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Analyzing Television to Stream-Line Communication Efforts

A case study on the City of Greensboro, North Carolina

The City of Greensboro, the third largest city in North Carolina, records television to monitor and evaluate employee’s interviews in local news broadcasts.

The Situation

Named after General Nathanael Greene, the City of Greensboro is home to approximately 250,000 citizens of whom 2,800 are municipal employees.  The City of Greensboro records and monitors local newscasts in order to pinpoint mentions of the city and appearances of their municipal employees. In order to quickly and uniformly react to media, the communications analyzes televised municipal employee interviews for overall accuracy, tone of information given, and public speaking performance.

Greensboro’s original recording setup consisted of multiple VCRs recording to VHS cassette tapes. Scheduling recordings was done manually on the VCRs and the VHS tapes would have to be replaced once a day. For weekend recordings, it would require six VCRs to record every newscast on all four stations.  Once the desired newscast had been recorded, the VHS tapes would be stored for two weeks.  If a story was done on a city employee or department, the story would have to be located, and then dubbed to another tape for departmental review. David Brown, Senior Producer of Greensboro’s government cable channel, said,“Swapping tapes and locating the stories was very time consuming for our small staff.  We would have to pull the original recording fast forward to the mention, re-record onto another VHS tape and then send it off.”

The Solution

To increase efficiency in the television recording and monitoring process the City of Greensboro has begun using SnapStream’s 4-tuner television search appliance, which allows them to record up to four television newscasts simultaneously.  SnapStream’s user friendly and powerful search technology allows them to accurately pinpoint their employees and mentions of the city in television broadcasts. The appliance also features clipping capability, which lets them create clips of mentions in newscasts for easy transfer, duplication and archiving.  The use of clips has proved the most beneficial; they can easily create an electronic library eliminating banks of VHS tapes.

The Results

The SnapStream Enterprise TV appliance gives the City of Greensboro the tools they need to react quickly and accurately to the media. Added benefits include:

Easy Recording Schedule Set-Up: Before scheduling recordings was done manually, now recordings are set up digitally in a one time process.

Remote Access to SnapStream: Remote access is a big time saver since anyone in the station can access SnapStream and search for clips from their desk, without having to go to the equipment room.

Quicker Search: The manual labor included in searching for mentions has been eliminated with SnapStream’s powerful closed-captioning search.

Digital Clipping and Archiving: Storing VHS tapes and rotating them every two weeks was an inefficient way of storing information. The clipping feature allows the City of Greensboro to digitally clip and store important newscasts.

The City of Greensboro is now able to digitally record and monitor television with the SnapStream Enterprise TV appliance.

About the City of Greensboro

Established in 1808, Greensboro is located in North Carolina. It is the largest city in Guilford County and the largest in the Piedmont Triad region. The City of Greensboro operates under a Council/Manager form of government. The City Council sets policies and enacts ordinances, which are then carried out by the City Manager. The city government also consists of 22 departments that provide a wealth of services to the residents and business of Greensboro.


Figure 1: The Enterprise SnapStream TV appliance Set-Up in Greensboro's Channel 13 equipment room


Figure 2: Using the SnapStream Enterprise appliance


Figure 3: Playing a Clip