing once deployed to the stations.

It was imperative the solution be easily expandable beyond the original 39 channels. Having successfully partnered with Grass Valley, a Belden Brand on another PBS project employing an iTX platform, Diversified turned to them again due to their strong base knowledge of the project’s scope and demonstrated ability to meet the demanding time constraints. Additionally, Cisco infrastructure was a key component ensuring the best possible QOS for the movement of files and communication throughout this IT-centric system.

The IT team was vital, fine tuning switches and software for optimal performance and reliability. All equipment was carefully chosen to deliver a sophisticated, easy-to-use distribution system for DCA and their partners.

Multiple stations can now share resources such as content, Integrated Receiver/ Decoders (IRD), frame syncs, and backup servers. The use of standardized equipment eliminates variables, alleviating troubleshooting between sites. The launch of the DCA Network Operations Center marks the culmination of work begun several years ago by WJCT Public Broadcasting. The station has laid the foundation for a collaborative venture of 11 public television stations that not only fosters economies of scale but creates opportunities to better serve their respective communities.