DENTON, TEXAS—Denton is one of the top 25 fastest growing cities in the country and was ranked “No. 1 Best Small Town in America” by Rand McNally and USA Today in 2012. The population comprises 120,000 creative residents that value culture, knowledge and community, and our DTV government access channel strives to keep them informed with programming centered on available services and community activities.
When I came to DTV in 2008 we had a lot of work to bring the station up to par from a technical standpoint. We broadcast from City Hall with a staff that consists primarily of interns and part-timers. So, it was absolutely critical that we install easy-to-operate, reliable equipment that could support our current and future needs. I was also determined not to just purchase gear from a vendor, but rather find a partner that would work with us because I knew we were going to have other issues as we expanded our department and increased our reach.
My first experience with RUSHWORKS A-LIST Broadcast Automation was in 2009 when I met company President Rush Beesley and I knew I had found the perfect playout system, and the partner I was looking for. What first attracted me to A-LIST was how easy it is to use. The system is operator friendly and intuitive and has been from day one. The more you use it though, the more you realize it has all the features you need to simplify your life in a very affordable package that I think is unmatched.
We feed three cable channels: Charter, Frontier FiOS and Grande, and our signal is streamed 24/7 on our website. Our programming consists of public service announcements, council meetings, planning and zoning meetings, plus popular program series, including “DTV Newsbreak,” “Denton Developments” and “Preservation Denton.” A-LIST programs our channels 24/7, and Rush and his folks just make it easy.
A-LIST is an incredibly intuitive Windows-based system. You can sit down and be up to speed in a couple of minutes if you know anything at all about scheduling, as-run logs or a TV channel. It also features a graphics-oriented drag-and-drop interface that makes list creation and management a breeze. We’re able to insert a crawl to alert viewers of a program interruption, or if we need to add a public service announcement or some other video between programs, we just grab it and drag it over—left click, drop it and done.
We can also permanently and automatically insert bugs. For instance, with a couple of clicks, we’ve permanently inserted the Denton flag to appear in the lower right corner two seconds into a show and remain there until two seconds prior to the end of the show. It truly is a “fix and forget” feature.
Our original A-LIST was installed in 2009, but we upgraded three years ago when we converted to HD and have added enhancements and improvements over the years. Ours is a four-channel system, and though we only use it for our one channel now, it’s scalable in case we need to increase capacity.
We’re a TV station so we’ve had other issues, but this automation system just sits there and cranks, reliably doing its job. And we’ve found the partnership we were looking for. It’s been a great hands-on relationship. Speaking for Denton and for me personally, we have benefited greatly from it.
Billy Matthews has more than 25 years experience in video production including 13 years at WFAA-TV, Dallas. He currently serves as Denton Television Manager responsible for management, development, production, and distribution for Denton’s television channel, DTV. He can be reached at Billy.Matthews@cityofdenton.com.
For more information, visit www.rushworks.tv or call 888-894-7874.