TCT network utilizes Aveco gear for its 24 stations and more than 70,000 hours of content
By Bruce Hart
AKRON, Ohio—AI-driven automation and media asset management are key components of today’s state-of-the-art broadcast facility. At TCT, we achieve this with Aveco and TVU.
TCT, a religious television network primarily covering the midwest, operates 53 channels of master control automation on 24 call letter stations in SDI and transport stream splicing, all centrally managed. We produce 12.5 hours of new studio programming per week, plus we’re digitizing our 43-year tape library, 70,000 hours, which includes many famous interviews and TV shows. We’re building a unique online portal featuring this vast amount of content. The automation of these processes into one integrated system has transformed our operation.
A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT
To use content, first you have to find it. TVU’s MediaMind AI does transcription, facial-and-object recognition, on-air captioning and compliance reporting. This is integrated with Aveco’s Media Asset Management, Master Control and Production Automation, making all content easily searchable, automatically, with a rich set of workow innovations.
We have been researching AI, MAM and latest-generation automation for the past ve years and our selection of Aveco and TVU reflects exceptional due-diligence from our team and from our main consultant, Jim Ocon, the well-known ex-CTO of Gray Television and a recognized pioneer on several key areas of broadcast technology.
To make this huge step, the engineering design teams at Aveco and TVU provided extensive guidance, especially Jim O’Brien, president of Aveco, and Paul Shen, CEO of TVU. The vendor teams along with TCT’s engineers, especially Royce Erikson on our staff, have together achieved a system that could’ve only been dreamed about a short time ago.
A highly automated MAM, master control and production process allows individuals to focus on their contributions to TCT, knowing each part is integrated into a full system. The automation and MAM screens are configured to reflect the level of experience and responsibility of each user group. To nd and use content is profoundly faster; the efficiency and bottom-line management benefits are enormous.
SIMPLIFYING THE PROCESS
It’s not just the overarching impacts, but often the details that make a big difference. For example, one master control automation screen run from home or at the TCT facility easily shows all details of every location, whether it’s SDI or stream-splicing (the same Aveco user interface also extends to cloud resources.)
FCC compliance logging and reporting used to take up most of one person’s time across all stations; with the automated system, it’s a few minutes. Finding out what was said in famous interviews of the past used to take real-time viewing and typing—now it’s fully transcribed and fully searchable in minutes.
Producers wanting to use a clip from an interview earlier in their live show used to require a staff member to quickly type notes; now the transcript is there while the production is underway.
For those producing and editing TV shows, finding content is the most time-consuming task; now media can be located instantly, the quality of productions skyrocket and the required production time plummets. That’s a good combination.
TCT has a long reputation for excellence in broadcasting. For decades, the company has innovated and, in the process, has developed into one of the strongest and healthiest broadcast groups, with particularly rapid growth in recent years. We’re poised for more.
Having an automation and MAM platform like what we’ve developed with Aveco and TVU makes expansion dramatically easier and all aspects of the company more scalable.
We’re proud of what we’ve achieved, the growth path is clear for many years to come and matching the accelerating pace of consumer consumption, in broadcast on-air as well as online, gives TCT great ways to continue growing.
Bruce Hart is the vice president of engineering and operations at TCT Network. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issued also in printed version 12/2020: