Falls Cable Access Profile

Harry Stoetzel Video Interview Link
Menomonee Falls High School
Menomonee Falls Cable Access relies on LEIGHTRONIX products for their cutting edge video technology at an affordable price
A long-time LEIGHTRONIX user, this station recently started offering viewers video-on-demand with PEG Central
Harry Stoetzel, executive director of Menomonee Falls Cable Access
Access Coordinator Harry Stoetzel, has worked with the station since 1992, and has used LEIGHTRONIX products for broadcast since his involvement there.

Harry Stoetzel has always been a LEIGHTRONIX user, having gone from a PRO-8™, to a MINI-T-NET™, then a NEXUS®, and now having moved to the streamlined digital server, the UltraNEXUS™, that allows Menomonee Falls to both broadcast programming and present viewers with video-on-demand with PEG Central™.

“We’ve never really considered going anywhere else,” Stoetzel said. “Whatever else is out there, we just don’t even investigate it at this point. We are just that satisfied with LEIGHTRONIX.”

The station has evolved from a local channel that was only able to loop the latest board meetings over and over. They are now a robust station offering dynamic community-based video content through a digital server. A digital server that also simultaneously uploads videos to a personalized LEIGHTRONIX hosted video-on-demand site. The changes have made a solid impression on viewers.

“The difference made an immediate impact on our community,” Stoetzel said. “It’s just made us look so much better. We were able to get so much more programming out there and community members started giving positive feedback immediately.”

It was the ease of simultaneously being able to broadcast programming on the educational access channel and allow viewers to watch programming on-demand with PEG Central that really attracted Stoetzel, the only full-time employee at the station, to the UltraNEXUS.

“It’s very easy, that’s just another one of the big things that makes the UltraNEXUS so attractive to us,” Stoetzel said. “We have so many things going on and we have so few people working on things that it’s vital that our system is efficient.”

Broadcast equipment at the Menomonee Falls Cable Access station
The station focuses on community-based programming but has gained viewers outside of the cable channel’s reach with PEG Central.
Falls Cable Access trailer
The station has one full-time employee and relies on student and community volunteers for programming.

The dual encoders that come standard on the UltraNEXUS make it easy for Stoetzel to work on other things while programming is getting ingested into the NEXUS and uploaded to his PEG Central account. He’s also become accustomed to the reliability of the UltraNEXUS, knowing that when he encodes programming it’s going to be done right.

“We don’t have to worry about it at all,” Stoetzel said. “So for its impact on what we can do and for not making my job any more difficult, having those two dual encoders has been huge.”

Utilizing PEG Central has allowed the station to gain viewership from those outside of the cable channel’s reach and also to those who don’t subscribe to cable.

“Using PEG Central to get information out to viewers who don’t have cable and in addition reach families who live outside our area, has been huge,” Stoetzel said. “Looking at the statistics we get back from PEG Central, our viewership has grown five times from where we were just two years ago.”

The statistics that PEG Central provides users gives Stoetzel more of a look into viewers than just a head count.

“We are able to see who is watching what,” he said. “We can determine which shows are more popular and what certain people based on where they live are watching. It’s helped us determine what programs people want to continue to see.”

In order to keep content flowing to viewers with only a one-man staff, it was important to Stoetzel that he be able to access the UltraNEXUS scheduling software remotely and make changes to content as need be, especially in emergency situations.

“On a regular basis, because our studio is within a school, I’m only able to have access to the UltraNEXUS from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays,” he said. “So the ability for me to access the studio from outside and control the server is huge.”

On one occasion Stoetzel needed to schedule a program while he was out of the country. With the UltraNEXUS it wasn’t a problem.

“I got a call from a local church member at two in the morning while in Rome. He was ingesting their weekly program that I routinely schedule with a 15 minute delay,” Stoetzel said. “He needed me to go into the UltraNEXUS and schedule it. The interesting thing was nobody would ever be able to tell the difference, whether I scheduled it from Menomonee Falls, or from Rome.”

Stoetzel is able to send emergency messages to the community easily and remotely as well.

“For something as simple as a school closing, I’ll get a call from the superintendent around four in the morning saying the schools are being closed because of snow,” he said. “In minutes, from my laptop, I can send the community the message.”

The station also opts to continually provide local residents with up-to-date localized weather and metro-traffic feeds, along with national news, sports, and financial information by subscribing to the LEIGHTRONIX TOTAL INFO® feed.

“Not only are we able to provide this information as a service to viewers, but we are able to brand it with our logo, giving the information even more of a local feel,” Stoetzel said. “The service immediately made us look like we had a staff of ten working to provide this information to the community. The up-to-date information gave us a lot of credibility amongst viewers.”

Besides his satisfaction with the UltraNEXUS and PEG Central video system and the company’s ability to continually stay on the forefront of video technology, Stoetzel continues to purchase LEIGHTRONIX products because of their approach to great customer support.

“The guys at LEIGHTRONIX are real quick to get back to me on things and they are always open to suggestions,” he said. “I’ve offered ideas that might improve their products and they’ve often said hey that’s a good idea, and the next things I knew, it was implemented. They really listen, that’s great customer service.”

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