"I've been very happy with the unit and I can't say anything bad about it. The quality it puts out is amazing and I'm sure it will continually progress."
–Tom Loucks (Producer)
Wisconsin Rapids, WI—When Tom Loucks took over River Cities Community Access (RCCA) TV just over a year ago, the station was using what Loucks calls "1980s technology." The station was run manually with staff members switching tapes and DVDs, then watching to make sure the programming ran properly. Within a few months, Loucks knew he had to update the company's workflow, and began to look for an automated solution.
River Cities Community Access TV turned to their neighboring town and their station, Marshfield Government Television, for recommendations. Marshfield Government Television has been a LEIGHTRONIX customer for 17 years and shared their satisfaction with River Cities Community Access TV.
"Marshfield has had your products for several years, and they said the LEIGHTRONIX product was excellent and they've had no problems with it," Loucks said.
With the recommendation of their neighbor, River Cities Community Access began their research and decided they wanted multiple LEIGHTRONIX products. With Loucks pushing the station to become more current, they purchased the UltraNEXUS™, PEGvault-SD™, PEGstream-SD™, PEG Stream™, PEG Central®, and TOTAL INFO®.
"I'm in rebuild mode right now and that's why this came in—all this automation, to bring us up into a great, professional community television station for our community, and you need a lot of great products to do that," Loucks said.
At the center of River Cities Community Access solution is the UltraNEXUS, which Loucks chose because of the product's versatility.
"After looking into it and talking to several people about different products, I found out that the UltraNEXUS was the product I wanted to go with because you can add a lot of things to it like PEG Central and PEG Stream," Loucks said.
With its dual playback and dual recording channels, its internal audio/video routing switcher, and its easy integration with live and video-on-demand streaming, the UltraNEXUS works seamlessly with the rest of the LEIGHTRONIX products and services owned by River Cities Community Access.
River Cities Community Access TV streams their station live on their website by combining the PEGstream-SD and PEG Stream service. River Cities Community Access also utilizes PEG Central to allow its viewers to access videos on-demand on the station's website. PEG Central even plays a vital role in the station's marketing strategy.
"We embed a lot of stuff and I share the embed link everywhere. It's very, very important in my marketing," Loucks said. "The local newspaper uses it all the time. They actually created a page for us and that drives up numbers really fast when you promote it in more than just one place."
Loucks also uses embed links to promote outside of the newspaper. When the station does a show about a local organization or team, it will give them an embed link to put on their website. This practice gives the followers of the group featured on the show easier access and also promotes the station's PEG Central site; a practice Loucks calls a "win-win."
Zoned TOTAL INFO
The station is also taking advantage of the Zoned TOTAL INFO™ feature of the TOTAL INFO yearly subscription service. The TOTAL INFO service allows the station to display "slides" between progams that provide viewers with stock updates, fun facts, sports updates, local weather, and more. The Zoned TOTAL INFO feature allows the station to simultaneously display dynamic TOTAL INFO content alongside their station's video programming. The TOTAL INFO content frames the screen and runs while the station's programming is still airing, giving the station a more professional look.
Loucks has had so much positive feed-back on the Zoned TOTAL INFO feature that he has already placed it in the station's budget for next year.
"We really like the split screen," Loucks said referring to the Zoned TOTAL INFO display. "When we ran just the TOTAL INFO we had a few people say 'hey this is a local station let's keep some local content on here' and now we can do both. We can run the weather, the basic AP outcall at the bottom, and we can still run the local content so you get three birds with one stone."
By streaming the station's content with the LEIGHTRONIX live streaming solution, creating an on-demand page, and utilizing TOTAL INFO, River Cities Community Access is offering viewers more content now than the station did before Loucks' arrival. However, the station is actually saving time. The automation of the UltraNEXUS has freed Loucks' staff to concentrate on creating a higher quality product and presenting it to their viewers through multiple mediums.
The station runs from 7:00 a.m. through 11:00 p.m. and prior to the UltraNEXUS, staff members had to use this time to switch out the tapes and DVDs and make sure the content was airing correctly. Now that work is handled by the UltraNEXUS.
"We can do more programming than we have in the past with this," Loucks said. "One of the biggest things and the reason I really wanted to get (the UltraNEXUS) was I wanted to get people out in the field. I didn't want people sitting here in the office watching TV. Let's get them out in the field and get more videos of our community rather than being a DVD switcher."
Since taking over the station just over a year ago, Loucks has seen River Cities Community Access TV grow into a higher quality, more professional product. As the station continues to grow, Loucks is happy with the vital part LEIGHTRONIX is playing in their expansion.
"I've been very happy with the unit and I can't say anything bad about it," Loucks said. "The quality it puts out is amazing and I'm sure it will continually progress."
River Cities Community Access was using outdated technology. Most of their employees were switching tapes and DVDs because their system was not automated.
How It Works
The automation feature of the UltraNEXUS allows the RCAA employees to spend more time gathering content which they can then put on the channel, stream live, or add to the city's PEG Central video-on-demand site.
In Their Words
"I'm in rebuild mode right now and that's why this came in—all this automation, to bring us up into a great, professional community television station for our community, and you need a lot of great products to do that."
"We can do more programming than we have in the past with this. One of the biggest things and the reason I really wanted to get (the UltraNEXUS) was I wanted to get people out in the field."
At a Glance
- Name: River Cities Community Access
- RCCA Service Area: Greater Wisconsin Rapids area
- Location: Central Wisconsin—90 miles west of Green Bay
- Name Origin: Named Grand Rapids in 1900 but switched to Wisconsin Rapids in 1920 to avoid confusion with Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Famous Residents:
- Grim Natwick–animator and director, creator of Betty Boop, lead animator of Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
- Dick Trickle–NASCAR driver, 2x American Speed Association Champion
- Bonnie Bartlett–actress, played Grace Snyder Edwards on "Little House on the Prairie"