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FISM TV Automates OTT Television Channel with ENCO

By Kae Hester

Senior Producer

FISM TV

Philadelphia, PA – FISM TV is a “post-cable” television network offering edgy and informative Christian television programming for a cable-cutting world. Available on a wide range of platforms – including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube, Android and iOS apps, and online at www.fism.tv – FISM TV features preaching and teaching, news, financial, business and documentary content.

Our cornerstone show, the nationally-syndicated radio and TV program “Financial Issues with Dan Celia”, has been on radio for over two decades, and we started building our own OTT and online television channel around it in 2016. Soft-launched with a handful of shows, FISM TV will officially roll out an expanded mix of original and syndicated, live and pre-recorded programming in the coming months.

When we started FISM TV, we used a playout and scheduling system from a different vendor. We were happy with it for our initial needs, such as basic scheduling, but we had to do many things manually. We outgrew its limited capabilities, and our workflow became very tedious.

We tried a cloud-based channel playout service, but it proved to be a poor fit for our needs. The solution couldn’t provide the speed we needed for uploading shows or changing spots out, and it required multiple steps for things we needed to do quickly.

Having used ENCO’s DAD automation system for our radio programming for many years, we decided to look at their comprehensive MOM (Media Operations Manager) television automation and integrated channel playout platform. Our DAD system just hums along and we never have an issue with it, giving us piece of mind that its TV counterpart could be exactly what we needed. We purchased MOM in May 2019, and it has proven to be superb for our specific workflow, enabling us to do a lot of things very quickly while delivering the same rock-solid reliability we knew from DAD.

The ENCO system now handles all automation of FISM TV, including scheduling our live segments and breaks, as well as playout of pre-recorded content, commercials, and bumpers.  Live programming from our studio is fed to it from our NewTek TriCaster production switcher through a Blackmagic Design VideoHub. For file-based content, our ENCO platform is connected to a network-attached storage (NAS) system. Users in different locations can remotely access the system to upload or replace files, and the ENCO DropBox utility automatically adds them to the media library.

Since we were familiar with DAD, getting up to speed with MOM was almost instantaneous, since everything works basically the same way. Its Presenter on-air interface is very visual, letting us see quickly and clearly where all our elements are and what time they’re going to play.

The ENCO automation system’s approach to replacing cuts saves us a lot of valuable time. Rather than needing to access the playlist, we can simply change the files assigned to those cut numbers. We also do a lot of show replays when our host is out. We can simply replace the existing cuts from our originally-defined live segments, and the system will play the replay.

ENCO also makes it easy when we need to put bugs on the screen. For example, we can take a playlist for a previously recorded live show and assign key overlays that say “Previously Recorded” to the existing cut numbers. In contrast, with our previous system, we would have needed to individually put the key on every single clip or segment, which took a lot more time.

We have been so satisfied with MOM that we recently added ENCO’s ClipFire system to provide instant clip playout during our live productions, feeding multiple outputs to our TriCaster switcher.

Overall, the ENCO platform has proven very valuable to us. We can count on its reliability, and its efficient workflow enables us to quickly do what we need to do.

Krunti “Kae” Hester is Senior Producer and Engineer at Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries (FISM). He can be reached at khester@financialissues.org. For information, contact Ken Frommert at ENCO Systems in Michigan at (248) 827-4440 or visit www.enco.com .

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