WKTV Community Media

"I would say 100 percent it's great. We used the older system before and I was a fan of that so yeah, we really like LEIGHTRONIX and it's worked great for us."

–Kelly Taylor, Program Director, WKTV

Wyoming, MI— WKTV, a community media station in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming, has prided itself on staying on the forefront of broadcast technology since 1974 when the station was incorporated. To continue to stay ahead of the times and deliver a quality broadcast to its viewers, WKTV has used LEIGHTRONIX products since 1992 when the station purchased a PRO-16™ to automate playback of its VHS players.

WKTV.org: Just Look InsideFast-forward 20 years and the station has upgraded its LEIGHTRONIX products, creating both a Web and broadcast television presence for viewers. WKTV currently provides content to two channels using two separate NEXUS® video servers. WKTV also utilizes two PEGvault-SD™ digital video recorders and a PEGstream-SD™ paired with the PEG Stream™ live streaming service. Additionally WKTV allows its viewers to access media content on the web through the PEG Central® video-on-demand streaming service.

"We have two NEXUS systems, one for the government and one for the public channel, and we use them quite extensively," WKTV Executive Director Tom Norton said. "We pride ourselves on being ahead of the curve."

Digital Archiving

WKTV is in the process of fully transitioning to the NEXUS for archiving. Archiving digitally allows the station to store years of content without taking up a lot of physical space, and makes for easy recall when the station wants to re-air past content.

"The long term goal is to get away from airing tapes and DVDs," Program Director Kelly Taylor said.

"WKTV models its production after network stations, running new schedules every day and limiting the repeated content. Still, archiving digitally is crucial to the station's workflow because they still need to pull content from it on occasion. As every day is a new schedule with new content, browsing through a physical archive to find a particular video would be nearly impossible.

"We have a few programs and specials that will repeat," Taylor said. "Last year we got a lot of boating PSAs that, in Michigan, are only timely for a certain amount of time. This year I didn't get any new boating PSAs so I pulled up old ones. That's what I use the ingesting for; I put things in the system so if I don't get anything new I have something for next year."

Tom Norton

"We have two NEXUS systems... and we use them quite extensively. We pride ourselves on being ahead of the curve." –Tom Norton

Ease-of-Use

Taylor is the main user of the system at WKTV and works with the system daily. She admits that when she first heard about the features the new system would bring, she was nervous the system would create more work for her. Taylor, however, quickly realized that the NEXUS system led to a simpler workflow and saved her time and effort thanks to its ease-of-use.

"I was kind of leery when they first brought this up, but it has worked great for us and I'm glad we made the change and implemented the system," Taylor said.

The primary time saver for Taylor is one of the scheduling features with the NEXUS system’s management and control software, WinLGX. This feature allows her to see how much time she has to fill. Before the NEXUS, Taylor would have to use a time calculator to punch in the run times, based on that information she would have to figure out her time remaining and find something to fill in the schedule.

"You get pretty fast at the time calculator but the time still adds up over the course of the year," Taylor said. "So the feature I like the best is the system adds the runtimes for you, because it would take quite a bit of time to add all that stuff up."

Taylor also said she likes software's drag and drop interface, adding that having the ability to place the content and instantly see exactly how much time is being occupied is extremely helpful.

The scheduling software also enables her to stay ahead of the game, allowing her to enjoy her holidays and weekends, a luxury she hasn't always had.

"It especially comes in handy during the holidays," Taylor said. "In the old times, when we were closed for a three day holiday, somebody had to come in and load tapes. Now when we're off for a holiday I can air both channels for days on end without anyone having to come in."

The freedom and reliability the NEXUS system provides for WKTV and Taylor has helped keep WKTV ahead of the times. The system was easily implemented, affordable and an example of why WKTV has been a LEIGHTRONIX user for 20 years.

"I would say 100 percent it's great. We used the older system before and I was a fan of that so yeah, we really like LEIGHTRONIX and its worked great for us."

The Problem

WKTV broadcasts two channels, government access and community media, and has an Internet presence. In a time where technology changes constantly, WKTV strives to stay current.

The Solution

How It Works

WKTV runs two channels, each off their own individual NEXUS video server. To provide their viewers with more access to content, the station also uses the live and video-on-demand streaming services to add an internet presence to their already powerful broadcast presence.

In Their Words

"We exchange government meetings between municipalities and in the old days we used to shuttle VHS tapes and DVDS, but now it's much easier with the NEXUS. We can just use the File Transfer Protocol sites."

–Tom Norton
Executive Director, WKTV

End Result

"I would say 100 percent it's great. We used the older system before and I was a fan of that so yeah, we really like LEIGHTRONIX and it's worked great for us."

–Kelly Taylor
Program Director, WKTV

At a Glance

  • Name: WKTV, Incorporated: Nov. 11, 1974
  • Innovation: WKTV was the first community media station in Michigan to purchase a mobile camera unit.
  • Featured: WKTV was featured on the Sony DXC-3000 brochure in the 1980's for being one of the first community media stations to purchase a three chip camera.
  • Long-time Customer: In 1992, WKTV bought the PRO-16™, its first product from LEIGHTRONIX.
  • The Station: Currently, WKTV has 400+ volunteers and estimates they generate 75-80 percent of their content.
  • Size: Wyoming is the largest Suburb of Grand Rapids with a population of 72,125.
  • Origin: Wyoming is named for Wyoming County in New York, the origin of many of the area's early settlers.
  • Higher Education: There are 18 colleges in the Wyoming, Michigan region.
  • Notable Residents:
    • Drew Neitzel- Michigan State Basketball, 2007 Second-team All-America
    • Buster Mathis- Professional Boxer
    • Buster Mathis Jr.- Professional Boxer, Heavy Weight Champion
    • Chris Kaman- Center, New Orleans Hornets

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