Community Television Network

Ralph Salmeron Video Interview Link
CTN Van and Station
Ann Arbor citizens easily navigate agenda items using integrated broadcasting and streaming solution from LEIGHTRONIX
Citizens can now choose a topic of interest, watching only that portion of a meeting with video indexing
Ralph Salmeron, manager of the Community Television Network in Ann Arbor
Manager of the Community Television Network, Ralph Salmeron, turned to LEIGHTRONIX for an agenda indexing solution after receiving requests from community members looking for an easier way to search for content within videos posted on their PEG Central site.

A new level of transparency has been brought to the citizens of Ann Arbor through indexed public meetings posted to the city’s video-on-demand site, PEG Central™, hosted by LEIGHTRONIX.

“Being more transparent is a huge thing in terms of democracy,” said Phil Ristenbatt, senior applications specialist for the city. “People can now go online to search the agenda for the topic, the law, or resolution that concerns their neighborhood or their specific interest, and they can go right to that portion of the meeting and see how their representative or council members discussed it and voted on it.”

The city creates the video index points automatically during each meeting in real time, creating a flawless integrated workflow for the department capturing the video for rebroadcast and video-on-demand.

“During the meeting we just stamp each agenda item with a video link,” City Clerk Jacqueline Beaudry said. “Then it’s live for the public to use those links.”

The process is quick, allowing for citizens to have access to the meeting, with indexed agenda items, within 24 hours.

“It’s available almost immediately,” Beaudry said. “The feedback that we’ve got back on this process has been great, especially for those interested in just one specific item.”

CTN's equipment rack
The Ann Arbor station has broadcasted using LEIGHTRONIX products for over 15 years, starting first with the PRO-16, and currently broadcasting with the UltraNEXUS.
Government Programmer Courtney Stewart uses the WinLGX software interface
Government Programmer Courtney Stewart uses the WinLGX software interface to schedule government related programming to the UltraNEXUS by utilizing its drag and drop features.

The Community Television Network (CTN), always looking for the easiest way for community members to access information, was quick to respond to requests from area residents looking for an easier way to search within videos.

“Our viewers asked for this to be featured on PEG Central to make it easier for them to access information,” CTN Manager Ralph Salermon said. “In this era of transparency, this is a big plus to have that availability on our system.”

Salmeron turned to LEIGHTRONIX for a cost-effective solution to integrate agenda links into his PEG Central video-on-demand service, after researching other options that couldn’t fit within his budget.

“The systems that already existed came at costs 30 to 50 percent higher than what LEIGHTRONIX was able to offer us,” he said.

CTN, having used LEIGHTRONIX for over 15 years, has continued to turn to the company as technology has evolved. LEIGHTRONIX keeps CTN up-to-date on the best and most cost-effective ways to communicate to their citizens through video broadcasting and streaming.

The company originally broadcast their then three cable channels with the LEIGHTRONIX PRO-16™. Eventually adding a fourth cable channel, the station upgraded their system to an all-digital format with the easily programmable NEXUS®, purchasing one for each channel, for a total of four.

Soon after, the station upgraded to the UltraNEXUS™ broadcast system, wanting to incorporate video-on-demand through PEG Central to provide citizens with continual access to all video programming on their own schedule. The station now utilizes two PEG Central accounts due to the large amount of programming they provide local residents.

“We knew that the convergence of the Internet and television was arriving and knew we needed a cost-effective solution to provide video-on-demand,” Salmeron said. “We also knew that with LEIGHTRONIX, we were going to get tremendous value in a streaming product at a great price.”

The city’s PEG Central site has continued to gain viewership since its launch and has gained even more positive attention since the implementation of index points.

“One of the nice things about PEG Central is it does provide you with statistics on how many people are viewing what material,” Salmeron said. “This last month we’ve seen our biggest uptake. We had almost 2,100 viewers watching us on-demand.”

The workflow from start to finish at the station has improved with each equipment upgrade at the station. Programmers now love that as video is recorded to the UltraNEXUS, it is also uploaded to their video-on-demand site. The LEIGHTRONIX server/controller streamlines the process it takes to get information out to the community with features that automate the station’s digital video workflow.

“The many features of the UltraNEXUS and PEG Central are what attracted us to the set up,” Salmeron said. “The fact that you have good scheduling controls really makes it great. When a video is uploaded, programmers only have to drag and drop the file into a schedule for broadcast and hit publish at PEG Central to allow the video to be viewed publicly.”

The station continues to go back to LEIGHTRONIX due to its ability to create innovative solutions that fit CTN’s budget, most recently taking things to the next level with the ability to easily incorporate index points into video. The reliability of the products themselves and the great customer support the station has received also keep them going back.

“In 15 years we have yet to have even one product fail,” Salmeron said. “And I can’t compliment them enough on the quickness and thoroughness of their support. It’s just a wonderful company to work with.”

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