Town of Sutton

Pamela Nichols Video Interview Link
Sutton PEG Access Station
A solution for live broadcasting brought this town five times the amount of meeting coverage per week without the use of extra staff hours
The PEGvault-SD’s automated workflow with the NEXUS broadcast server allows for staff to effortlessly record meetings remotely
Pamela Nichols, PEG access coordinator
PEG access coordinator in Sutton, MA, Pamela Nichols, has been able to increase the towns meeting coverage because of the PEGvault-SD's remote access capability.

After upgrading their old broadcast equipment to the all-digital workflow of the NEXUS®, the Town of Sutton went back to LEIGHTRONIX looking for a solution to provide meeting coverage remotely. The need came from wanting to increase the amount of meeting coverage on both their government and educational access channels.

The solution was the PEGvault-SD™, a device that records and produces high-quality digital media files for playback on broadcast cable and streaming video-on-demand systems. The product’s push button operation and automatic file transfers to their NEXUS broadcast servers allowed the town to increase playback programming while decreasing staff hours.

“We have gone from broadcasting one to two meetings a week to broadcasting eight to ten meetings a week,” said Ray J. Nichols, a volunteer at the station. “The PEGvault allows us to not have to have a cable assistant in the room recording while a meeting is occurring.”

The new equipment also allows area residents to watch the meetings with minimal delay.

“Not having to have an actual body in the room to start and stop the recorder helped but the PEGvault really sped things up, because we historically just recorded to VHS and DVD and then had to do the whole ingest process,” he said. “Now it goes from the source in the room to the PEGvault and automatically transfers to an MPEG-2 file and into the NEXUS for live or scheduled broadcast.”

The increased number of meetings has caught the attention of the community and has gained the small town cable station a lot of positive feedback.

“The PEGvaults have increased our ability to bring our government meetings to the public and make our government more transparent,” said Pamela Nichols, the station’s PEG access coordinator. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about that transparency, and letting people know what’s going on in town.”

The LEIGHTRONIX NEXUS in the Sutton equipment rack
Using LEIGHTRONIX WinLGX Software, the Town of Sutton is easily able to operate two different NEXUS broadcast servers, one at town hall and one at a school, from one location.

To further increase transparency and public awareness of what is going on in the areas of government and education, Pamela Nichols has made sure to take advantage of other NEXUS features. The station uses the box’s internal slide creator, which can be accessed remotely through a Web browser, to keep citizens aware of upcoming programming and community events.

“We use the bulletin board system and slides in between programming to let people know what meetings are coming up,” Pamela Nichols said. “Making sure people are aware of their local government and school has really been a great service to the town.”

The fact that the NEXUS allows for an all-digital workflow with the WinLGX software’s advanced drag and drop scheduling, has really helped transform the station’s productivity.

“The ability to slide my programming over into a schedule and not have to calculate minutes and seconds down to the very detail has been an incredible time saver,” Pamela Nichols said. “The NEXUS also completely transformed the educational channel which only ran plain bulletin board slides before going digital.”

The extra time saved because of the station’s new, more efficient workflow allowed for a huge increase in programming on the town’s local educational channel.

“After we installed the NEXUS server down at the school their programming increased by about 100 percent,” Pamela Nichols said. “Now they have concerts, plays, and athletic events constantly playing back, as well as an informational bulletin board.”

The increased programming has been a great way for community members to stay involved with what’s going on even when they can’t make it to events. The NEXUS created a way for the station to deliver that programming by repurposing time that was spent trimming meetings and making sure decks were playing into time spent capturing footage of events in the community.

“We can actually spend time doing a lot of community outreach, helping to film a lot of students in our schools in more of our efforts,” Ray J. Nichols said. “This creates a more polished production that allows the community to show off what their assets really are through the cable channel.”

Another time saver for the cable station is not only being able to access both channels’ scheduling and messaging software remotely, but having the ability to network the two broadcast servers together so that the access coordinator can schedule and create digital messaging for both stations on the same computer, at the same time.

“We have both NEXUS units networked together so that I can update slides and do programming from one office instead of hauling everything down to the school,” she said. “That has been an incredible time saver, allowing me to concentrate on other activities and expand our programming.”

After deciding to go all-digital and look for a server, the station turned to a LEIGHTRONIX solution because they had used the company’s products in the past. The station had already experienced firsthand the reliability and user friendly aspects of LEIGHTRONIX products.

“We’ve always had success with LEIGHTRONIX and their products have always lasted far beyond the lifetime of any other typical electronic equipment,” Pamela Nichols said. “Plus they’ve given us great customer service every step of the way. Their products have always been easy to understand and utilize to the fullest.”

The station also appreciates the way LEIGHTRONIX treats and values their customers.

“At one point we suggested something that would make using a product easier for our workflow,” Ray J. Nichols said. “The fix was actually made within two weeks. It was just that simple to turn something around after they listened and took our input.”

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Town of Sutton's story

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