Insights into Hyperlocal and Community Media

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. 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.

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Adding an RTMP stream to your HyperCaster

January 12, 2016, 17:16 by Chris Perry

As of software version 5.4, the TelVue HyperCaster supports ingest of RTMP (Real Time Messaging Protocol) streams. What follows is a primer on the RTMP protocol and how you might use it.

What is RTMP?

RTMP is a protocol developed and maintained by Adobe designed for real-time (live) video streaming across the internet. Most of us know it as “Adobe Flash,” although that’s not wholly correct as it’s only one part of the Flash suite. Lots of devices in the marketplace rely on RTMP to reliably deliver live audio and video to CDN’s (Content Distribution Networks) and Edge devices such as desktop computers. In recent years RTMP has been adapted for video backhaul across the open internet. Given its TCP based, and thus stateful, it has built-in resiliency when used as a transport across networks that might have some packet loss, such as the public internet. RTMP is also very ubiquitous. For example, any customer who streams using the TelVue CloudCast platform, Youtube, or UStream, is using the RTMP Protocol, and anybody at home viewing that stream on their computer is watching an RTMP feed.

RTMP Push vs. RTMP Pull

RTMP has two primary methods of transport- Push, where a streaming encoder delivers the RTMP to a RTMP Server, and Pull where the client retrieves the stream and plays it back. The TelVue HyperCaster can take RTMP inbound connections both ways, though the “push” process would probably be the more common use case. An RTMP Push process means that if you have a device or application that can output RTMP like Flash Media Live Encoder (FMLE), a Teradek Cube, Telestream Wirecast, a NewTek TriCaster, the LiveU Solo, or multiple other hardware or software solutions you can deliver that feed directly to the HyperCaster via LAN, WAN, or Internet. Once the device is setup and the HyperCaster configured this method will allow you to go live from virtually anywhere that you have a reliable internet connection. This is likely the most common use case for stations using the feature whereby you will be pushing a stream directly to the HyperCaster for ingest and processing.

RTMP Pull, while it’s still the same protocol, uses a slightly different process. In this model the HyperCaster would be reaching out to a RTMP server or CDN on the internet and retrieve a stream to playback. Take, for example, you may need to share a live stream with multiple HyperCasters at once, possibly in geographically different areas. You could configure your RTMP encoder to stream to a CDN such as the TelVue CloudCast player, and then have multiple HyperCasters “tune in” and retrieve that stream. This may be useful if you’ve got a football game that two stations need to simulcast, or perhaps a large community event that needs to be distributed to dozens of places at once.rtmp2 Read more …

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New to the Media Exchange: One-hour special on Opioid Addiction in the U.S.

December 11, 2015, 11:10 by dliu

AmericaWorldA one-hour special on America’s Opioid Epidemic has recently become available for download from the TelVue Connect Media Exchange.

The program is produced by Media Exchange Syndicator “This is America & the World”, which broadcasts also on PBS. Producer Jake Cregger says: “We feel this program is very helpful to many people struggling with addiction or struggling to understand addiction. Thus we are eager to make it available to as many people as possible, and PEG stations are an excellent tool to help with outreach of this sort of content.”

Program description: “Opioid and heroin addiction and overdose deaths are rising at an alarming rate. On this special program, Michael Botticelli, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy speaks with host Dennis Wholey about prescription drug and heroin addiction and warning signs for family members. The brief Botticelli interview is followed by a roundtable discussion with four medical experts about the past year’s 23,000 opioid deaths as well as addiction and treatment.

The program can be previewed and licensed from the Media Exchange.

If you don’t already have a free Media Exchange account, ask us for one. You’ll find a lot of other free programming in the TelVue Connect Media Exchange, like Deutsche Welle, Democracy Now!, National Science Foundation educational videos, Ad Council PSAs, and many local and regional TV programs of a wide variety of styles and topics.

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A Local News Success Story

December 9, 2015, 16:50 by dliu

If you don’t know what the Wa Du Shuda Days are, you should tune in to Lynxx 24 TV!

The colorful Wa Du Shuda Days local festival in New Lisbon, Wisconsin is just one of many community events covered by the Lemonweir Valley Telcom (aka Lynxx) station. CEO Jim Costello takes pride in his station’s coverage of local news like that. “We’re rural. A lot of our market is Madison, but we’re 1 ½ hours away, and Madison not going to cover our stories. So we decided to do local, and that makes us unique.”

