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FISM TV Automates OTT Television Channel With ENCO

PHILADELPHIA—FISM TV is a “postcable” television network offering edgy and informative Christian television programming for a cable-cutting world. Available on a wide range of platforms—Roku, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube, Android and iOS apps, and online at www.fism.tv—FISM TV features preaching and teaching, news, financial, business and documentary content.

FISM TV’s staff was quickly able to adapt to the MOM system having previous experience with ENCO’s  DAD unit for radio programming.

FISM TV’s staff was quickly able to adapt to the MOM system having previous experience with ENCO’s  DAD unit for radio programming.

Our cornerstone show, the nationally-syndicated radio and TV program “Financial Issues with Dan Celia,” has been on the radio for more than two decades, and we started building our own OTT and online television channel around it in 2016. Soft-launched with a handful of shows, FISM TV will officially roll out an expanded mix of original and syndicated, live and prerecorded programming in the coming months.

When we started FISM TV, we were happy with a third-party vendor’s playout and scheduling system for our initial needs, such as basic scheduling, but we had to do many things manually. We outgrew its limited capabilities, and our workflow became very tedious.

A cloud-based channel playout service proved to be a poor fit for our needs. The solution couldn’t provide the speed we needed for uploading shows or changing out spots, and it required multiple steps for things we needed to do quickly.

GOOD OLD MOM & DAD

Having used ENCO’s DAD automation system for our radio programming for many years, we decided to look at their comprehensive MOM (Media Operations Manager) television automation and integrated channel playout platform. Our DAD system just hums along without issue, giving us peace of mind that its TV counterpart could be exactly what we needed. We purchased MOM in May 2019, and it enables us to do a lot of things quickly while delivering the same rock-solid reliability we knew from DAD.

The ENCO system now handles all automation of FISM TV, including scheduling our live segments and breaks, as well as playout of pre-recorded content, commercials and bumpers. Live programming from our studio is fed to it from our NewTek TriCaster production switcher through a Blackmagic Design VideoHub. For file-based content, our ENCO platform is connected to a network-attached storage (NAS) system. Users in different locations can remotely access the system to upload or replace files, and the ENCO DropBox utility automatically adds them to the media library.

EASY ADJUSTMENT

Getting up to speed with MOM was almost instantaneous, since everything works basically the same way as DAD. Its Presenter on-air interface lets us see quickly and clearly where all our elements are and what time they’re going to play.

The ENCO automation system’s approach to replacing cuts saves us a lot of time. Rather than having to access the playlist, we can simply change the files assigned to those cut numbers. We also do a lot of show replays when our host is out—we can simply replace the existing cuts from our originally-defined live segments, and the system will play the replay.

Placing bugs on the screen is also easy. We can take a playlist for a previously recorded live show and assign key overlays that say “Previously Recorded” to the existing cut numbers. In contrast, with our previous system, we would have needed to individually put the key on every single clip or segment, which took a lot more time.

We have been so satisfied with MOM that we recently added ENCO’s ClipFire system to provide instant clip playout during our live productions, feeding multiple outputs to our TriCaster switcher. Overall, the ENCO platform has proven very valuable to us. We can count on its reliability, and its efficient workflow enables us to quickly do what we need to do.

Krunti “Kae” Hester is senior producer and engineer at Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries (FISM). He can be reached atkhester@financialissues.org.

For more information, contact Ken Frommert at ENCO Systems or visitwww.enco.com.