UNC Charlotte TV Continues Its HD Reach Through Advancing Technology

By Nick Makansi, TV Program Director, UNC Charlotte

UNC Charlotte Television serves 500,000 households in the greater Charlotte area with unique television programming. The channel broadcasts diverse content – from science and international culture, racing and statewide programs. Additional live content comes from athletic events, campus events and speaker presentations on the main or uptown campuses. The channel aims to provide diverse content that’s not regularly carried on traditional PEG channels. The channel is distributed in HD on-campus, and in 16:9 SD on Time Warner Cable and AT&T U-verse to an audience of approximately 500,000 households. New to the channel is a dedicated livestream website (http://livestream.uncc.edu), with countdowns to upcoming live events and archives of previous live broadcasts.

The channel is owned and run by UNC Charlotte’s Broadcast Communication department. In addition to the on-air and online channel, the department’s producers develop content around University initiatives and programs, many of which are also aired on UNC-TV, the statewide PBS affiliate. The department also produces a weekly live webcast, highlighting projects and people at the institution. All of these productions air alongside third-party content to promote the university and its programs within the region.

The channel utilizes a centralized MAM solution for storing all of its digital assets, and is searchable through image indexing and text metadata. Additionally, the automated channel runs with a branded graphics border to promote the university. These graphic borders promote university programs related to the content on-air. Automation is run through Playbox with file transcoding and workflow processes through Telestream Vantage. Airable file formats include MPEG2 and the in-house standard, Avid Codec DNX-145 HD. UNC Charlotte TV also utilizes several levels of Tricasters and Dejeros, a IP/cellular-bonding solution for live event production. Vidoegraphers and producers primarily utilize P2 production cameras and Cannon C300 DSLR cameras in the field, and edit on Avid MediaComposer.

The channel looks forward to transforming and evolving with the next generation of television, and tackles new technology changes regularly.