PCTV Illustrates the Strength of PlayBox Technology in PEG Television

Thursday, August 2, 2012

1Throughout the United States, localities have PEG (Public, Educational and Governmental) TV stations that focus on local news and information. Often the running of a typical PEG broadcast facility includes maintaining multiple channels which is done with a limited number of people, and a limited budget. At the same time, quality and reliability is a key consideration.

For many PEG Television facilities, PlayBox Technology has become the clear solution. A recent project in Washington State illustrates why.

Pierce County TV (PCTV) has chosen PlayBox Technology systems for its new master control facilities in Lakewood Washington.

PCTV operates two government channels and one educational channel from its facilities at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood, Wash. The PCTV Master Control room includes three PlayBox Technology AirBox playout servers and a single Capture Box. The PlayBox servers use integrated automation which controls not only the servers systems, but the facility routing and legacy equipment.

Overseen by the Rainier Communications Commission (RCC), a cooperative of Pierce County and cities and towns within the county, PCTV creates and manages government access programming for the area. It maintains a busy production schedule, including Pierce County News, a weekly news program produced in its studio, and Rainier Country, an Emmy-nominated newsmagazine. PCTV also provides coverage of government meetings for Pierce County and six local cities. Programming is available via cable television and at www.piercecountytv.org.

Working with Advanced Broadcast Solutions, who helped PCTV evaluate options, and completed the final installation. PCTV looked at “everything out there.” according to Ben Ramsey, PCTV operations specialist. “PlayBox had the features we needed! The other systems were more limited.”

Another important requirement of the new master control was that it could eventually transition to full HD-SDI. "We saw on the horizon the opportunity to move to HD," noted Ramsey. Currently, studio and field footage is shot in 1080i using HD cameras, then down-converted for cablecast. However, PCTV recently received confirmation from Comcast that PCTV will be distributed in HD starting next year so the need to be able to change over is immanent. PlayBox Technologies’ universal playout technology makes that transition simple when the time comes.

“PlayBox is powerful.” said Ramsey, emphasizing the real reason PEG TV and broadcasters worldwide have chosen PlayBox Technology for their facilities.