As a central part of its public relations effort, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo creates a daily collection of media mentions during its annual celebration of Western culture. As a result of getting an 8-tuner SnapStream, the Rodeo was able to:
Any entertainment group needs to advertise, but with 1.8 million visitors over the course of four weeks each year, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is in a special category of public relations. Marketing this massive event requires a level of media awareness that surpasses the capabilities of most organizations: the show’s management must keep track of its media presence during a period when an entire city is talking about it. Before, during, and after the Rodeo’s yearly run, the event is featured on multiple local and national TV networks on a daily basis. “We go to a great effort to make it easy for the media to cover us,” says Managing AV Director James Davidson, and for the Rodeo that requires recording and editing large amounts of media coverage.
The Rodeo originally used a bank of VCRs for media monitoring. When this solution became too cumbersome and time-consuming, the VCR setup was replaced with a bank of standalone Digital Video Recorders (DVRs). Each unit recorded or displayed one channel at a time, and in order to copy a program from the recorder to a PC, it was necessary to first burn the program to DVD. The Rodeo’s AV staff would pull clips from each DVD and then recombine them into a clip reel, which would be rebroadcast over the Rodeo’s internal network during the event. While this solution did allow the Rodeo to record its TV appearances, the editing process was cumbersome. The major point of pain in the Rodeo’s news monitoring system was the process of creating clip reels: burning a DVD, ripping it onto an editing machine, and then burning the combined clips back to DVD was extremely inconvenient. The Rodeo wanted to streamline this process.
A DirecTV signal from the roof of the Reliant Center runs into the Rodeo’s A/V offices, where it is decoded by a bank of satellite boxes. The Rodeo runs the signals from these boxes into a modulator, which mixes them with the Rodeo’s closed-circuit channels to create a custom cable lineup. An office-wide RF feed of this lineup runs into the SnapStream appliance. Users on the editing PC, or any other networked PC, can retrieve recordings for viewing or stream live TV from the appliance, using the Snapstream Web Player.