June 7, 2016, 14:10 by dliu
Broadcasting news breaks from a newspaper
Of all the organizations that are jumping on the OTT bandwagon, you might not expect to see newspapers. Yet that is precisely what is driving innovation at Calkins Media, a legacy media company with new media ambitions: hence Calkins Digital, which advocates video streaming for local media companies to “remain relevant”.
“At the end of the day everybody needs local news,” explains Guy Tasaka, Chief Digital Officer at Calkins Media. “The great experiment at Calkins is how to transform a print newsroom into a local media company with text, video, audio integrated into any platform.”
A short four years ago, Calkins was primarily print. Then they started to invest in teaching their people video production skills: arming reporters with iPhones, and training them to shoot and edit. Calkins started offering reporter videos, cooking shows, newsroom updates, and the occasional news show “package” – all sponsored. Comcast has included Calkins Media videos on its local Xfinity On Demand service.
But Jai Vyas, Calkins’ Director of Digital Innovation and Strategy, says VOD assets are important, yet hard to monetize. “Linear has more credibility because it has been so successful for so many years. Our analytics show the average viewing session for linear video is one and a half to two hours, compared to two minutes for VOD.”
Linear channels are not an easy task for newspapers to undertake, without a broadcaster’s knowledge and equipment. “That’s when we identified TelVue, about three years ago, when we started to evangelize linear video feeds for our news operations,” says Tasaka.
Vyas says it was impossible to ignore the spectacular growth of video consumption. “All the data says that is the direction to go in. For us, TV solves the readership problem.” Yet, Calkins didn’t want to go into the hardware business, and for them TelVue’s Virtual HyperCaster was the solution.
The Virtual HyperCaster is a cloud-based broadcast server that includes all the linear scheduling and content management tools of the regular HyperCaster, without the need for broadcast hardware on the client premises. Everything is managed in TelVue’s Hosted Broadcast cloud.
TelVue CEO Jesse Lerman says Calkins is blazing a trail for traditional print media to adopt new streaming video technologies. “TelVue makes it easier for all kinds of media companies to leverage the awesome power of video. Video distribution technology is changing quickly and legacy media companies are eager to deploy these new distribution platforms with technology partners… TelVue is that technology partner.”
Tasaka: “We loved the whole concept of cloud-based playout. We knew it would be difficult and costly to replicate traditional hardware-based playout. We were saying the future was cloud-based playout. So we were really happy when we found TelVue. And now that’s where the industry went. TelVue was incredibly ahead of its time, and well-priced for the industry.”
Tasaka’s advice to anyone who wants to introduce new technologies to a legacy operation? “Any legacy company, no matter how forward-thinking, will get sucked under by the day-to-day grind, and won’t be able to look forward. You have find things that don’t exist. Take a lot of arrows. Duct-tape a lot of solutions together. Identify trends and opportunities. You need a strategic GPS. We showed the publishers and general managers and built a culture of experimentation and innovation. Our newsrooms never asked for it. Don’t wait til they ask. Give it to them and let them experiment.”
The Bucks County Courier Times on Apple TV
Within the past year, Calkins has launched fifteen OTT channels that deliver hyperlocal news to the home TV: The Bucks County Courier Times, Wochit, and WWSB, all of which are available on Roku, FireTV, and Apple TV. There are plans to launch more linear channels from Calkins’ Philadelphia properties.
Says Tasaka: “We don’t position ourselves as a media tech company, we position ourselves as publishers and broadcasters with awesome technology. We have presented to broadcasters much larger than us and the feedback has been, ‘You’ve anticipated and solved problems we haven’t identified yet!’ Being broadcasters and publishers in the OTT space helped us figure out branding, marketing, cultural issues. You can build as much tech as you want, but it’s about understanding what goes on in the building.”
May 27, 2016, 15:07 by Lauren Caputo
Jesse Lerman presenting the fully-responsive CloudCast VOD player.
What better way to kick off TelVue’s 30-year celebration of broadcast innovation than a reception for friends of TelVue at the Power of Partners Conference in Morristown, NJ!
At the tradeshow, TelVue displayed our 2016 innovations, including the new sleek and responsive CloudCast video-on-demand player and GoToAir, a cutting-edge IP video production application. An overwhelmingly positive audience listened as TelVue’s President and CEO, Jesse Lerman, and Senior VP of Sales, Paul Andrews, explained how to enhance a broadcast with these two neat, cost-effective broadcast tools.
TelVue provided digital signage for the Power of Partners Conference, powered by TelVue InfoVue, which also grabbed lots of attention. At the TelVue booth, two TV monitors displayed local traffic and weather feeds, social media feeds alongside elegantly designed tickers, and overlay animations to capture the viewer’s attention in a loop.
In addition to participating in tradeshow activities, clients and friends of TelVue generously took the time to shoot some warm and cheeky videos expressing their TelVue pride on and off the busy exhibit floor.
Thank you, friends! TelVue looks forward to serving and supporting even more video broadcasters in the decades to come!
May 6, 2016, 08:33 by Lauren Caputo
Ceremony as seen through TelVue GoToAir.
