James Burns, King County TV station manager, at the main console
ATLANTA, Ga. — King County TV (Channel 22), based in the King County Courthouse in Seattle, is updating its systems with the Oasys playout solution from BroadStream. The station records and broadcasts live meetings for the King County Council, as well as produce pieces that feature other agencies, such as the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s department, parks and transportation.
“We shoot everything in HD these days and recently completed a full station upgrade to HD,” said King County TV station manager James Burns. “There’s no shortage of ‘channel-in-a-box’ type systems on the market, but after a comprehensive analysis we felt that the Oasys system had the right balance of features and functionality for our needs and gave us the flexibility we wanted for the future.”
One of King County TV’s main requirements was to find a system that was easy to use and would allow the station to efficiently program the automation computer.
“Being able to drag and drop on the playlist is great, and we really benefit from features like ‘Autofill,’” Burns said. “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.”
As station manager, Burns likes the 24-hour compliance record feature in Oasys, which allows him to see a precise time-stamped “video log” of what the station 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 said. “I can even run crawls remotely from my 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 so we don’t have to create individual effects for every event separately.”
King County typically prepares its TV schedule a week in advance, so it needed to find a system that would allow the station to put placeholders in for media files not yet captured.
“Once we ingest the meeting and name the file, the system scans the inventory, identifies it, and cues it up, which saves us a lot of time. Many of the other systems we considered couldn’t do that, and we rely on it,” Burns said. “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.”