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BroadStream Simplifies Playout for WBGU

BOWLING GREEN, OHIO—As the technical services director for WBGU-TV—a PBS television station serving northwest/west central Ohio—my top priority is to manage technical support for WBGU-TV’s broadcast television, video streaming, web and IT systems.

Tom Cummings using the OASYS system at WBGU-TV.

A huge part of this responsibility is determining the specifications for every system we install as well as setting expectations for vendor support services.

Several years ago we realized that our broadcast automation system had reached “end-of-life,” according to the manufacturer. The pressure was suddenly on to find a new solution that would automate playout of our three channels.

We had two non-negotiable criteria: budget and simplicity. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the 18 years I’ve been at WBGU-TV, it’s not easy to keep it simple.

We needed a solution that would encompass everything—automation, playout and graphics—in the same system to simplify our set up. Continuity was also an issue as we had some old assets and could not justify the cost of file transcoding. It was also imperative the new system integrate seamlessly with our Myers Protrack traffic system.

There were quite a few potential providers, but no vendor could deliver all of our criteria on one software-based platform. It was only when we started talking to BroadStream about the OASYS integrated playout system that we knew we’d found “the one.”

It fit our budget, simplified workflow, addressed peripheral issues with traffic and legacy files, and alleviated concerns about future expansion. BroadStream also revealed a clear roadmap that gave us even more confidence to invest.

Our OASYS system manages two ingest and two playout channels, with on-board graphics and its Multi-Channel Web Client. The system also interfaces with Myers Protrack Traffic Import, our Sierra Aspen router and Sage EAS system. OASYS also provides graphics and audio ducking for the EAS system to update our presentation for emergency alert notifications for the region.

On-boarding was smooth and I was impressed with how quickly the BroadStream team responded. I received phone calls from their support team the day after we submitted the purchase order to answer questions related to our installation. All of the details were documented and an open line of communication was established. BroadStream’s pre-and post-sale planning and communication have set a new standard in customer communications for us.

Installation was very straightforward and took just two days to fit and commission and the training that followed was very well organized. No one enjoys upheaval, especially after having used our previous system for 13 years, but the transition proved to be much easier than we expected; and of course, everything on one platform makes playout much simpler to operate. We also love the way BroadStream provides support. When we have a problem we use the Collector App, which cleverly gathers all of the system information needed. It saves time by avoiding the need to log in remotely and analyze the system when it’s live. OASYS met all of our requirements and the BroadStream team maintained open communication and delivered everything quickly, on time and as planned, which rarely happens with complex systems. We’re incredibly happy with the system. I’d recommend it to any station.

Tom Cummings is the technical services director for WBGU-TV, a PBS television station serving northwest Ohio. He and his staff support all aspects of technical support for broadcast television, video streaming, Web and IT. He can be reached at ctom@bgsu.eduor 419-372-7835.

For more information, visitwww.broadstream.comor call 404-327-8300.