Field trip to the City of Sugar Land, TX

You just watched that video, right? That was our very own Sam Houston, the Academy-award-winning actor we hired to document our field trip. Just kidding, Sam’s actually our multi-talented inside salesman. (No joke, this boy can sing! Check out his vocals here.)

Now on to the outing! Not far from the metropolis of Houston lies a well-manicured city called Sugar Land, named righteously so for its rich history steeped in sugar cane. We recently visited Sugar Land’s City Hall (only a 30-minute drive from our office) to get a real insider’s view of the city government complex and of course, their extra sweet SnapStream setup!

We met with Brent Neeley, municipal television producer at the City of Sugar Land, who gave us a full tour through the facility, top to bottom. He has a cool job which involves capturing and broadcasting the city council meetings and proceedings onto the City of Sugar Land’s local channel. Plus, Brent manages the entire TV monitoring operation for the city.

Brent keeps the SnapStream appliance powered up and protected in the temperature-controlled and key-padded server room (very secure). But, he accesses all of his TV recordings from his desktop PC upstairs over the LAN connection. Sugar Land has six analog tuners dedicated to recording the four major networks, the city’s local network and a wildcard for ad hoc news needs.

Now, I won’t sugarcoat it for you, this is what Sugar Land was working with before they switched to SnapStream in 2009.

While TiVo works great as a DVR for at-home use, it’s just not brawny enough to accomplish the robust TV monitoring tasks of city-level operation. That’s simply not what TiVo was created to do. Therefore, SnapStream has proven to be a valuable investment, saving the City time and money, as a product of increased efficiency in everyday workflows plus the increased reliability and confidence in the hardware platform itself.