PEG Broadcast Services
"I mean it's foolproof. Once you get it going it just does it, and there's no work involved really."
(PEG Broadcast Services Studio Engineer)
Coos Bay, OR—When Gordon Young first started as studio engineer for PEG Broadcast Services in Coos Bay, the station was using a recorder/player that enabled them to play out files in a loop, but there was no ability to schedule programming. Young was sitting at home when the chairman of the board called him from a trade show with the solution to his problems. He had just been introduced to the NEXUS® video server from LEIGHTRONIX.
"I was sitting at home at the time and they called me on the phone and described what it would do, especially the fact that you could take composite video and turn it to MPEG2 and run it over the cable system. I mean it's foolproof. Once you get it going it just does it, and there's no work involved really," Young said. "I got excited and said you guys have the money, let's buy the thing and try it out. So we've had one ever since."
Since then Young has upgraded his system, sticking with LEIGHTRONIX, and now has the UltraNEXUS™ and the PEG Central® web hosting and streaming video-on-demand (VOD) service.
“When the option came to upgrade to the UltraNEXUS we jumped at that because then we could put video on the web. That was just frosting on the cake at that point,” Young said. “The UltraNEXUS is so helpful in doing that. While I’m recording a program to the UltraNEXUS, it’s making the MPEG2 file that I can play back and it’s also creating a smaller file and routes it to the website, then all I have to do is go out to the website and publish it. You can’t ask for much more than that.”
Two Channel Operation
PEG Broadcast Services operates two channels, a combined government and education channel, as well as a public access channel. The government and education channel mainly airs the town’s city government meetings, as what that channel can be used for is restricted by contract. However the station can air almost anything it wants on the public access channel. Young says the public access channel mostly airs “talking head” shows created in the station’s three camera studio.
"Most of the folks that have something to say are pretty adamant and get pretty vehement about what they have to say and what they believe, so we get a lot of stuff on public access. As long as you don't take your clothes off or use bad words, you can say pretty much whatever you want and that's what pretty much happens on the public access channel," Young said. "The stuff on Channel 14, our government access channel, is constrained. By contract, we can only do what the folks who subscribe to that channel allow us to do so it's pretty tame compared to the public access."
In order to schedule and play out both of these channels, the station utilizes the WinLGX scheduling software and the duel outputs of the UltraNEXUS.
"That's the heart of our system here. We have two channels that we route to the local cable system, one for education and government and the other for public access and the UltraNEXUS, of course, having two outputs and two players is perfect for that job. We just combine the two together after modulating them, and route them on a single piece of copper to the cable company," Young said.
Young has also been happy with how easy it is to get content onto the UltraNEXUS. He and his co-workers upload the content in different ways and Young said it is nice that the UltraNEXUS allows them to upload files in a way that works best for them.
"We use two methods. I use the editor and route the signal directly into the UltraNEXUS using composite out of the DVD recorder we have here and that works well for me," Young said. "The guy that does most of the public access stuff likes to do his editing at home. He makes an MPEG2 file the UltraNEXUS likes and puts it on an external hard drive, brings it over here and just copies the file in and that works also."
In addition to broadcasting the programs on Channel 14 and Channel 98, the station also archives the content on their PEG Central VOD site. The station updates the content on their site weekly and deletes content that is obsolete or out of date. Still, their PEG Central site holds around 600 videos organized in folders for viewers to access at their convenience.
For Young, having the videos available on-demand is about more than convenience. Coos Bay is a small town in a county of about 63,000 people and Young says for the small towns of the county, the government's decisions impact the residents more, and so they are especially interested in the decisions being made. PEG Broadcast Services allows the Town of Bandon, which is located 25 miles south of Coos Bay, to air some of their content, so the PEG Central site allows those residents to view other programming from Coos Bay that may not be broadcast where they live.
"There are only 63,000 in the entire county. It's small and it's rural. The things that the local governments do have a much greater effect on the lives of the people here than they might on the people of a Holt, MI or a New York City. Our programming here, especially the government access programming, is very important to a number of people here in the county, so we try to spread it as widely as we can," Young said. "It's more than convenience. Having something like video-on-demand that people can access from their computers at home allows for a much wider audience. It's a great public service and without the UltraNEXUS we'd have a hard time doing what we do, so I'm pretty pleased with what I have."
PEG Broadcast Services needed a system that provided true television automation, rather than their previous equipment that only allowed the station to loop their content.
How It Works
The UltraNEXUS allows the station to automate their content for their broadcast station while also creating a VOD file.
In Their Words
"The things that the local governments do have a much greater effect on the lives of the people here than they might on the people of a Holt, MI or a New York City. Our programming here, especially the government access programming, is very important to a number of people here in the county, so we try to spread it as widely as we can."
"Having something like video-on-demand that people can access from their computers at home allows for a much wider audience. It's a great public service and without the UltraNEXUS we'd have a hard time doing what we do."
At a Glance
- Name: PEG Broadcast Services
- Location: Coos Bay, OR
- Namesake: Coos Bay, and the Coos River get their names from the Native American Coos tribe
- Largest: largest city on the Oregon Coast
- Renewable Energy: Ocean Power Technologies has proposed a utility-scale, commercial wave park in Coos Bay, the size of the park will be up to 100 megawatts, making it the largest wave energy project in the world.
- Moderate Temperatures: No month has a higher average temperature than 71.6°F.
- Famous Residents:
- Mel Counts–former NBA center, 1964 Olympic gold medalist
- Buddy Hayes–member of Lawrence Welk orchestra
- Mark Helfrich–head football coach at the University of Oregon
- Steve Prefontaine–Olympic distance runner
- Jeff Whitty–playwright, Tony Award winner
- George Whitty–musician/composer, produced three Grammy Award winning CDs