Joint Master Control (JMC)
In 2015, BEMC and Ohio's Public Educational Television broadcasting partners embarked on the journey of modernizing our system of delivery. Together we created one of the largest and most innovative public Joint Master Control operations in the country. During the pandemic, Ohioans have reaped the benefit of this investment from the State of Ohio by increased transparency in government and educational broadcasting for K-12 students.
Programming Chosen by Local Stations
Programming decisions are made by each local Ohio public television station. An employee of the local public television station creates a schedule for each channel broadcast by the station, based on the decisions made at the local station, and uploads this schedule to BEMC. BEMC employees match the schedules for each channel with media, either located on existing storage or scheduled for satellite transmission. When everything goes according to plan, and you tune in from home, you’ll enjoy the scheduled programs from your local PBS station without any awareness of all the behind-the-scenes efforts of dozens of diligent individuals around Ohio, and beyond!
Local, National & International Programming
Our satellite downlink, satellite download, and interconnections support acquisition and distribution of programming from public broadcasting organizations that include Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Deutsche Welle (Germany’s international broadcaster), and Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), as well as Ohio public broadcasting stations. BEMC downlinks live programs from PBS, which Ohio stations can choose to air live or record for later playback. Live programs include:
- Ohio State of the State
- election coverage
- candidate debates
- Ohio State Fair Sale of Champions
- PBS Newshour
- NHK Newsline
- BBC World News
PBS also packages entire channels for distribution by public broadcast affiliates. Ohio Educational Television Stations currently transmit:
BEMC provides storage to Ohio Public TV stations so television shows can be saved from satellite and transmitted later. Currently, BEMC has 2.55 petabytes of storage available for storing television programs.
BEMC works with OARnet, universities, and local telecommunications providers to extend our network across the entire state with multiple paths to each public television station. OARnet provides 24/7 monitoring and support for the entire network, including working with the various organizations to provide last-mile connectivity.
Public Radio Integration
BEMC enables public broadcasters to share content, even between television and radio. Once the signal reaches BEMC from the OARnet backbone, BEMC uploads the audio feed to NPR Content Depot. Radio stations can choose to download the feed from Content Depot either live or recorded for their audiences.
BEMC uses logging to capture all signals monitored by the JMC. We use the logging system to check for FCC requirements, like closed captioning, but also for troubleshooting issues. As the JMC originates channels for some Ohio public broadcasters, BEMC has implemented a logging solution. This saves funding for participating broadcasters as they do not need to implement individual expensive logging solutions to meet this requirement.
BEMC and Ohio Public TV stations share satellite feeds to provide redundancy and reduce costs for all Ohioans. WBGU in Bowling Green and WOUB in Athens provide BEMC with backup satellite feeds from PBS. This PBS satellite feed contains the most prominent PBS channels offering uninterrupted programming, including the primary PBS channel, PBS KIDS, Create, and World. BEMC, WBGU, and WOUB ingest the PBS feed to the Joint Master Control via the OARnet network using the State of Ohio's fiber backbone. For channels not included in the PBS feed, such as Deutsche Welle, Ohio stations can provide the downlink from satellite to BEMC via the fiber network.
Monitoring & Reporting
The eleven Ohio public television stations collectively broadcast 40 over-the-air channels. As BEMC is staffed 24/7/365, we provide an additional layer of support through monitoring activities. The JMC notifies stations of on-air discrepancies, dead air, poor video quality, etc. Monitoring and notification ensure that stations are notified promptly of on-air concerns.