INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, MINN.—Town Square Television is a non-profit community cable television station serving the seven cities of North Dakota County in Minnesota. We cover a lot of community sports such as high school football games, basketball games, hockey, and women’s professional football. We also cover community events including festivals, parades and government meetings.
We usually know about our events a week or two ahead of time, though there are some we don’t learn about until we go out to shoot. In the past, we used fiber hook-ups at our broadcast locations, but this limited us to live coverage at just seven of our 22 venues, so we sought a product to help us cover events at our remaining venues where we didn’t have hard-wired connections. After about two years of browsing and testing different options, we purchased a LiveShot from Comrex.
One of the nice things about Live- Shot is that we can decide what modems and connections we want to pay for; we’re not locked into data contracts for a high volume of cellular time that we typically would not use. Our station can tailor our options to our budget, and we’ve also been able to negotiate our own contracts with carriers to take advantage of discounts that we have access to through our work with government bodies. That flexibility is a big selling point for us.
LiveShot’s return video feature is hugely helpful for us. We operate with a small staff, so we don’t always have someone available to manage master control; during those instances, we remote-control our master live feed. We use return video to monitor our connection to the system and keep an eye on anything else we need to adjust.
Comrex’s LiveShot allows Town Square Television to share live sports coverage with other cities.SHARING LIVE BROADCASTS
LiveShot also allows us to share live sports games with sister stations in other cities. We’ve been able to send live footage to one of our affiliate stations in another city, which also has LiveShot, giving them the chance to air these games to their fans.
LiveShot has enabled us to cover live events from almost anywhere. Being able to shift from fiber, which can be difficult to access, to a modem-based system has allowed us to broadcast all kinds of new productions to our audience. We can easily air multicamera high school sports games that are played on the road in areas where we don’t have infrastructure already in place. We’ve also been able to do live broadcasts of outdoor community events, including parades. Having the flexibility to be able to broadcast from the locations of our choice has been very beneficial to our programming and our viewers.
Joe Conlon, CSTE, is the engineering manager for Town Square Television and a member of SBE. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org 651-451-7834.
For more information, please visit www.comrex.comor call 800-237-1776.