It was a full house. Every seat in the St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral in Metuchen, New Jersey was filled for bishop-elect James F. Checchio’s Evening Prayer. As cardinals from Rome, Italy joined about 900 Catholics from the Metuchen Diocese, local church-goers were able to watch the ceremony from the comfort of their living room couch. Although these local community members were not physically at the evening event, they listened to the elegantly powerful voices of the choir echoing from wall to wall, and they got front pew views of Checchio himself. That’s because this ceremony was Internet HD streamed into their living rooms through TelVue’s GoToAir live video production application.
St. Francis Cathedral, Head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen, is paving the way for other churches that desire to expand worship beyond the local community. In a space where technology is scarcely integrated, this Metuchen Cathedral was determined to transform the everyday church experience into a universally-available event – but at an affordable price.
GoToAir camera position.
“TelVue GoToAir is an excellent solution for House of Worship clients – we can help their visions come to life for a fraction of the professional production costs”, says TelVue’s Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, Paul Andrews.
TelVue GoToAir is a video production application that allows a single operator to act as a fully-functioning production team. The GoToAir software makes it possible to interface with up to three video cameras, or emulates multiple cameras with a single HD or 4K camera. An operator can create onscreen graphics, create picture-in-picture, upload media, incorporate narration, switch between zones within a scene through the magic of virtual PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) and stream live – all at once!
Paul Andrews operating TelVue GoToAir.
During the Evening Prayer, Andrews operated the TelVue GoToAir application from a laptop off-site. Even without watching the event in person, Andrews was able to easily control the broadcast from a remote location attached to the same network. Even before the start of the event, he was able to define regions of interest within the overall wide shots provided by the two cameras, and then switch between both camera sources in real-time with the click of a button. In addition, GoToAir displayed the Diocese crest on the screen at all times, and a lower third graphic at the beginning and end, identifying the nature of the ceremony.
St. Francis Cathedral now makes live streams of regular church services, which happen three times a day, available to the public at no charge.
April 22, 2016, 18:05 by dliu
Scott Sayger (L) and Chris Messersmith (R)
Imagine a town where the local TV channel gets more viewers than ESPN. That’s the case in the rural community of Rochester, Indiana (pop. approx. 6,100), where local sporting events, school programs, and town council meetings are the best show in town – and available only on the Rochester Telephone Company’s local origination channel, RTCtv.
“The viewership is that high because we are hyperlocal. See your grandson in a school program. Catch that city council meeting that you couldn’t make it to,” explains station Director Scott Sayger, who in a few years has transformed RTCtv from a bulletin board channel to a 24/7 slate of intensely hyperlocal programming. “We cover the school system more than anything. Sports, which everybody loves. School board meetings, choir, band concerts. And we involve students in our productions. I work with them on every aspect of video production, from script to shooting and editing.”
RTCtv interns: Chris Messersmith, Becky Malchow, Abbie Malchow
In June two of those students will be hired on fulltime, thus tripling RTCtv’s staff – to a grand total of three. “We’re pulling 120% out of each person.” With that, Sayger is looking to expand coverage even beyond the estimated 1,000 projects he has undertaken in the past year. He was growing his production capacity so quickly that a couple of years ago he realized the operation needed to graduate beyond the jury-rigged PC they were using to play out the old channel. That’s when he called TelVue.
“TelVue’s service and knowledge base were phenomenal. They’re the experts.” Sayger adds that when shopping around for linear broadcast solutions, “TelVue scored A+ in all categories.”
RTCtv now schedules and plays everything out of a B100 HyperCaster, on both the SD and HD tiers. “Scheduling used to be so time-consuming. The HyperCaster has made it so easy to organize our content into a linear schedule.”
To anyone who wonders whether it’s worth the effort to start a local channel, Sayger’s answer would be an unqualified “Yes. Hyperlocal content has extreme value. Some of that is monetary and some is historical. Advertisers who know and watch us think it’s one of the best buys in the market. But even more importantly, hyperlocal allows you to become a more informed citizen.”
Sayger believes that by involving and interacting with the community, television has not only proven its worth, but may actually be changing the way participants behave. For example, council members tell him they address the camera because so many people come up to them with questions based on seeing them on TV. “We have really been embraced by the community.”
April 15, 2016, 12:05 by dliu
Apr 15, 2016 – (Mount Laurel, NJ) TelVue® Corporation (OTC: TEVE), the innovation leader in Television and Internet Broadcasting for communities, cable operators, and media companies today launched TelVue GoToAir™, a software-based application for low-cost, fixed or portable live event video production.
“GoToAir is so easy to use, that professional-looking live broadcasts are now within reach of every high school or college athletic department, sports league, school, municipal government and local community TV operation,” said TelVue Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing, Paul Andrews. “This innovative application allows an operator with one or more HD or 4K cameras to define and switch between regions of the same wide shot, as if it were a multiple camera shoot. You can even capture video clips and still pictures on mobile devices and instantly integrate these into the live production. Your only limitation is your own creativity. GoToAir will support cameras with IP, USB and even HDMI.”
