Rushworks’ A-LIST user interface
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— RJ Communications oversees the technical operation of four TV stations in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe markets that collectively operate a total of 13 channels.
We’ve been using Rushworks’ legacy automation system components to assist in this effort since 2004, and recently migrated to their NextGen automation platform called A-LIST.
A-LIST provided us with a lot of flexibility and versatility in creating playlists and managing “live” inputs and graphics. This is without a doubt the simplest, most graphical and intuitive drag-and-drop interface I’ve seen in any automation system.
NEW FEATURES ABOUND
Rushworks has also included several features and functions in their latest version that our operations people really appreciate. The architecture now supports both input and output signal flow and the onboard graphics capability lets us manage and schedule two independent crawl layers and a third dedicated EAS crawl layer over live passthroughs and clip playbacks. We can even insert our station logo between individual lines of text in the crawls.
Another recent enhancement is support for animated “snipes” that can be scheduled or triggered live. They’ve also integrated their legacy “MultiZone” capability into ALIST, providing the “hybrid” functionality of a broadcast server and a bulletin board system in one chassis.
The system’s Auto-Bug feature enables us to fade on station logos over files and events longer than two minutes duration, and then fades them off prior to running spots, promos, station IDs and public service announcements. We’ve found the Auto-Fill feature to be very useful too, as it lets us drag in a specified folder with clips that fill remaining time in scheduled events, fading the last clip before the next event begins. We also use the global Auto-Loop feature that automatically plays files whenever any event has time remaining.
An important feature when you’re dealing with a variety of programming sources is support for multiple formats. A-LIST not only works with traditional MPEG-2 files, but also H.264, AVI and QuickTime formats.
We plan to upgrade our operations to HD in the near future and A-LIST will make this easier, as it supports real-time upconversion of SD files.
A-LIST Automation is a very complete system that addresses our many and varied needs. It records scheduled “live” inputs, and also includes a standalone event recorder for more demanding capture and replay requirements. In addition, the system provides a traffic import option for most third-party traffic and billing systems, and generates an as-run log used for verification and reconciliation with traffic systems.
NO SHORTAGE OF SUPPORT
The company’s technical support staff has always been excellent, with immediate access via phone and email. I’m also amazed that the pricing of their system isn’t higher, given all of the capabilities it possesses and the depth of support behind it. Even with the greatly enhanced feature set in A-LIST, there’s been almost no change in price. Given the economic challenges broadcasters face, the price-performance ratio for A-LIST is truly a winner for a stations’ bottom line.
Rob Ramseyer is co-owner and director of engineering at RJ Communications. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact Rushworks at 888-894-7874 or visit www.rushworks.tv.