James BurnsSEATTLE—King County TV is a government- access cable TV station that serves Seattle and King County Washington. One of the main services we provide is recording live meetings for the King County Council. We also produce pieces for other county agencies, including the prosecuting attorney’s office, sheriff’s department, and parks and transportation offices. We do all of this with a very small staff.
We shoot everything in HD and are currently doing a full-facility HD upgrade. Today there’s no shortage of “channel-in-a box” type systems, so we had a lot of choices. However, after a comprehensive analysis of several systems we settled on BroadStream Solution’s Oasys playout system because we felt Oasys provided the right balance of features and functionality for our needs and would give us the flexibility we wanted for the future.
FILLING IN THE BLANKS
One of our main requirements was ease and efficiency in programming an automation system. Compared to the system that Oasys replaced, being able to just drag and drop on the playlist is great. We also benefit from Oasys features such as Autofill which takes material from a folder we’ve created for that purpose and automatically fills in any gaps in our program stream. (Unlike a commercial station, our programs have varying lengths, so being able to automatically adjust timing with various public service announcements and short features has relieved us of a lot of scheduling headaches.)
As station manager, I really like the 24-hour compliance record feature, which provides a precisely timestamped “video log” of what played to air during the past 24 hours. Setting up and running crawls is also very easy. Oasys even lets me run crawls remotely from my home during weather emergencies or other significant events. Oasys provides a “hot key” feature for inserting logos or bugs that allows us to do this on the fly, freeing us from having to create individual effects for every event separately. A very significant feature in our workflow is the ability to set placeholders for media files that have not yet been captured. We use this mainly for recorded meetings, as we schedule things a week in advance. Once we ingest the meeting and name the file, the system scans the inventory, identifies it and cues it up, saving us a lot of time. Other systems we considered couldn’t do that.
NO STEEP LEARNING CURVE HERE
Our Oasys integrated playout system was also very easily and quickly deployed. The BroadStream team came in on a Thursday and our staff was receiving training on it the following Monday. The beauty of having a completely software-based system such as Oasys means that we can make a request to the company—and we’ve already done this— and their engineering team can turn around an update or an enhancement in just a couple of weeks rather than waiting months with our old system, or even having to swap out hardware. The team at BroadStream is first rate, and we’re happy to have a system that will support all our needs as we grow.
James Burns manages the day-to-day operations of King County TV (Channel 22), King County’s government access cable TV station. He may be contacted email@example.com.
For additional information, contact BroadStream Solutions at 404-327-8300 or visit www.broadstream.com.
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