Houston Rodeo Success Story

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:

  • Simplify how they record and edit media coverage
  • Gain direct access to TV on their PCs
  • Save time and effort for compiling clip reels

The Challenge

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.

The Solution

Now, the 8-tuner Snapstream appliance provides automatic recording capability for up to 8 channels simultaneously, eliminating the need for standalone DVR boxes. The appliance has fault-tolerant storage for up to three weeks of regular recordings of both local and national news broadcasts on which the Rodeo might be mentioned. SnapStream records directly into MPEG-2 format on a Windows-based machine, and the included Web Player enables users to view and download videos over the Rodeo’s LAN. Recordings can now be transferred directly onto an editing machine, and the effort and time required for compiling clip reels has been reduced dramatically.

Houston Rodeo SnapStream Configuration

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.

‍About the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has been part of Houston for 75 years. With 18,000 volunteers and more than 1.8 million visitors, it is one of the largest cultural events in Texas. Since the Show’s beginning in 1932, it has contributed more than $200 million to scholarships, research, endowments, calf scramble participants, junior show exhibitors, the Rodeo Institute for Teacher Excellence, and other educational and youth programs. Since 2002, the Houston Rodeo has been a co-tenant in the 1.9 million-square-foot Reliant Stadium, the largest and most expensive rodeo and football facility ever built.

About SnapStream

Based out of Houston, SnapStream has been helping organizations record tv for over a decade.

Apart from large entertainment operations like the Rodeo and the United Center in Chicago, our customer base include dozens of Sports teams from the NFL, NHL, MLS and the NBA.

SnapStream is also used by hundreds of others from many different industries including The Daily Show, the US Senate, New York Times and Buzzfeed.