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Minnesota Town Automates PEG Channels With Tightrope

EDINA, MINN.— City of Edina is Comcast’s first HD PEG channel in Minnesota Edina Community Channel 16 in Minnesota recently became the state’s first Public-Access Educational Government channel to broadcast in HD on Comcast cable systems.

The town’s hyper-local content is stored on four Cablecast SX server and automation systems within two seven-foot tall equipment racks in a refurbished storage room in Edina’s City Hall. Operated by the City of Edina’s Communications and Technology Services Department, the Emmy-Award winning station, known as EDINA 16, produces multiple HD/SD PEG channels. The hyper-local content—such as the biweekly Agenda: Edina news program and Beyond the Badge, a monthly show about public safety in Edina—is stored on four Cablecast SX server and automation systems from Tightrope Media Systems, playing programs to air according to the station's pre-determined schedule.

EDINA 16 features live coverage of the City of Edina City Council and Planning Commission meetings mixed with news and public affairs programs. Local residents can access programming on Comcast Ch. 813 in HD and Ch. 16 in SD.

Scott Denfeld, video production coordinator for Edina Ch. 16, said the Tightrope technology serves as the lynchpin of the operation, allowing them to schedule and deliver professional broadcast-quality channels with a very lean staff and limited budget.

“Cablecast’s ease of use and operation includes automation software to schedule live and repeat shows with drag and drop ease, and its Front Door user interface gives us Web-browser based remote monitoring and control of all four Cablecast servers,” Denfeld said. “With 4 TB of storage and support for popular formats like H.264, MPEG 2/4, QuickTime, AVI, and WMV, we’re able to schedule and playout shows to our broadcast and web outlets in a reliable, streamlined workflow.”

The four Cablecast systems reside in two seven-foot tall equipment racks in a refurbished storage room in Edina City Hall. The modest facility includes multiple cameras and a portable video production system with green-screen backdrop that can be set up in the Council Chambers.

“Tightrope’s Cablecast has helped us turn a City Hall storage room into a fully functioning, multichannel HD/SD broadcast television facility complete with automated scheduling and web-based remote access,” Denfeld said.