“I’d say the stability of it, the ease of use, and above all, the technical support from you guys is second to none.”

— Scott Grooms, Broadcast Manager

“I’d say the stability of it, the ease of use, and above all, the technical support from you guys is second to none.”
— Scott Grooms, Broadcast Manager

The Problem

Beaufort County needed a straightforward, reliable way to deliver their 24/7 HD programming to three different cable companies, as well as broadcast regular events without having to physically navigate the area’s unique geography.

The Solution

UltraNEXUS-HD Series Video Server

IncodeX One Point-to-Multipoint Solution

IncodeX One Point-to-Point

How It Works

An UltraNEXUS-HD series video server pushes out 24/7 content to two IncodeX One encoders, which in turn deliver that content to three separate cable headends located in different areas throughout Beaufort County. Additionally, two remote locations are set up to stream individual city council meetings and events via two more IncodeX One encoders.

In Their Words

“We’ve been very, very happy with it. It’s just always been reliable.”

— Scott Grooms, Broadcast Manager

End Result

“I pretty much turn it on and it’s working. I don’t have to do anything with it.”

— Scott Grooms, Broadcast Manager

Beaufort County, SC — At the southernmost tip of South Carolina, pressed up against the Atlantic, sits a county unlike any other in the United States. With its latticework of rivers and sounds, Beaufort County is home to a diverse selection of wildlife and natural areas, as well as a number of resorts and expansive private islands. The world-famous Hilton Head Island, a popular tourist destination and upscale residential community, calls Beaufort County its home.

The area is one of the fastest growing counties in the South, with its population settling in a network of municipalities operating alongside numerous military facilities. Having so many demographics to appeal to and material to cover, it’s clear The County Channel, the region’s government access station, has its work cut out for it.

Three Cable Companies, One Workflow

Scott Grooms, the broadcast manager for Beaufort County, runs The County Channel, which has seen wildly successful programming and viewership since its inception. His station has been so popular, that several major cable companies in the area carry it. However, with this popularity came a logistical headache, posing the question: how do you efficiently get one channel to three carriers simultaneously?

A long-time LEIGHTRONIX customer, Scott had already purchased a new UltraNEXUS-HD™ series video server to broadcast his channel in HD, but sending that signal to three different sources had become overly difficult for his previous workflow.

 “Let me look at LEIGHTRONIX and see if they have anything that will fit the application, which y’all did, and that was a no-brainer — I’m just going to go straight to something I know.”  — Scott Grooms, Broadcast Manager

After reaching out to LEIGHTRONIX, Scott gravitated toward a very powerful piece of hardware: the IncodeX One™ point-to-point IP encoder. For Scott’s particular workflow, one IncodeX One unit delivers the high-definition signal from his UltraNEXUS-HD series video server to a set-top box at two separate cable headends, creating a point-to-multipoint connection. Though the IncodeX One is capable of delivering a signal to however many endpoints are available, a second IncodeX One is deployed for a point-to-point connection to the third cable headend due to network requirements from that particular cable company.

With the use of his reliable, capable LEIGHTRONIX equipment, Scott successfully broadcasts his government access channel across three different cable companies simultaneously. These aren’t brief events either; The County Channel runs 24/7 with significant viewership and development. According to Scott, his encoders have been “… totally stable,” during the process, being on the air “… unaided for months now.”

Calibogue Sound

The geography of Beaufort County is a sprawling web of rivers, including more than one huge sound. The trouble with providing government access coverage to a county like that is navigating around those bodies of water whenever there is a city council meeting or special event going on in the area. Though the remote locations Scott’s team works with are only a matter of miles away from their main studio, it takes over an hour to drive around the Calibogue Sound, which sits in the middle of The County Channel’s primary operating area, to reach them.

To combat this commute, Scott is doubling down on his IncodeX One units, setting one up in two separate remote broadcast stations across the county, which in turn will deliver any recorded content back to The County Channel’s main studio. From there, any content delivered to the main studio from those remote locations will be funneled through his UltraNEXUS-HD series video server and pushed out to three cable companies with the two IncodeX One encoders already in place.

The Cutaway

From wildlife shows, to city council meetings, to military specials, and everything in between (Grill Sergeants, the military-themed cooking show, for example), The County Channel has a lot going on. Like other popular PEG access stations that use our products and services, Beaufort County’s station has a strong connection to its audience. The programming that runs on their 24/7 channel is tailored to the people who watch it, enriching the community as a whole. The County Channel exemplifies the very best in government access programming and we’re happy to be a part of that magic.

What’s next for The County Channel? Scott is always pushing his channel forward with new ideas and workflows. There’s some talk about loading up a couple of remote broadcast trucks with IncodeX Vier® multipurpose encoders, or another couple of IncodeX One encoders for even more event coverage and community engagement. In any case, you can be sure that we’ll check back in with Beaufort County in the future.

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