City of Kankakee

"It was kind of a good feeling when they asked us permission to broadcast our channel throughout the entire county."

–Pete Schiel (Assistant Superintendent)

Kankakee, IL—When the City of Kankakee made the transition from their old broadcast system to the UltraNEXUS™, they gained the ability to automate their schedule, generate slides, play videos, utilize
TOTAL INFO®, and push content to their PEG Central® video-on-demand and web hosting service.

City of Kankakee logo"When we originally had the cable system separated we were just broadcasting within the City of Kankakee limits," Pete Schiel, assistant superintendent for the City of Kankakee said. "The objective at that point was to just get out public service announcements and different things related to the City of Kankakee through this cable system."

County-Wide Broadcast

Kankakee's community members were not the only ones who took notice of the new system. The local cable provider was impressed with the new and enhanced programming on Kankakee's Channel 4, and when the county channel went down, they asked Schiel if he would mind if they broadcast his channel to the entire county.

Using the UltraNEXUS, Kankakee's Channel 4 is now being broadcast to approximately 17,000 homes in Kankakee, Clifton, Chebanse, Ashkum, St. Anne, Herscher, Sun River Terrace, Bradley, Bourbonnais, and Otto Township, with an estimated combined population of 44,880 people.

"It was kind of a good feeling when they asked us permission to broadcast our channel throughout the entire county," Schiel said. "It's kind of nice that we're broadcasting things about our community and what the kids are doing in Kankakee, to other communities"

UltraNEXUS Video Server and Hard Drive at the City of Kankakee Station

"It is important for residents in our community to be able to see productions of PSAs and other activities which include the residents and children of our community." –Pete Schiel

Easy Scheduling

Schiel, who does the scheduling for Channel 4, loops content between slides, videos, commercials, and TOTAL INFO content. Because he has his content rotating, Schiel says unless there are special events in Kankakee, he can go about two weeks without touching the scheduling software.

"The scheduling is pretty transparent. What's unique with the way the LEIGHTRONIX system (handles slide generation) is you have the ability to make a slide run during a specific period of time," Schiel said. "In the past, with our old access channel, we'd have to go in there and constantly update or delete the old slides. What's nice with LEIGHTRONIX is you basically implement the slide and program what date you want it to run and you're done."

TOTAL INFO

The biggest draw to the UltraNEXUS system for Schiel was the ability to insert
TOTAL INFO content. TOTAL INFO provides full screen dynamic video content between or in place of scheduled broadcast or cable programming on any
NEXUS series server system, and also has the capability to display content in zones on the UltraNEXUS and UltraNEXUS-SDI. Now, with an activated TOTAL INFO subscription, Kankakee's UltraNEXUS continually receives updated information from the TOTAL INFO data server.

TOTAL INFO also gives users the ability to select which categories they would like to air and which ones they want to eliminate. Schiel and Kankakee utilize all six categories (weather, news, sports, traffic, dailies, and financials) on Channel 4.

"I think one of the key points I really wanted to implement was the TOTAL INFO package—to be able to get live data being populated in the TOTAL INFO slides—that was one of the elements that took it above and beyond just the PowerPoint slides that we had."

Online Presence

In addition to improving their broadcast product with the UltraNEXUS, Kankakee has also developed an online presence with PEG Central. Kankakee uploads all of their original content to the community's PEG Central site to be accessed on-demand by viewers who may have missed a certain program or are away from a TV.

To create awareness of their new online presence, Kankakee runs two PEG Central commercials that they have created on their broadcast station. (View the commercials here: Commercial One, Commercial Two)

"They're like 15 second commercials to let people know that, 'hey if you just grabbed a cup of coffee and realized you missed it you can go to PEG Central,' and we give the address for that," Schiel said. "There is an importance to (utilizing PEG Central) and I don't think people really realize what we're doing with Channel 4 in the community. So we're trying to market that more."

Utilizing the UltraNEXUS to improve the broadcast channel and create an online presence was all done to increase awareness of the things the City of Kankakee is doing. Viewers can see a silent movie about music created by children in the Kankakee school system, a presentation by Dr. Temple Grandin (who has a PhD in Animal Science and lives with autism), community events, and public service announcements (PSAs). The UltraNEXUS has been an essential instrument for getting out the community's message, something Schiel views as extremely important.

"It is important for residents in our community to be able to see productions of PSAs and other activities which include the residents and children of our community," Schiel said. "It gives the community a feeling of ownership and pride in what we are able to provide to them."

The Problem

Kankakee previously ran a simple PowerPoint slide show on their channel. Looking to add videos, PSAs, and other community content, Kankakee had to upgrade their system.

The Solution

How It Works

Kankakee automates the rotation of slides, self-generated video content, PSAs, TOTAL INFO content, and commercials using the WinLGX scheduling software with the UltraNEXUS video server. The city also puts their content on PEG Central to be accessed on-demand through the Internet.

In Their Words

"It is important for residents in our community to be able to see productions of PSAs and other activities which include the residents and children of our community."

–Pete Schiel
Assistant Superintendent

End Result

"I think one of the key points I really wanted to implement was the TOTAL INFO package...that was one of the elements that took it above and beyond just the PowerPoint slides that we had."

–Pete Schiel
Assistant Superintendent

At a Glance

  • Name: City of Kankakee
  • Location: Kankakee, Illinois
  • Kankakee River: the Kankakee River is the city's main tourist attraction and runs 133 miles long
  • Movie Set: numerous movies have been at least partially filmed in Kankakee including Child's Play and Road to Perdition
  • Movie Quote: in the movie The Hudsucker Proxy the narrator says "Cards, letters, congratulations come pouring in from Kankakee to Petaluma."
  • Famous Residents:
    • Harold Gray–cartoonist, creator of the newspaper comic strip Little Orphan Annie
    • Merna Kennedy–late silent era actress, stared opposite Charlie Chaplin in The Circus
    • John Moisant–known as the "King of Aviators" and was first to conduct passenger flights from Paris to London
    • Fred MacMurray–actor, nominated for a Golden Globe in 1961 and was first person honored as a Disney Legend
    • Jack Sikma–8th overall pick of the 1977 NBA draft, 7-time all-star, and the Seattle SuperSonics retired his number
    • Joie Ray–former world record holder in the mile and two mile and 1924 bronze medalist in 3000 meter team race
    • J. Michael Starcynski–creator and producer of Babylon 5 television show
    • Butch Woolfolk–running back and track athlete at the University of Michigan, graduated as the school's all-time rushing leader (currently ranked 5th)
    • Tom Prince–played 17 years as a catcher in Major League Baseball

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