The GoToAir application includes the ability to add overlay images, motion graphics, animated transitions, picture-in-picture, sports scoring graphics and optional instant replay, giving any live production the finishing touches of a professional broadcast. GoToAir’s most powerful feature is the ability to utilize virtual Pan, Tilt, Zoom using fixed position, fixed focus cameras that make shot selection push-button easy. No more camera operators chasing the action with less than professional results.
“GoToAir will revolutionize the way local live broadcasting is produced,” Andrews added. “Ultra HD 4K cameras now give you such detail that you can use any portion of the frame as an entire picture, and still maintain high video quality.”
The TelVue GoToAir system will be on display at the upcoming NAB Show in Las Vegas, at TelVue booth N7212.
April 14, 2016, 13:35 by dliu
April 11, 2016, 09:21 by dliu
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.”
April 8, 2016, 07:14 by dliu
This week’s TelVue Connect 2.0 upgrade marks a significant milestone in the evolution of TelVue’s cloud video platform: TelVue Connect’s powerful Content Management System (CMS) has been integrated with a radically new version of TelVue CloudCast’s Live and VOD streaming, giving our customers access to an all-in-one video workflow that can manage both broadcast and streaming/OTT channels from a single unified platform.
All of the streaming management features previously in the CloudCast CMS have been ported into TelVue Connect, including an improved User Interface, User Experience, and numerous new features. TelVue Connect makes it a snap to manage your Live, Linear, and On-Demand streaming & OTT video channels with enhanced metadata, organization including Series, Playlists, Hierarchical Categories, Video Chapters/Indexing, and Related Links and Attachments. Uploading videos is as simple as drag and drop, with automatic transcoding to High-Definition, Adaptive Bit Rate streaming formats with Closed Captioning and audio normalization support. The TelVue Connect streaming & OTT management features integrate seamlessly with a brand new suite of TelVue CloudCast Videos Players – for Web, Mobile, and OTT.
The new CloudCast Video Player for Web & Mobile has been completely revamped in the process. First of all it is responsive, which means the elements on the page will rearrange themselves to fit the size of the viewer’s screen. That makes CloudCast equally easy to navigate on a mobile phone as a tablet or PC. Adaptive Bit Rate viewing for an optimal HD and screen-size experience is supported across all major platforms and operating systems. The player also allows casting videos to Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay devices.
In fact the CloudCast player is much more than just a viewing pane. It is really a complete video portal that displays all recently uploaded videos as well as Series and Playlists, along with a Search bar, tabs from which you can drill down into Videos, Series, Playlists, Categories and optional Banner Ads at the bottom.
The entire player, or any of its individual series, playlists, videos, chapters can be shared via URL, social media, or embedded in any website.
Better yet, you can also launch your channels on OTT platforms using the CloudCast TV Apps to effortlessly create HD channels on Roku and Apple TV, either with the same content and branding as your CloudCast Video Player channel, or an entirely unique set of content.
TelVue customers who are already using TelVue Connect in their broadcast workflow can now add the CloudCast Option to distribute the same videos to their Internet Streaming & OTT channels, bringing the concept of TV Everywhere within reach of even the most modest hyperlocal operation.
The features of the new Connect with CloudCast are too numerous to list here, but for a complete rundown please consult the TelVue Connect release notes, here.
A few days prior to this latest release, TelVue President and CEO Jesse Lerman gave an informal webinar tour of the new CloudCast features. Watch that recording, here.
March 24, 2016, 15:22 by dliu
Some time ago Massachusetts policymakers, frustrated by the 30-second soundbite on the evening news, started looking for a better way to reach their constituents. Around the same time, PBS coverage of government events was on the decline, due to funding shortfalls.
So the Massachusetts House of Representatives took matters into its own hands and started a media department dedicated to recording legislative sessions, hearings and press conferences. These recordings could be seen on the House website, or on any PEG station that asked the House to send them a copy. But there was a problem. The only means of distribution, back in the day, was sending a DVD by snail mail.
Donald Coleman, Dir. of House Broadcast Services, describes the conundrum: “There wasn’t a time or cost-efficient way of distributing content to PEG at the time. It wasn’t until we became aware of TelVue and Mass Media eXchange that there seemed to be a real solution to our dilemma.” The Governor’s office was thinking the same thing, and before too long, both had signed up to the Mass Media eXchange (MMX), a digital program-sharing “private group” managed by Mass Access on the TelVue Connect cloud-based video platform. Now they have immediate access to the Mass Access coalition of more than a hundred PEG stations across the state.
Read more …
February 29, 2016, 11:47 by dliu
There are now two options – SD and HD – for licensing Democracy Now! as a series in the TelVue Connect Media Exchange.
License the SD Series here: https://connect.telvue.com/media_exchange/series/2200
LIcense the HD Series here: https://connect.telvue.com/media_exchange/series/1881
You can also license Democracy Now! episodes individually, but if you plan on broadcasting them on a regular basis, the Series licensing is much more efficient. It allows for automatic transfer to your TelVue Connect Media Library every day, along with email notifications and the ability – with a Connect Pro account – to automatically upload to a TBD series in your TelVue HyperCaster.
If you don’t yet have a Media Exchange account and would like one, ask us!