by Carlos Bonilla
Raleigh Television Network
Raleigh Television Network (RTN) is a public, educational and government access facility operated by the City of Raleigh Public Affairs Department. We program four channels on Time Warner Cable. The content for three of the channels—two public access channels and a local government channel—originates from the RTN facility. A fourth is an education channel run by a consortium of local colleges.
We broadcast live meetings directly from city council chambers, as well as live shows from our studio. In addition, we cover events for the fire, police, and parks and recreation departments, as well as community events, and have the capability to do high-quality live remotes.
A NETWORKED APPROACH
Carlos Bonilla About five years ago, we did a full digital upgrade with our systems integrator, Harris Broadcast, recommending a Compix LCG 8000 system for our digital video graphics. We now have four Compix LCG 8000s in use. The NLE, Compix workstations, play-out server, and near-line storage server are connected via Gigabit Ethernet. The play-out server provides 4 TB of online storage, and we also have 1 TB of near-line storage controlled by custom-developed software.
The Compix system is used to create and play out graphics for our live studio productions. In addition to our Compix systems, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro Live Type and Cool 3D are used to produce individual graphic assets. Compix's GenCG software seamlessly imports all the graphic file formats we produce with our suite of programs, as well as MPEG motion graphics. We integrate all our graphic elements into templates built with GenCG, which also controls play to air. Our network infrastructure enables us to easily move integrated templates across our Compix workstations.
We run our community billboard on one of the dual-channel Compix systems, which provides changes on the fly, as well as emergency announcement crawls. We currently use GenCG's automated play-out feature to rotate approximately 120 pages on our community billboard, and we plan to add Compix's NewsScroll software in the near future to add flexibility in managing and playing out billboard content. We're also looking to upgrade one of our studio systems to dual channel so we can run both graphics and crawls during live and recorded broadcasts.
EASY TO LEARN SYSTEM
More than 100 local producers use the RTN facilities annually to produce and air public access programming. We conduct quarterly training sessions for these producers on how to use all of our production equipment. One of the greatest benefits the Compix system delivers is ease of use—we only need to provide two to three hours of instruction and the hands-on learning curve is quite short.
The only time we've needed technical support was for help installing upgrades. I was having trouble making it work properly and the Compix service rep walked me through the procedure and I got it working very quickly.
All in all, the RTN team is very pleased with the reliability, ease of use, and high-quality output of our Compix video graphics systems.
Carlos Bonilla is has been with the Raleigh Television network for the past eight years. He has 23 years experience in broadcast engineering. The opinions expressed are the author's own. He may be contacted at Carlos.Bonilla@ci.raleigh.nc.us.
For more information, contact Compix Media at 949-585-0055 or visit www.compixmedia.com.