by Rick Patterson
Western Reserve Public Media
KENT, OHIO Western Reserve Public Media operates two full power television stations serving the Youngstown and Cleveland, Ohio markets, WNEO and WEAO, respectively.
We had a funding opportunity for upgrading our video servers and automation system for the eight channels we had been running from three servers.
In connection with this project, we also decided to upgrade our existing Airo 9 Automation System from Odetics (now VCI Solutions), as our needs have changed significantly since that system was specified in 2002. One of these needs was for a system to control our HD broadcasts.
Rick Patterson Even though our engineering team evaluated several automation vendors while we were at the NAB Show, we decided to stay with a company we had come to rely upon, and elected to go with the autoXe MC product from VCI Solutions.
LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP
A significant factor in deciding to go with VCI Solution's autoXe MC was the relationship we have had over time with the automation system and product team from VCI Solutions. We were aware that the autoXe MC would work well with the other components in our system, and we had confidence in VCI Solutions from our long term experience with them.
In addition to working with a company with which we had established a level of trust, there were cost efficiencies in upgrading with VCI Solutions. We found that autoXe MC overall offered the ability to manage multiple channels on a single workstation screen for less cost per channel. The engineering team liked the ease-of-use and that the system was intuitive and easy to grasp for our operators, thus decreasing the learning curve and number of people needed to operate the system manually. These features brought about a huge savings and allow operators to focus on various other tasks. My team really enjoys the new Schedule Director application, as it provides a quick snapshot of all activity in one glance, unlike anything else on the market. If there is a problem, it's quickly brought to the operator's attention, another huge time saver.
Additionally, operators appreciate that they can now close out all workstations. The previous system had a workstation on a server, which prevented us from completely closing workstations for fear of shutting down the entire system. The autoXe MC runs on its own server.
Another significant feature of the autoXe MC system allows us to make global changes from any workstation within the system.
I'm not a fan of being on the bleeding edge of technology, but the experience with this automation upgrade has been terrific. Anyone here can call VCI Solutions any time, day or night, with a question and the people there are always extremely courteous and prompt in responding. They have worked well with our team.
Rick Patterson is maintenance engineer at Western Reserve Public Media. He has been in broadcasting since 1976 and has spent the past 23 years with Western Reserve Public Media. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact VCI Solutions at 512-837-3737 or visit www.vcisolutions.com.