Insights into Hyperlocal and Community Media

Going for Local Viewers

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.”


TelVue Launches GoToAir™ – Laptop Video Production for Live Sports Event Broadcasting

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.


TelVue Launches new CloudCast™ v5.0 Adaptive Streaming & OTT Platform

April 14, 2016, 13:35 by dliu

Apr 14, 2016 – (Mount Laurel, NJ) TelVue® Corporation (OTC: TEVE), the innovation leader in Television and Internet Broadcasting for communities, cable operators, and media companies has created a feature-rich cloud platform for Live, Linear, and On-Demand video channel creation and adaptive streaming to Internet-connected devices of all sizes.  Read more …


Broadcasting Life in the Cayman Islands

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.”


Streaming and OTT Video with TelVue Connect

April 8, 2016, 07:14 by dliu

CChomepage (1)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.


Media Exchange and Open Government

March 24, 2016, 15:22 by dliu

MassGovtSome 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.

MassHouseBcastDonald 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 …


Democracy Now! in HD and SD via Media Exchange

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:
LIcense the HD Series here:

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!


Back by popular demand: the Training Webinars

February 18, 2016, 11:09 by dliu

We’re scheduling another round of training webinars for two key TelVue products: the HyperCaster broadcast server and InfoVue digital signage. These webinars will be useful for anyone planning to get started on either platform. (HyperCaster webinar #1 will also review the new v5.4 features andUser Interface.) Prospective users who just want a “behind the scenes” tour are also welcome to join us. Please use the separate registration link after each webinar description to sign up. Bring your questions!

The HyperCaster webinar series covers the basic broadcast server, plus optional integrated functions:

#1 – HyperCaster Overview – This webinar covers the basics of HyperCaster use, including an overview of the User Interface, content management, importing content, scheduling and reporting tools. Learn your way around the new features and User Interface in the latest HyperCaster upgrade (v5.4).
REGISTER HERE for HyperCaster Overview webinar, Tue, Mar 1 starting at 2pm EST.

#2 – Advanced HyperCaster Scheduling – How to use the HyperCaster’s advanced scheduling features such as: TBDs (working with content before the actual media file is imported), Continuity (default programming when nothing is scheduled), Offset & Trim, Block Copy/Paste, recurring events, schedule and capture live IP and RTMP streams.
REGISTER HERE for HyperCaster Scheduling webinar, Tue, Mar 8 starting at 2pm EST.

#3 – Do More with your HyperCaster – The HyperCaster integrates with other TelVue products and services to give you expanded capabilities such as:

  • Upload any format from anywhere with TelVue Connect; with series and playlist scheduling tools.
  • Graphic overlays (bugs, tickers and snipes) and emergency ticker console with internal or external ProVue IP decoder.
  • Fully-featured dynamic HD digital signage with InfoVue integration. Good solution for automatically filling gaps.
  • Integrated archiving: When integrated with your own NAS or SAN storage, archived content can be tracked and scheduled directly from the HyperCaster.

REGISTER HERE for HyperCaster Integrations webinar, Tue, Mar 15 starting at 2pm EDT.

#4 – Stream your channel with TelVue CloudCast integration. Reach new audiences by streaming your channel – Live and VOD – to multiple devices with TelVue CloudCast. Preview the new TelVue CloudCast CMS, with responsive players, optional Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) encoding, easy website integration and social media sharing tools.
REGISTER HERE for Video Streaming webinar, Tue, Mar 22 starting at 2pm EDT.

The InfoVue webinar series covers both the technical and the design side of the application:

#1 – InfoVue setup and config (technical) – Instructions for technical staff on how to set up and configure the InfoVue Pro and Stick (This only needs to be done once, when you first set up your unit). Use the InfoVue Pro web-accessible UI to set it and forget it.
REGISTER HERE for InfoVue Technical Setup webinar, Thu, Mar 3, starting at 2pm EST.

#2 – InfoVue Basics (creative) – An introduction to the InfoVue design and scheduling workflow. Build up your InfoVue library by adding media, streams, weather, traffic, Twitter and data feeds. We will cover the basic template and ticker design, with more detailed design and scheduling training in the following two webinars.
REGISTER HERE for InfoVue Basics webinar, Thu, Mar 10, starting at 2pm EST.

#3 – Advanced Template and Ticker Design – How to make the best use of the many creative tools available in Template and Ticker design, including backgrounds, branding elements, audio and video, URLs, playlists and live streams. Customize templates from the existing InfoVue Library to suit your needs.
REGISTER HERE for InfoVue Design webinar, Thu, Mar 17, starting at 2pm EDT.

