Eric JingstTOLEDO, OHIO—As a chief engineer, I’ve quickly come to realize that regardless of network affiliation or ownership group, no two station’s workflows are identical. Due to this, it can be a struggle to find an automation system that’s flexible and scalable enough to meet the demands of the most important workflow—yours. This problem is further compounded as budgets always seem to be shrinking. These were the obstacles that I faced last year when I was tasked with replacing our existing station automation system.
WHOSE OPERATION IS IT, ANYWAY?
In looking for the best replacement technology, I did countless hours of reading, talking with manufacturers and colleagues, diagramming, comparing, and more reading to find a product that would best fit our needs. In my conversations with manufacturers, some companies tried to tell me what my workflow should be, instead of listening to my needs and letting me know how their product could be fit into our unique workflow. However, there was one company that stood out and had a product that met our objectives. We found that Rushwork’s A-List solution was not only flexible and scalable, but it was also affordable, and included support from a staff that would listen to my concerns and provide answers.
A-List not only offers the user-friendly and intuitive user interface for programming the essential elements that you would expect in an automation system, but also a method for the advanced user to interact behind the scenes. We use a mixture of these features to customize our experience on a level that the average user may not need; however, this flexibility has allowed us to really streamline our workflow and define our station-specific criteria. It also makes our end product look the way we want in a manner that’s quicker and more accurate than other solutions would offer. The A-List system also uses widely available video codecs, which necessitates minimal internal transcoding while still being able to multipurpose files across internal systems.
FLEXIBLE AND EXPANDABLE
A-List offers a variety of configurations with up to four channels in each system. We opted for a configuration that provides six channels across two systems which can be independently configured for various functions including manual or scheduled recording, playback, or both, in standard- or high-definition versions. We also have the option to add two more channels without having to replace the core chassis unit.
As I received quotes for various automation solutions, I found Rushworks to be one of the most competitive in terms of overall value. Yes, I did find other competitors that could provide a product around the same price, but their recommended “solutions” really didn’t meet our needs. The flexibility and scalability that we could get with the A-List system really did not exist in the competitors’ products, and that made my decision all the easier.
All-in-all, if I had to make the same decision again today, I wouldn’t change a thing. A-List has been a great and affordable solution for our particular workflow.
Eric Jingst has been the chief engineer at WLMB for eight years. He may be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact Rushworks at 888-894-7874 or visitwww.rushworks.tv.