We launched ILTV using an aging automation system, and we found its scheduling capabilities very inflexible and cumbersome to use. Operation was automated and scheduled, but the scheduling tools and process themselves were cumbersome, not intuitive and time-consuming.
Our immediate need was an automation system that supports an easier, more efficient and more versatile scheduling interface. Looking to the future, we wanted a solution that would tightly integrate with a traffic system to enable ad sales, and work seamlessly with a radio automation platform for our planned radio offering. And while we’re currently only automating one television feed, we desired the scalability to add more if we expand.
We went to this year’s NAB Show to find a modern automation system meeting all of these criteria. We visited all of the popular vendors looking for the perfect match for our vision. Many were more complicated or costly than we were looking for. Few came close to the features and integration we were looking for. We visited the Enco booth near the end of our search and after viewing a demo of their new MOM (Media Operations Manager) solution and seeing their radio and other offerings we knew we found a solution. We were quickly impressed by its graphical interface, simplicity of operation, and rich feature set.
We purchased ENCO MOM as a turnkey system. An ENCO representative came to our facility and performed the installation and on-site training. Migrating our existing content assets into the MOM library was remarkably straightforward – existing files were graphically dragged and dropped into the library from our centralized storage, and MOM was instantly able to play them to air. We fully transitioned after running MOM in parallel with our old system for just one day.
All playback of pre-recorded content is done by the MOM system, pulling files from our shared storage. MOM switches easily between pre-recorded content and our live draws at the top and bottom of each hour, with direct control of our AJA KUMO router and NewTek TriCaster Mini production system.
ENCO MOM’s built-in scheduler has been a huge improvement for us. It has a much friendlier interface than our previous system, letting us simply drag-and-drop clips from the library to the schedule and align them to our clock. It’s now fast and easy for us to create a schedule, get it on air, and just as important, it’s easy for us to graphically rearrange the schedule, adding or deleting entries on the fly. MOM also integrates tightly with the traffic and billing system we received from them as part of the solution. The system enables us to sell ad spots and easily incorporate them into our automation schedule to make additional revenue.
The multi-codec flexibility of MOM has been an added benefit. We use a mix of production formats, but with our old system, we were forced to transcode everything into one format to get it on air. With MOM, we simply drag our content into the system regardless of its format, and it’s immediately playable. No file or format conversions are required.
We are now in the process of acquiring an FM radio broadcast license, and we have purchased a Visual Radio package from ENCO – including the company’s DAD radio automation software – to run the radio station and provide an audio/video stream on the Internet. The common platforms and designs of ENCO automation systems will ensure that the two stations can share resources. We also plan to feed the Visual Radio programming to MOM as additional content for our cable channel between live draws. We are very happy with MOM today, and excited about our future plans.