Lowell Area Schools (WLHS)
"There are a lot of things here that we can live stream, and (the PEGstream-SD) has an ease of use to it that makes it easy for us."
–AL Eckman (WLHS Station Manager)
Lowell, MI—Many of the Midwest's best club wrestling teams gathered at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek for the Grand River Rumble wrestling tournament on July 22, 2012. Among the attendees were many of Lowell High School's wrestlers, so WLHS Station Manager Al Eckman decided to take advantage of a new LEIGHTRONIX solution by live streaming the finals and semi-finals with the PEGstream-SD™.
The PEGstream-SD is a live streaming encoder that, when used in conjunction with the LEIGHTRONIX PEG Stream live streaming service, allows users to broadcast a video feed live online.
Eckman has used multiple generations of LEIGHTRONIX products, starting with the MINI-T-PRO™ and expanding to a stable of products including the UltraNEXUS™ video server, PEG Central® online video-on-demand service, PEGvault-SD™ digital video encoder, and TOTAL INFO® dynamic video messaging subscription. Eckman saw this tournament as an opportunity expand further by acquiring LEIGHTRONIX's live streaming solution to showcase the tournament worldwide to online viewers with the PEGstream-SD and PEG Stream service.
"Because there were several Lowell wrestlers in that tournament and we thought they might end up in the semi-finals or finals, there was a local interest there and we thought a live stream would be a great way for their families to watch from home," Eckman said.
The success turned out to be greater than Eckman had initially thought. Not only was there a local interest, but the live stream was even more beneficial to teams from other states.
Eckman provided the organizers of the Grand River Rumble with a URL to the site on which he would stream the tournament. The organizers then took this address and posted it on their individual sites and also made it available to those at the tournament.
With the website readily available in multiple places, family members of teams from neighboring states were able to watch the semifinals and finals live online, without the hassles of traveling for a weekend tournament.
"We had several individuals write down the website address at the tournament, then obviously, they got on their phones and called back home to those who couldn't be there and let them know that it was going to be streamed live and they could watch it there," Eckman said. "We got a lot of thank yous at the tournament and, in fact, I got a lot of phone calls afterward from different individuals who got the opportunity to watch (the live stream) and they were extremely pleased."
Eckman is not the only person who has been using the LEIGHTRONIX equipment purchased by Lowell High School. Eckman has found the equipment is so intuitive and easy to use that it can easily be set-up and run by students.
Because the PEGstream-SD and other LEIGHTRONIX equipment is so easy to use the students handle almost every aspect of the production and are able to create professional-looking products for online, broadcast, and on-demand applications. Eckman has developed so much confidence in LEIGHTRONIX products while using his previous solutions that he allowed students to run the production of the tournament the first time the district utilized the live streaming solution.
"I did a lot of research before purchasing our very first unit through LEIGHTRONIX and found LEIGHTRONIX to have extremely well built equipment and top-notch support. Students installed all of the LEIGHTRONIX equipment in our equipment rack at Lowell High School, and did the programming following the installations," Eckman said.
After the success of the wrestling tournament, Lowell has already come up with dozens of events they would like to stream live online using the PEGstream-SD and PEG Stream service. Eckman said they would like to continue to live stream other sporting events but pointed out that there was much more for which the live streaming solution could be used.
Every year Lowell High School's band has over 30 concert performances that Eckman says would be great events to stream. The community also has several board and committee meetings that Eckman would like to stream as well as community events like their Santa Clause Parade, 4-H Fair, or the River Walk.
"There is a lot of things here that we can live stream, and (the PEGstream-SD) has an ease of use to it that makes it easy for us," Eckman said.
While Eckman only used the PEGstream-SD to broadcast the wrestling match live online, he plans on using it in conjunction with his other LEIGHTRONIX products in the future.
"With this being our first time using it, we wanted to focus on streaming it live," Eckman said. "But in the future our plans are to use the PEGstream-SD in conjunction with the PEGvault-SD so that we can stream events live and at the same time put it on the public access channel Next to Live, and put it up (online on video-on-demand) on PEG Central."
Lowell needed a solution to live stream a wrestling tournament online so that family members of wrestlers from various states could watch the tournament without traveling for the weekend.
How It Works
The PEGstream-SD takes the output of an audio/video source (a camera) and the real time digital encoding hardware captures and digitizes images, creating a live outbound video stream. The PEGstream-SD directs its outbound stream to PEG Stream where world-class servers receive and distribute the live stream.
In Their Words
"I did a lot of research before purchasing our very first unit through LEIGHTRONIX and found LEIGHTRONIX to have extremely well built equipment and top-notch support."
WLHS Station Manager
"We got a lot of thank yous at the tournament and, in fact, I got a lot of phone calls afterward from people who got the opportunity to watch (the live stream) and they were extremely pleased."
WLHS Station Manager
At a Glance
- Name: Lowell
- Location: Western Michigan, 20 miles east of Grand Rapids
- Wrestling Program: Lowell HS Wrestling has three Division II Team State Championships (2002, 2004, 2009)
- Coincidence: Lowell's football program also has three state championships, in the same three years as the wrestling program.
- Common Name: Lowell is a city in 13 U.S. states.
- Showboat: Lowell is the home of a retired showboat called the Robert E. Lee. A showboat used to be a barge that was designed to accommodate a traveling theater, especially down the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.
- Notable Residents:
- Anthony Kiedis—Lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Daniel Vosovic—Fashion designer, Project Runway Season 2 runner–up
- Mike Dumass—Former NFL free safety