WBRW (Michigan Community Media)

"I've gone out to NAB and our supplier, they recommended LEIGHTRONIX and it seems like a lot of the stations we've visited, we've seen that. So it looks like the Cadillac of the systems that are out there."

–Paul D'Angelo (Operations Director)

Washington, MI—Stationed in a newly repurposed firehouse in Washington, Michigan, WBRW uses LEIGHTRONIX to deliver area content to the communities of Bruce, Romeo, and Washington through television broadcasts and online. WBRW, which is managed by Michigan Community Media, utilizes the UltraNEXUS™ video server with
TOTAL INFO® dynamic video content, the PEGvault-SD™ remote recorder, and PEG Central® web hosting and online video-on-demand site.

WBRW LogoWhile WBRW uses multiple products from LEIGHTRONIX, Operations Director Paul D'Angelo said the UltraNEXUS is the most important part of their system. Broadcasting to three different communities and covering everything from sporting events to township meetings, the broadcast schedule changes daily and D'Angelo and his staff find the UltraNEXUS to be the perfect tool for handling the scheduling and automation. The functionality and flexibility of the server are necessities in the broadcast world, according to D'Angelo.

"How much of the workflow is our UltraNEXUS? That is the heart of our system," D'Angelo said. "We have four or five different programs probably on any given day that are scheduled and the schedule changes quite often. The flexibility of that, it's at our fingertips, it's right there."

D'Angelo has a background in editing and likened the flexibility of the UltraNEXUS to a lot of editing software on the market. D'Angelo said the UltraNEXUS has so many features included that it can be used for various applications.

"On an editing system or software, there are a thousand things to do and you may use 25 of them to do what you do. And the same goes with (LEIGHTRONIX). You can customize it as far as you want to go. There's a lot of flexibility to it," D'Angelo said.

Intuitive Features

Joyce Hennessee, the station's business coordinator, added that she has found the system to be very easy to use.

"I think the UltraNEXUS is something that is pretty intuitive. It doesn't depend a whole lot on (the user) being a PC expert. You definitely don't have to be a PC or Mac wizard to be able to use it," Hennessee said.

Hennessee has been most pleased with the messaging feature on the UltraNEXUS, which the town has used with great success for local elections. WBRW uses this feature to display election results in the bottom third of the screen over regularly scheduled programming. For WBRW this has proven to be an extremely efficient and convenient way to broadcast results.

"We've used the (messaging) function when we've had elections because people are very interested come election time in knowing who won and who lost as soon as possible," Hennessee said. "So that's allowed us to do fairly thorough reporting about who the winners were in our local elections. That's come in very handy because you don't have to do any additional programming to speak of, it just sits at the bottom of what would be your regularly scheduled programming and it's very easy to change. That's definitely been a plus and I can tell you when we don't get that up within an hour, people do call."

Joyce Hennessee

"I think the UltraNEXUS is something that is pretty intuitive. It doesn't depend a whole lot on (the user) being a PC expert. You definitely don't have to be a PC or Mac wizard to be able to use it." –Joyce Hennessee

Online Content

Like most other broadcast stations, WBRW is finding their viewers are often going online to find content and information they need. With their PEG Central account, WBRW is able to provide content online easily with a solution that completely integrates with the UltraNEXUS.

The station automatically sends all of their content from the UltraNEXUS to their PEG Central website. For WBRW this serves two purposes: it increases content availability and expands their service area. D'Angelo said one of the biggest advantages is that the content is available to his viewers at any time.

"It's a service to our community to be able to go back and be able to reference back to meetings and look at football games. There are kids that go on to college and then they get to go to PEG Central and look at last year's game," D'Angelo said. "The on-demand is great because they can go back at any time. We carry about a year's worth of meetings that they can go back to."

Hennessee shared her perspective on the other advantage of having an online video-on-demand presence with PEG Central—an expanded service area.

"WBRW is available on cable to anybody who is a Comcast subscriber within (Bruce, Romeo and Washington) but we do put the bulk of our programs up on PEG Central, so anyone that has an Internet connection can watch those videos online. So actually we can reach the whole world," Hennessee said.

"A lot of people who are interested in the program, for whatever reason, are disappointed to find out 'oh I can't watch it on WBRW because I'm not a Comcast subscriber in one of the three communities' and we say 'if you have Internet you're good.' So that's been a great boon, and with the growth of mobile devices, that whole area is really growing so we'll be looking to that area more and more."

Superior Support

In addition to a positive experience with their various products, D'Angelo and Hennessee expressed great satisfaction in the customer support at LEIGHTRONIX. D'Angelo has taken advantage of both the phone support and online tutorials.

"I think I've taken advantage of the service department, being new. But I have to say how patient anyone I've talked to when I've called for support is," D'Angelo said. "And there is not a better feeling because there is so much going on in a station."

D'Angelo also utilizes the online video tutorials, which are available through the customer support center website. With help online, he and his staff can skip the phone call and easily find help on their own.

"Now there are the tutorials and there is a great website and a lot of video tutorials, so our staff now is so happy to be able to go in there and see all that. There's quite a bit of information in there to learn and a lot of the questions we keep asking, we're finding are there right at our fingertips."

Between the systems' functionality and ease of use and the product support WBRW has gotten, D'Angelo said his experience with LEIGHTRONIX has been one of his most positive experiences working with any company.

"In the past and in my career working with vendors, I think LEIGHTRONIX has been one of the best companies to work with for support and their product. I can see the product is there to do what it should be doing and it does. There are a lot of features and it can be custom made to go as far as you want to go," D'Angelo said. "I've gone out to NAB and our supplier, they recommended LEIGHTRONIX and it seems like a lot of the stations we've visited, we've seen that. So it looks like the Cadillac of the systems that are out there."

The Problem

WBRW's cable channel is broadcast to three communities in the Washington area. WBRW needed a solution to automate their channel and an online pressence for those outside of their broadcast area.

The Solution

How It Works

The UltraNEXUS automates playback and sends files to WBRW's PEG Central account for those outside the three communities.

In Their Words

"I've gone out to NAB and our supplier, they recommended LEIGHTRONIX and it seems like a lot of the stations we've visited, we've seen that. So it looks like the Cadillac of the systems that are out there."

–Paul D'Angelo
Operations Director

End Result

"(The UltraNEXUS) is the heart of our system," D'Angelo said. "We have four or five different programs probably on any given day that are scheduled and the schedule changes quite often. The flexibility of that, it's at our fingertips, it's right there."

–Paul D'Angelo
Operations Director

At a Glance

  • Name: WBRW (managed by Michigan Community Media)
  • Location: Washington, Michigan
  • Broadcast Service Area: Village of Romeo, Washington Township, and Bruce Township
  • Historic House: home of the Laren Andrus Octagon House
  • Famous Residents:
    • Kid Rock–musician
    • Mickey Lolich–former Detroit Tigers Pitcher, 1968 World Series MVP and 3 time all-star
    • David Booth–left wing in NHL for Vancouver Canucks
    • Frank Bowerman–catcher in Major League Baseball in late 1800s and early 1900s

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