Seattle’s King County TV relies on BroadStream OASYS automation

King County’s government channel recently installed a full-HD infrastructure. Automated playout is handled by BroadStream Solutions’ OASYS.

The government access cable TV station for Seattle’s King County TV, just upgraded its facility to full HD. A key part of the conversion was to upgrade and automate all of the playout of the cable TV station’s content. To handle the variety of content and source formats, managers selected a BroadStream OASYS automation system.

Based in Seattle’s King County Courthouse, the station records and broadcasts live meetings for the King County Council, and produces video stories that feature other governmental agencies such as the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s department and the parks departments. The infrastructure now enables staff to generate and air full HD content.

While there’s no shortage of “channel-in-a box” type systems on the market, after a comprehensive analysis, the station felt the OASYS system had the right balance of features and functionality for its needs today and well into the future.

Operator efficiency

One of station’s main requirements was to find an automated playout system that was easy to use and would allow the most efficient program automation. Station manager James Burns said, "Being able to drag and drop to the playlist is great, and we really benefit from features like ‘Autofill’. Unlike a commercial station, our programs have various lengths, so we have gaps to fill. Autofill takes material from a folder we have created and automatically fills those gaps with various public service announcements and short features."

Burns also likes the 24-hour compliance record feature in OASYS, which allows him to see a precise time-stamped “video log” of what played to air over the last 24 hours.OASYS makes it easy to setup and run crawls as well as take in RSS feeds. Burns can even run crawls remotely from home during weather emergencies or other significant events. When inserting a logo or bugs, OASYS has a “hot keys” feature that can do this on the fly, eliminating the need to create individual effects for every event separately.

The OASYS automation increases flexibility

Because King County typically prepares its TV schedule a week in advance, it needed a system that would allow for placeholders for media files not yet captured. Once a file is ingested and named, the system scans the inventory, identifies it, and cues it up. “Many of the other systems we considered couldn’t do that, and we rely on it,” Burns added.

"These new integrated playout systems are so much easier and faster to deploy. For us, the BroadStream team came in on a Thursday, and the staff was training on the system the following Monday. The beauty of having a completely software-based system means we can make a request -- and we’ve already made one -- and the engineering team can turn around an update or an enhancement in a couple of weeks rather than months or having to swap out hardware like the old days. The team at BroadStream is first rate, and we’re happy to have a system that will support all our needs as we grow," Burns concludes.

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