#4 – Playlists and Scheduling – Learn how you can use playlists for both scheduling and template building; how to build your schedule; define duration and validity rules; and how to integrate your InfoVue output with a TelVue HyperCaster.
REGISTER HERE for InfoVue Scheduling webinar, Thu, Mar 24, starting at 2pm EDT.


Stormwatchers, rejoice!

February 17, 2016, 15:12 by dliu

WeatherRadarInfoVue users can now add dynamic weather radar to your screens.  In the INFOVUE LIBRARY is a new “weather radar” folder with regional weather radar html content.  You are free to copy/paste these to your own media library for use in your own template design.

To add a weather radar window to any template, just search for the U.S. region you want in the Media search field on the right of your template designer, and drag and drop the thumbnail on to your staging area.  The media filenames include the aspect ratio of each image, so you’ll know what dimensions to use when resizing.

If you want to mask the color legend and text, you can create a new “shape” of the same size as the weather html, define an opaque border of a certain width (about 100px for HD), make the background of your shape transparent (opacity = 0), and lay that shape directly over the map like a frame.


Producing Live Sports with TelVue GoToAir

February 8, 2016, 13:26 by dliu

HunReplaySmallThe basketball game was fast and close. Twice, the Hun School Raiders came back from behind in the last seconds of the game to drive it into overtime. You could hear the drama in the voice of Tom Monfilleto – he’s a Hun alum – as he called the play-by-play for those watching the Hun School’s live Internet video stream.

Amazingly, Monfilleto was not only narrating the action, he was also calling the camera shots, updating the scoring graphics, triggering the animated transitions, switching and describing the instant replay. He was TV director, producer, and sports commentator all rolled into one. He could do this because he was covering the game with the new TelVue GoToAir™ IP video production system.

GTAcameraTelVue’s new GoToAir video production system leverages low cost, but high quality HD and 4K Ultra high definition IP cameras to easily cover indoor or outdoor sporting events with a very professional appearance. “The power of TelVue GoToAir is that it’s ultra easy to set up and use. Just open your laptop, start the GoToAir application and connect directly to one or more IP cameras via local networking and you’re ready to Go-To-Air. Following the action is easy with remote control PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) – or even our innovative ‘virtual’ PTZ that uses software to instantly re-point between user-defined camera angles” explained Paul Andrews, TelVue’s Senior VP for Sales and Marketing. “GoToAir makes it possible for one person to perform like an entire live production team.”

“It’s the coolest thing going,” said Griffin Ferrara, a Hun School Junior who showed up to help out with updating the scoreboard graphics,HunScoring which can be updated from any mobile phone or tablet as easily as it can be done right from the GoToAir laptop. Ferrara aspires to be a sports broadcaster, and though this was his first time helping with a live production, it was clear he would be back for more. “I’m amazed at how responsive this is!” he said as he took over updating the scoring, giving Monfilleto more time to concentrate on calling the game.

image01Sitting beside him on a parallel laptop was Ryan Egan, Hun’s Associate Director of Communications. His laptop was running the GoToAir Replay module, which let him select and cue up highlights worthy of instant replay. GoToAir captures the entire game – not only for replays, but for post-production as well. Egan also operated the joystick that pans and zooms the HD camera which covered the whole court. Tonight there were so many highlights that he was a busy man. And a happy one. In double overtime, the Hun Raiders beat the rival Lawrenceville Big Red 68-66.

Setting up the cameras, laptops, audio, and connections took less than an hour. Tearing down was even faster. Monfilleto broadcasts different sports from different locations so he packs laptops, camera and other gear into a hard-shell case for convenient transport to all kinds of Hun School events. Go to their YouTube channel and you’ll see swimming, ice hockey, even a fencing match. (Watch this basketball game here.) If the venue doesn’t have a camera mount, he takes a tripod. If it doesn’t have Internet, he records the entire event for later replay.

image05TelVue’s GoToAir video production system is designed to be portable and easily operated. Monfilleto believes the GoToAir system is so easy to run that he can teach successive classes of students to take over production. Mastering GoToAir is a top priority for Hun’s Communications Intern Club that meets every week. For high school students, this sort of technology will soon become second nature.

As a boarding school, The Hun School needs to reach a geographically dispersed group of parents and alumnae. Hun’s audience welcomes the live streaming of all kinds of events – ranging in complexity from the more elaborate Convocation and Commencement ceremonies, to the more modest college preparatory panels for students and parents.

TelVue GoToAir puts live video production with a professional touch within reach of schools and organizations that may not have had the resources to broadcast a live event the old-fashioned way. But times are changing, and so is the technology. TelVue GoToAir combines the benefits of HD and Ultra HD cameras with the flexibility of IP software-based production, to make live event broadcasting accessible to all.