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Have you evaluated your Master Control operations recently?

Have you evaluated your Master Control operations recently?

What’s going on…

  • more problems than you need;
  • can’t trust the system to be reliable; system aging out;
  • need to find more efficient workflows or make it work with fewer people?

You, more than anyone else, knows how important it is to trust your Master Control software and systems. If they fail, you miss programs and commercials or go off air completely. And if you experience any on-air issues you hear it from viewers and advertisers.

So, are you feeling at peace with your Master Control system, or stressed out? Let’s evaluate:

  • During the week, do you and your team spend too many hours dealing with third-party vendor support or trouble-shooting problems?
  • Can you leave Master Control un-manned or running over night, or days at a time, and be confident your phone won’t ring with new problems?
  • Do you feel confident that your live-captions will work for your next live broadcast?
  • During the holiday season, does your stress increase due to lower staffing levels or slower response times from 3rd party vendor support?
  • Do you have a redundant back-up solution that can take-over automatically when the system detects any problems?
  • Many chief engineers will probably say no. Their systems are overly complex, require more man-power than you can budget and are woefully out of date. They worry about the impact on viewers and staff should the system crater, which it will, when you least expect it.

You are not alone. We commonly hear that Master Control is out-of-date, it causes too many problems; program prep workflows are slow and too much time is spent with multiple support vendors that point fingers or don’t seem to care if your issue is solved today or next week.

Did we just describe your situation? Then maybe it’s time for a change.

If your Master Control system doesn’t bring you and your team joy and peace-of-mind, then you need to learn more about OASYS Integrated Playout. OASYS delivers confidence and peace of mind by using standard IT hardware and fully integrated software that:

  • Reduces your overall dependence on specific boxes because software replaces the need for purpose-built hardware.
  • Reduces the number of support contracts you need to maintain.
  • Reduces your overall foot-print requirement and saves money on utilities.
  • Future-proofs your path forward because the software is easier to upgrade than hardware and saves money in the long-run.

So, if your current system isn’t flexible, doesn’t automate your workflows, doesn’t eliminate your need for purpose-built devices and multiple vendors, then you need OASYS.

Learn more about OASYS Integrated Playout here. 

The Importance of Workflow in Broadcast Media

In the broadcast world the process necessary to take a program and broadcast it to viewers can be quite complicated. Lots of things can go wrong.

Video tape is no longer used and has been replaced by digital video which, in the beginning made things more complicated for broadcasters. Things like video file format, audio, captioning, graphics, scheduling commercial breaks as well as the programs must go smoothly to create a full day of programing and and get it ready to broadcast. Now multiply this process over 24 hours per day and 168 hours per week and the workload can be staggering.

To maintain quality, TV stations use specific routines and processes, called workflows, managed by highly qualified technical staff, to ensure the correct programs air at their scheduled time.

Each workflow can have multiple steps and go though multiple forms of processing or editing to become broadcast-ready.

To make the overall process as efficient as possible, TV stations are constantly looking for ways to improve their workflows, and that means reducing the complexity and number of steps required down to the fewest number of steps possible. With so many different steps and potential friction points, the work can be stressful and anxiety producing. If the workflow isn’t simplified, clearly outlined, and properly managed, many broadcasters can find it difficult to do their job to the best of their abilities.

That’s why the workflow is important. A well constructed workflow can improve efficiency and productivity while improving quality and at the same time helping to create a more stress-free environment.

Let’s use WVIA as an example.

Joe Glynn and his staff at WVIA provided live captioning to their viewers. The amount of live captioning the station needed each week was limited but the work associated with getting live captions on-air was not. The station was using human-generated live captions through an outside vendor.

Their workflow to produce the live captions was inefficient. It involved working with an outside company that provided captioners for live shows. This meant that every week, someone from the station needed to call the captioning company, schedule the captioner, provide all the details for the show, and arrange for testing prior to the show airing.

Before the show began, an engineer or operator was required to connect the call to the audio bridge and test the outbound audio. The captioner was required to call in and confirm they were present before the show began, which didn’t always happen. If the captioner did call in to confirm their presence, then the station had to connect to the captioning encoder to ensure that captions would actually show up on the screen.

After all the planning the station often ran into multiple issues that needed to be addressed at the last minute. No pressure right?

They often weren’t able to perform a necessary audio test with the captioner before the show because they had to do microphone checks for the show. Or if the caption encoder wouldn’t connect before the show a second engineer was necessary to fix the issue to while another engineer continued to get the system ready for the live broadcast.

This workflow was full of stress, constant problems, and little efficiency. Not only that, but the workflow of adding live captions actually hindered their quality and success in other areas of the broadcast.

That’s why workflow is so important – a good workflow improves quality and success while also ensuring that no other workflows are hindered in the process.

To find a solution and eliminate the workflow issues surrounding live closed captioning, Joe reached out to our team at BroadStream to see how we could help. We recommended VoCaption to provide an Automated Live Captioning Solution and helped his team with the installation and training. Once in place, their workflow problems were eliminated.

Today, with one simple mouse click, live captions are triggered and on-screen. No planning, no worry. Hours of work were reduced to that one mouse click. Simple, easy and at a cost savings as well.

The team now has more control. They no longer rely on a third-party for their live captioning because a complicated workflow was eliminated by new and proven technology.

If you want to know more or see a demo, reach out to us on our Contact page.