Monroe Public Access TV

City of Monroe Video Link
City of Monroe
An economical upgrade option allowed Monroe, MI to move towards the future of video programming
The public access channel now has the ability to provide customers with Web-based, video-on-demand
Bill LaVoy
Director of Monroe Public Access TV, Bill LaVoy, recently upgraded to the LEIGHTRONIX UltraNEXUS when looking for a solution that would allow for streaming video-on-demand.

Wanting to keep his cable station at the forefront of emerging video technology, Executive Director of Monroe Public Access TV, Bill LaVoy, invested in the LEIGHTRONIX UltraNEXUS to ensure that when his station was ready to stream video-on-demand they could easily make that transition.

“The idea behind using the UltraNEXUS was so that we could eventually stream some of our video over the Internet,” LaVoy said. “That seems to be the way that video is going.”

The station serves the citizens of Monroe, MI, and has roughly 20,000 subscribers for just the cable channel. The station also helps to run an educational channel and the Monroe government channel.

After working with the NEXUS, LaVoy knew that when upgrading he wanted to continue utilizing the convenience of a server-based playback system that allows for digital files to be dragged and dropped using an easy-to-use software interface.

After upgrading, the station had two playback channels, one recording channel for broadcast, and one recording channel for providing the community with Web-based, video-on-demand.

The UltraNEXUS also allows the station to control up to 22 VCR or DVD players, allowing LaVoy to continue to serve community members who are producing video at home, while also making his transition to all-digital programming.

Monroe Public Access Cable TV uses an UltraNEXUS for television automation and digital video playback/recording.
Monroe Public Access Cable TV was incorporated in 1986, officially opening its doors for broadcast in 1992, providing election coverage. The station purchased a MINI-T-PRO in 1995, then later purchased the NEXUS before upgrading to the UltraNEXUS.

“Our goal is to have all server based playback,” he said. “But we do have consumers and members that produce their own video so we didn’t want to cut the use of DVD decks entirely. The main goal is always to help our members and the consumers of our studio so that they can easily get us video that we can then play back to get their message to the general public.”

Having to stay within the station's budget, the price of equiptment was a main concern when looking for a viable solution for an upgrade.

“Cost is always a factor, we’ve never had an unlimited budget,” LaVoy said. “LEIGHTRONIX products are very cost-effective for what they do. If you compare the cost of their products with other competitor’s products, it’s an easy decision to make. With LEIGHTRONIX products, you get more bang for your buck, they do more and they do it easier and simpler than other products that I’ve looked at.”

On top of affordable pricing, LEIGHTRONIX offers customers like LaVoy, who are already using their products, upgrade specials. Customers are given the option to exchange their NEXUS or send it back to the factory for quick hardware/firmware updates, giving credit to their original investment.

There is also a list of older products including the MINI-T-PRO, a product that LaVoy used in the '90s, that customers are able to send back to LEIGHTRONIX and gain credit towards purchasing a newer video server.

It is perks like these, as well as products that come with a five year warranty and free tech support for life, that keeps customers coming back to LEIGHTRONIX for video server solutions.

“Our experience with LEIGHTRONIX has been excellent,” he said. “We purchased our first MINI-T-PRO, which is still in service after 15 years, then we also used the NEXUS before recently upgrading to the UltraNEXUS.”

One thing that Lavoy appreciates about all of the company’s products is their continual reliability.

“LEIGHTRONIX products have been great and we’ve never had any issues with any of them,” he said. “They make great products. They make products that public access places need and like to use, and in my experience they have a reputation of being a great company.”

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