Broadcasting Life in the Cayman Islands

April 11, 2016, 09:21 by dliu
CaymanLife

April Cummings, Co-Founder and Producer of Cayman Life TV

Behind the picture-postcard-perfect scenery of the Cayman Islands is a community culture that few tourists see — unless they happen across the newly-launched Cayman Life TV channel on the local cable lineup. There they will find a window on to the real Cayman Islands, where elders teach the next generation how to restore catamarans, teenagers make their own media, and an intrepid couple is determined to showcase Caymanian life as it really is.

Cayman Life TV co-founder April Cummings grew up in the Cayman Islands, and after years of professional journalism experience elsewhere, decided to come home with her family and apply her skills to the society she knew best: “I felt the need for content more focused on the preservation of culture and heritage, and the discussion of events in a more casual format. Besides, I missed my roots!”

Her efforts paid off in December, when Cayman Life TV launched with a variety of local content including a magazine-style feature show, coverage of local events and community affairs, and “all kinds of things that don’t make their way on to TV.”

Cummings was clear on what she wanted to air on the channel. Less obvious was what broadcast technology she would need to accomplish that goal. “The TelVue HyperCaster made sense for me because it was affordable and robust, and looked to be so user-friendly that I could set up a channel without too much experience,” she explained. “I was also interested in InfoVue because we are a really small operation, and the RSS automatically updates our news crawls and emergency information.” The result was a channel that combines the broadcast capabilities of the TelVue HyperCaster with the dynamic digital signage of TelVue InfoVue. Video and information delivery, wrapped up into one.

Cummings says it was important to align herself with a consumer-friendly vendor. “If you don’t have an engineer, it’s important to work with a company that’s friendly to people of all skill sets. The TelVue staff are the best at translating complicated engineering concepts for lay people like me. I’ve been able to do 95% of what I need to do by myself.”

TelVue’s user-friendly technology also frees her up to pursue what she wants to do most: produce good, locally-relevant content for the Cayman cable audience. “I’m having a great time! It’s fun to reconnect with folks and focus on putting the basics of a show together. It gives me an opportunity to mentor others, just as others have supported me over the years.”

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