UpNorth Media Center

UpNorth Access Station
An integrated broadcast and streaming solution allowed the UpNorth Media Center to incorporate live streaming into their workflow
Station looks to LEIGHTRONIX for live streaming solution after experiencing the UltraNEXUS digital video server
Joe Carter, program coordinator for UpNorth Media
The station's program coordinator, Joe Carter, has broadcast with the UltraNEXUS since taking over the Traverse City area channels over two years ago.

As a newly operating station and nonprofit offering video resources to an audience that far exceeds their reach on local cable channels, the UpNorth Media Center wanted to make sure that their video resources could be seen throughout their entire service area, extending across the state of Michigan.

"We began trying to provide the very best service, with a goal of expanding the services that were available to viewers since taking over the station," Executive Director Joe VanderMeulen said. "We first did this by running two stations instead of one, then using our background in Web technology to create a different kind of Web site to showcase both of our television stations on the Web."

To help accomplish this, LIAA began looking for a viable video-on-demand solution that would allow them to minimize the amount of effort needed to maintain their new online video library, while also running two locally originated television broadcast channels. LIAA also needed a solution that would be powerful enough to reach out to the station's large audience.

"Our goal was to share content with our entire community," Joe Carter, program coordinator for the UpNorth Media Center said. "We were really looking for a solution to easily get our media up on our Web site."

Integrated Streaming Media from LEIGHTRONIX
The UpNorth Media Center found a video-on-demand streaming solution in PEG Central™, a custom Web portal hosted by LEIGHTRONIX that integrated with the station's broadcast workflow. The station's two UltraNEXUS™ video broadcast servers allowed the staff to record high-quality media files for television rebroadcast while simultaneously creating digital media files optimized for Internet streaming. The files uploaded for Internet viewing are automatically placed on the station's PEG Central streaming video-on-demand site. Once on the site, administrators can log in to publish videos to the portal for viewing, first adding metadata or links to other relevant resources.

Live streaming video on the UpNorth Media Center Web site
UpNorth Media's live streaming player window provided by LEIGHTRONIX is easily embedded into the station's Web site, providing viewers with convenient access to live streaming media twenty-four hours a day.
 
PEG Central videos embedded on the UpNorth Media Center's Web site
UpNorth Media opts to use their PEG Central streaming video-on-demand site's option to embed uploaded media on their station's Web site, allowing viewers to easily switch between live and video-on-demand content.

"We were immediately impressed with the quality in playback on the Web just from an MPEG4 (H.264) file and the site's usability," Carter said. "Users can easily jump to the middle of a two hour program on-demand without having to download it."

Wanting to keep a sense of community on the nonprofit's already established Web site, LIAA choose to utilize the embed link feature within their PEG Central site's administration options. Through the statistics panel, another feature of the site, administrators are able to keep a log of which videos are proving to be most popular and also account for which geographical regions are accessing the site.

With a video-on-demand solution that proved to be a success, LIAA headed back to LEIGHTRONIX shortly thereafter for a live streaming solution that integrated with the station's workflow.

"We try to stay ahead of the curve, and we saw live streaming as a natural progression, having recognized that many viewers were only viewing our programming from the Web," VanderMeulen said.

The station's PEGstream-SD captures video/audio in real time, creating a single, high-quality live video stream that requires less than 500Kb/s of outbound bandwidth. The PEGstream-SD then automatically directs the outbound stream to the PEG Stream live media delivery service, where world class online servers replicate the stream to accommodate simultaneous online viewers.

"It gives us more exposure through the Internet and more viewership, allowing people to see our programming in real time, even if they live outside our cablecast region," Carter said.

The station describes their relationship with LEIGHTRONIX as one that they can rely on, giving them peace of mind while advancing their offerings to their statewide viewership.

"I think more than anything with LEIGHTRONIX, the first word that comes to my mind is reliability," Carter said. "This company is the solution to the streaming industry. As long as we stay with them, I know we'll be solid here, so there is a lot to be said about a company that's reliable."



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