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Oklahoma local access channel creates greater civic pride, higher quality and budget-friendly programming with TriCaster 40

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Oklahoma local access channel creates greater civic pride, higher quality and budget-friendly programming with TriCaster 40
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Oklahoma local access channel creates greater civic pride, higher quality and budget-friendly programming with TriCaster 40
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Like many other small communities, Perry, OK, population 5,133, had rather modest resources. It also had a huge desire to turn its local public, educational and government (PEG) cable-access channel, Perry Information Network, into a valuable community resource that its citizens could watch and appreciate.

And like the classic reputation of cable access channels elsewhere in small cities, the visual quality and production value of the programming on Perry Information Network (PIN) was often poor—and frequently ridiculed.

Recently the organization decided to make a dramatic improvement to the production value of its programming as a way to better serve its viewers—a change that was long overdue, says Tyson Davis, PIN Director of Telecommunications.

At about the same time, the city approached Davis to do a multi-camera production of an annual parade celebrating the founding of the city. “When they told me about the parade and that they wanted broadcast quality with title overlays,” he said, he realized he couldn’t produce the quality they wanted with the gear he had on hand.

At the time, PIN relied upon a laptop running a software application that took in video feeds and streamed them over the Internet to the cable TV headend of SuddenLink Cable, which turned around the content for distribution over the cable system. Of the rather inexpensive laptop and software combination, he says, “It was better than nothing, but it was not very good.” But he couldn’t afford to spend much more.

So in late 2012, says Davis, “When the NewTek TriCaster 40 came out at $5,000, it immediately hit my radar.”

Davis instantly recognized how the desktop-sized, all-in-one video production and streaming system could improve PIN productions, easily go on location to cover the parade and any other municipal event, and ultimately better serve the community.

Coverage of the city’s 16th Celebration Parade was the inaugural use—and the proving ground—of the TriCaster 40 for PIN. The event was a four-camera shoot that included two SD cameras to cover the parade route, an HD camera to shoot talent in front of a green screen who were keyed into a Virtual Set, and a tower cam Web feed that Davis brought into the TriCaster using the system’s iVGA computer-source input feature.

“We could never have done a multi-camera setup like we did for this year’s parade without the TriCaster,” he says. “TriCaster allowed us to do a better broadcast than we could ever do before.”

In the few short months PIN has been using the TriCaster 40, its presence has been noticeable at community events. “I wouldn’t even have considered doing the amount of broadcasting that we have been doing lately, had we not gotten the TriCaster. Now that I have the TriCaster, I look for every excuse possible to do live broadcasts.”

PIN now uses the TriCaster 40 to produce multi-camera coverage on location at city council meetings, high school sports, and election night results—programs whose high quality, professionalism and engaging visuals are rapidly changing PIN’s reputation and instilling a sense of pride in the community and the video operation.

“With the TriCaster, I am not afraid to tell people what I do anymore, because the quality of work that I do is second to none. I can stand up and proudly say, ‘Yeah, I run PIN."