Oak Forest Broadcast Network

John Brand Video Interview Link
Oak Forest Broadcast Network
PEG Central provides the City of Oak Forest video-on-demand that doesn’t strain its local bandwidth or its city budget
The City of Oak Forest found its solution to filling a void in transparency by offering PEG Central to the area community.
John Brand, manager
The Broadcast Network Station Manager, John Brand, utilizes the UltraNEXUS’s dual encoders to save time. When ingesting video, two versions are made—one that’s broadcast quality, and one for streaming video.

Wanting to provide viewers with the convenience of video-on-demand programming, but not wanting to deal with the hassle of providing the service on the city’s limited bandwidth, the City of Oak Forest, IL turned to PEG Central™ for a cost-effective solution.

“People wanted to see stuff online, but to have it on our own Web site would cost way too much and it would take up too much bandwidth to do it,” said John Brand, the city’s cable station manager. “My boss and I saw a presentation on the UltraNEXUS™ and PEG Central and decided right then we had to have it. It was our solution.”

The city, already using the NEXUS® digital broadcast server to provide cable programming, didn’t waste any time in upgrading to the UltraNEXUS to get the ability to provide video-on-demand.

“We got it right away,” Brand said. “I was able to start loading videos onto PEG Central the day we got it. It’s just another avenue to get more information to the community. That’s what it’s all about. Our city’s all about communication and being really open to showing everything.”

Being able to upgrade so quickly was partly due to the low cost involved with upgrading from a NEXUS to an UltraNEXUS.

“We were able to add it to our budget easily,” Brand said. “When comparing PEG Central to how much it would cost to do it on our own Web site, there is no question that it is much more fiscal to do it through LEIGHTRONIX. Just let them deal with everything. Let them put it on their bandwidth. They take care of everything for you. It’s a lot cheaper to do it this way than through anyone else.”

Brand logs into the Oak Forest PEG Central Web site.
After video is uploaded to PEG Central, Brand logs into the administrative side of the video-on-demand site where he can trim media, and add meta-data.
Oak Forest PEG Central home page
Once a video is published to the city’s PEG Central site, branded with a custom city logo, viewers are able to search for media using a keyword search.

Taking advantage of the company’s periodic upgrade specials, the city was also able to take advantage of one free year of TOTAL INFO® while exchanging in their NEXUS for an UltraNEXUS. The TOTAL INFO subscription allows for information to be added to any local cable channel’s regular program line-up while on its virtual channel messaging rotation. It includes local weather and metro traffic, along with up-to-date news, sports, financials, and daily trivia.

“It’s really inexpensive. TOTAL INFO is only $900 a year, and when we upgraded to the UltraNEXUS and got PEG Central, they gave us a year for free,” Brand said. “People immediately started saying, ‘Wow, you’re doing a great job,’ not knowing that the information was coming from a service we subscribed to.”

The subscription service is one of the many features combined into the streamlined workflow of the UltraNEXUS, adding another way to communicate to the community, without adding another device to Brand’s rack of equipment.

“Everything is streamlined and set up for you,” he said. “The guy who held my position before me had to come in here four times a day to change tapes. Now I can sit down at my desk and know that a meeting from the previous night was already recorded. There is no waiting. I can go right in and have it scheduled to play right then, or schedule it to play at multiple times throughout the week. Then I never have to think about it again, the UltraNEXUS does it for me.”

Before the upgrade, the NEXUS digital broadcast server had already allowed the cable station to have an all-digital workflow.

“With the NEXUS there was already no more working with VCR or DVD players,” Brand said. “It gave us an avenue to go completely digital and start doing all of our editing digital. Now that everything is an MPEG, I can schedule a channel for the whole week, which is a whole lot easier than running in here four times a day.”

The automation has allowed Brand to focus his time on other things, knowing that when he comes in every morning the UltraNEXUS will have already ingested anything he wants to schedule or publish online. The server has dual encoders that simultaneously make a high quality version of every file for broadcast and a compressed version for easy loading on the Web.

“It saves me a lot of work,” he said. “I can spend time editing and shooting stuff and I don’t really have to worry about all the uploading. I can just put it in, do other things, and then schedule.”

For Brand, combining the product’s ease-of-use along with its reliability and the company’s reputation for excellent support, is what makes it a great purchase.

“This is a product that is made to play forever. It just works really well,” Brand said. Adding that, “The staff at LEIGHTRONIX are always available to answer any of my questions. There are always free updates coming out and tech support has been awesome. Just to be able to call and have them show me how the features will work at my station. This company is definitely worth looking at if you need this sort of equipment.”

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City of Oak Forest's story

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