Board of Northern
"We got a lot of compliments, our cities are much happier, and we are really getting noticed on social media for the first time because of our on-demand."
–Jason Dudas (Program Director)
Covington, KY—When the Telecommunications Board of Northern Kentucky (TBNK) undertook a system overhaul, it seemed as if LEIGHTRONIX would be the obvious choice. The six-channel station had two previous systems, both of which were LEIGHTRONIX, but the station wanted to do its due diligence and ensure it was purchasing the best system, regardless of who the manufacturer was.
After a nearly three year long process of searching and researching, LEIGHTRONIX, once again, proved to be the best fit.
"Our two previous systems were LEIGHTRONIX, but by no means had we decided without a doubt LEIGHTRONIX would be our next system," Program Director Jason Dudas said. "We shopped around and looked at competing products and in the end decided that LEIGHTRONIX would be the right fit for us."
When looking for that right fit, Dudas, with the help of Executive Director Tim Broering and Master Control Operator Josh Boedeker, researched automation systems that could handle six channels and provide an online video-on-demand feature. The system they chose was three UltraNEXUS™ video servers, a PEGvault-SD™ digital video encoder, the TOTAL INFO™ dynamic content service, and the PEG Central® video-on-demand streaming service.
TBNK uses each UltraNEXUS to control two broadcast channels, allowing them to run all six of their channels with just three UltraNEXUS servers. Additionally, the UltraNEXUS automatically transfers videos to their PEG Central site, giving viewers online access to a video-on-demand library without adding to the station's workflow.
Originally, TBNK was worried that when they made the transition to an all-digital workflow, the ingestion time would not be feasible. However, the UltraNEXUS, and any other NEXUS series server, comes with free DVD import software called TOTAL IMPORT™. This software has not only alleviated the group's worries but has even been one of their favorite aspects of the new system.
"We are beyond pleasantly surprised, we are shocked with awe at how fast TOTAL IMPORT rips the file," Dudas said. "It's a one-stop-shop, it only does one thing and it does it beautifully, and gets the file in the right format with nothing to set and very, very quick."
This software is the reason TBNK felt comfortable finally making the move to a server-based solution. The station receives hundreds of DVDs a week from churches, the local government, and other groups, and real time ingestion through a disk drive would not cut it.
"Seven years ago when we went from the tape format to the DVD format we considered a server-based format," Broering said. "We would have to ingest in real time and we knew we didn't have enough man power to ingest the hundreds of shows we get each week. But with this software it's very quick and we can do it when it fits into our workflow, so we've been very happy with it."
In addition to being shocked with the quality and speed of TOTAL IMPORT, TBNK has been exceptionally pleased with the reliability of the products they purchased from LEIGHTRONIX.
TBNK is located in an area where they have frequent storms and power outages. As a result, they have experience with their older systems being knocked off the air and having to recover, a process that took almost 30 minutes. Now with the UltraNEXUS system, once they are able to get power back to their system, the UltraNEXUS resumes playback almost immediately.
"The UltraNEXUS is so quick in getting back up, as soon as it gets power again it gets right back up and goes right back into it," Boedeker said. "There's nothing that I have to do to get the channels back in the schedule, it goes right back into (TOTAL INFO) and its programming. It's almost instantaneous."
In addition to its ability to recover from power losses due to extreme weather conditions, the UltraNEXUS is reliable in the station's day-to-day workflow.
"It's been fantastic," Boedeker said. "I've never had any kind of problems with it, it's been great. I don't have to worry about it dropping out or anything like that."
The reliability of the system has helped keep six channels on the air incident free for TBNK since the switch to the UltraNEXUS system. In addition to those six channels, TBNK also runs an online video-on-demand site and has been very impressed with their new video-on-demand solution, PEG Central.
The station uses PEG Central mainly to post government meetings, but also uses it to post staff shows that give local tours and cover local history and big events in the area. This fall the station will also be adding coverage of local high school sports to the PEG Central account.
"We are much happier with the PEG Central service," Dudas said. "We jumped out of a competing product that cost more money, had far less quality, and had a much chunkier interface. We got a lot of compliments, our cities are much happier, and we are really getting noticed on social media for the first time because of our on-demand."
The Telecommunications Board of Northern Kentucky is responsible for six separate channels which it wanted to automate. TBNK also wanted to incorporate video-on-demand into their workflow.
How It Works
TBNK utilizes three UltraNEXUS servers, each of which is assigned two channels. The UltraNEXUS servers allow for automation of the channels' schedules, easy transfer to the PEG Central site, and Next to Live™ broadcasts of files as they are being remotely recorded by their PEGvault-SD.
In Their Words
"We are beyond pleasantly surprised, we are shocked with awe at how fast TOTAL IMPORT rips the file."
Program Director, TBNK
"It's been fantastic, I've never had any kind of problems with it, it's been great. I don't have to worry about it dropping out or anything like that."
Master Control Operator, TBNK
At a Glance
- Name: Telecommunications Board of Northern Kentucky
- Location: Covington, KY (two miles south of Cincinnati, OH)
- Population: 40,640
- Blue Chip Cable Awards: TBNK was the home of five Blue Chip Cable Award winning programs and five other nominees in 2011.
- Professional Baseball: In 1912, Covington was the home of the Federal League baseball team, the Covington Blue Sox. The Blue Sox played at Riverbreeze Ballpark, the smallest professional baseball park ever built.
- Notable Residents:
- Ron Ziegler—White House Press Secretary under Richard Nixon
- Frank Duveneck—realist painter
- Gail Borden—inventor of condensed milk
- Haven Gillespie—songwriter, wrote "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"
- John W. Stevenson—U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, 25th Governor of Kentucky