by John Wasylko
Community Relations Director/Video Club Co-Advisor
Brunswick City School District
Educational Access Cable Television Channel 22
BRUNSWICK, OHIO For more than a decade, the Brunswick City School District has provided a wide range of communications services to its community through its educational access cable television channel. Since 2000, our community relations department has included students in preparing the channel programming through our Brunswick Video Club, The BEAT (Brunswick Educational Access Television). Nearly 200 students in grades 6–12 have produced 800 shows about virtually everything that happens in our district.
With the support of our school district, the City of Brunswick and donations from local businesses, we have been able to purchase state-of-the-art digital video equipment, including a live video effects switcher, digital disc recorder, HD camcorders, nonlinear digital video editors and more. Approximately 125 "long-form" programs (one hour or more) are developed annually through our department.
John Wasylko TOO MUCH SUCCESS
One of the challenges facing us was that we were becoming too successful for our existing technology. For example, our previous playback system, which provided automated playback control for five DVD machines, couldn't handle the large amount of programming produced by our students.
Our programming has become a mix of one-hour-plus programs and short-form, five-minute news segments. We were looking for a system that would provide us with the flexibility to accommodate both formats and, in essence, allow us to air a new program every hour on the hour.
We acquired that capability in 2007 when we purchased the Leightronix Nexus video server and television automation controller. It immediately addressed our programming concerns. From the beginning, the Nexus improved our workflow, allowing us to transfer MPEG-2 files from our editing system for near instantaneous playback.
Choosing to work with Leightronix was easy for me, as I have had a 25 year history with the firm. Leightronix has consistently provided top-notch equipment and customer service. I can always talk with someone immediately if I need help, and that is so important in our busy world.
The Nexus video server has allowed us to air different programs every hour (approximately 30–40 different shows or segments daily), maintaining audience interest. With seamless transitions between shows and station IDs, our operation took on a look similar to our network counterparts. People were amazed that it was a student-driven facility.
Seeking to establish a Web presence and expand our programming reach, we upgraded to the Leightronix UltraNexus video server in September. Again, the unit is a labor-saver, creating MPEG-2 broadcast files and Web versions of identical content during recording. The Web files are automatically routed to Leightronix's PEG Central Web hosting and streaming video-on-demand service (which is linked to our Web site).
From a community relations standpoint, having a Web presence is invaluable—now we can make our shows easily accessible to our local media, both print and TV news, so they can come out and cover the stories and provide the district with more visibility and positive coverage.
We wanted to connect with audiences, both those within our community who don't have cable, and those outside the community—including alumni and families scattered across the globe. The UltraNexus video server and PEG Central streaming service have allowed us to do this.
John Wasylko has served as the community relations director/video club co-advisor for the Brunswick City School District the past 10 years. He has worked in internal/external video communications the past 30 years. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact Leightronix Inc. at 517-694-8000 or visit www.leightronix.com.