TheEC: We Are Watching ALL the Things

Apr 13, 2015

Credit Aaron Read RIPR

Thanks to a recent major grant that RIPR applied for and received, we have added several 40-inch LCD TV screens to Studio A, our "air studio".   Four total, plus a fifth existing LCD TV.  So we can watch ALL the things!!!

Typically we monitor CNN, the Weather Channel, and maybe HLN/Headline News, MSNBC, NESN (go Sawx!), ESPN or the RI StateHouse Channel...depends on what the news of the day is.

And they're not just TV's, either.  The upper right one can be a TV or a full-fledged Windows 7 PC on our network.  The bottom two each have their own Zotac ZBOX PI320 "micro PC" running Windows 8.1.

The little one on the lower left is actually our AudioVault automation system, soon to be replaced by a pair of touchscreens for our new Enco DAD automation system...but that's an Engineer's Corner for the future! ;-)

Why on earth do we need all these displays?  This is so our news anchors can see breaking news right when it happens, but also so they can quickly call up news and weather reports, type up newscast scripts, check the satellite demods (handy during snowstorms or solar outages), review the program/underwriting logs, or pretty much whatever else you could use a computer or two for.  

They're also real handy during pledge drives, for displaying various scripts, pledge totals, premiums, etc that are good for the producer in the back of the studio to see as well.  Finally, the little LCD TV on the countertop is also tied into our audio system so we can broadcast TV audio when needed, such as off the Capitol Television during gubernatorial inaugurations or State of the State speeches.

Finally, a major reason we did this is because we could do it.  The cost of these TV's and micro-PC's was comparatively miniscule against the workflow improvements we've gained from them.  In fact, the biggest problem we've had is orienting the TV's and cable boxes so that one remote doesn't change the channel on all four TV's!  :)