BROOKLYN, N.Y.—DeSales Media is a direct provider of Catholic news, events and original content through print, TV, digital and experiential, to engage Catholics and drive them to put their faith into action. With more than 100 years since the launch of our first newspaper, “The Tablet,” and an evolution spanning parochial schooling, prayer channels, evangelization television, an additional newspaper and a 24/7 cable channel carrying live mass, devotional programming, educational programming, news, and entertainment, DeSales is devoted to covering the Catholic perspective through a multifaceted 360-degree approach.
We’ve recently transformed ourselves into a content hub for the faith-based community and its creators. With focused programming and live feeds from local sites including the Cathedral Basilica of St. James and the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, in Brooklyn, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan and international locations including the Vatican, we sought a scalable master control solution to simplify playlist management and streamline efficiencies. We wanted something that had the proven ability to handle a variety of content distribution modes including playout to air for a regular channel and distribution of content to affiliates for their play to air.
A Scalable Solution
That’s when we learned about Crispin’s master control automation and quickly implemented it for prep, storage, management and playout of live and pre-recorded content. Crispin runs control for a series of Harmonic Spectrum X playout devices, controlling the graphics.
For us, Crispin has been transformative. When compared to our previous solution, Crispin gives us a lot more flexibility in handling the playlists and making adjustments. It has also changed the way we do live events—allowing us to program a live event without manual intervention has given us a whole new lease on how we can program, and even what we can program.
With Crispin’s master control automation, we don’t have to worry about server availabilities—we can see everything that we need to do and we’re able to record on multiple recorders if we need to. During the pandemic, when the church decided to do eight live masses every day in different languages, we were able to program that very simply: The ones that they wanted us to record, we were able to record and program it as a secondary record. If we needed to re-air that, we were able to schedule it for re-air and we were even able to QC it while we were on another live event. Those capabilities give us a lot more power and flexibility.
In addition, there are also some really nice features in the Crispin environment to handle getting back on time coming out of a live event. You can pre-build blocks and store them off to the side in the file cabinet and you can have some evergreen content there in case something goes wrong with the feed, which we’ve found to be an elegant and simple solution that gives us peace of mind.
Something else we really appreciate about Crispin’s solution is that when we make changes on the playlist, being able to do a “ctrl R” and insert and replace everywhere a show is going to air on that whole playlist saves us a lot of time. You can also make one single replacement just for the master control instead of going through 800 lines of content trying to find and replace a single line. That alone has been a major blessing.
It’s evident that Crispin’s master control automation was thoughtfully built and designed by people in the industry. It accounts for a lot of the workflows that people are used to in other aspects of their computer life, where find and replace, and search are far more developed than the competition.
Additionally, training operators on Crispin is easy. The speed with which new operators who don’t have a master control background catch on to Crispin is impressive. As a not-for-profit religious broadcaster, this is ideal since many of our staff are either experts or fairly green—and both ends of the spectrum have managed to pick it up quickly.
For more information, visit https://crispincorp.com/.
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Bob Sharp is DeSales’ executive director of technology, engineering, systems and operations and has more than 30 years of working in the design, construction, management and operations of broadcast and media facilities, with experience in news, sports, feature entertainment and post-production.