BehindScenesLemonweir Valley Telcom has been a local phone company for more than a century. But these days, telecommunications means more than phone service. It means getting into broadband and IPTV. It means competing with the likes of DirecTV, Dish, and the cable companies. “But none of them are doing local,” says Costello, “The difficulty for a small company is – how do you put a channel together? The editing, cameras, going to events – that’s a lot of money. It’s not like you can charge your customers for that.”

So Costello went in search of a content collaborator, and found the perfect partner in a local video production company called Image Pictures, based in nearby Tomah. Image Pictures co-founder Peter Malinger picks up the story: “We wanted to focus on the good things that happen in our community. The Lynxx 24 TV tagline is ‘Connecting You to the Community’, and we felt a news broadcast would be the perfect vehicle for that. So we put together a team, held auditions, and showed them how to do TV. We don’t pay a huge amount of money, but people enjoy doing it. They have a passion for it.” Costello agrees: “I think every town is full of artistic creative people. I don’t think they’re that hard to find. They will do it because that’s what they love to do.”

Lynxx24NewsTeamOnce people realized that making a news program could be fun, the Lynxx 24 news show staff grew from 4 to 14 in just a few years. On Thursday evenings they file into the studio – Image Pictures sets out some food – and in this collegial atmosphere, they put together a weekly news show. People get to see their friends and neighbors on TV, and their kids in sports. Costello says it’s what his customers want to see. “Someone will say ‘Did you see the game?’ They’ll say, ‘Where?’ On Lynxx 24. Our customers will say, ‘You gotta get Lynxx!” That’s what it’s all about. That’s why we do it. It’s fun to have a product that gets a lot of great reviews.”

Encouraged by the positive feedback, Lynxx expanded its programming to include shows like a science program produced by local teachers, and featured in the local press. It also covers football, wrestling, basketball, and parades. People love parades! Over time, Malinger decided that good news is not only popular, it sells too. Some of the production costs are defrayed by offering local businesses a chance to sponsor a show. The rest of the costs are covered by Lemonweir Valley Telcom, which pays Image Pictures an annual fee (“about equivalent to a single full-time employee position”) and covers the infrastructure costs, including their TelVue broadcast server.

Costello has a vision. “We want to be different. That’s what TelVue allows us to do – interface and bring local content to our viewers. That’s the biggest thing we have. With Gigabit fiber, we can stream everything. From the first of the year, we’re going to stream the news show live. We can bring a football game back into the studio to switch between multiple cameras, and record that directly to the TelVue server, 20 miles away, for playout. It opens up opportunities we haven’t had until now. This is going to change the game!”

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Welcome Deutsche Welle!

December 4, 2015, 12:31 by dliu

DWMediaXDeutsche Welle – one of the world’s largest public broadcasters – has begun uploading five new weekly series to the TelVue Connect Media Exchange. DW has cherry-picked some of its most compelling news and feature magazines on current affairs, culture, science, environment and health issues. Media Exchange members will be able to preview shows through the TelVue Connect interface, and after signing Deutsche Welle’s one-time licensing agreement, download these programs – at no cost – for re-broadcast. TelVue Connect automatically converts the downloads to match each station’s broadcast format needs. Because many of the programs have news value, all programs must be used within 7 days of their Monday postings. A new show will be available each week.

Fans of DW’s English-language programming are familiar with the German public broadcaster’s rich variety of programs – including news, documentaries and weekly feature shows such as “Focus on Europe”, “Global 3000” and more. These programs will be organized in the Media Exchange as Series, so that subscribers can get automatic notifications whenever a new episode is added.

Deutsche Welle USA is hoping for your feedback to evaluate this program exchange workflow over the next few weeks and will be making technical adjustments based on user feedback between now and January 1.  Please contact Greg Fitzgerald in Boston at dwusa@mac.com with any technical and program issues or questions.

If you need a Media Exchange account, submit this request form to TelVue and you will have access to hundreds of freely-available programs from a growing collection of publicly-minded syndicators.

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TelVue powering 4K for SES at CCW

November 12, 2015, 14:48 by dliu

The global satellite company SES uses a TelVue HyperCaster to display 4K Ultra High-Definition at its CCW booth!

SES 4K UHD display at CCW is powered by a HyperCaster

SES 4K UHD display at CCW is powered by a HyperCaster

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New Roles at TelVue

November 5, 2015, 15:50 by dliu

The faces will be familiar, but the roles are changing. TelVue is re-organizing the distribution of responsibilities around the company to better reflect the ever-changing demands of developing new products and services. To summarize:

Dan Joworisak has been promoted to Controller, while also holding the positions of Treasurer and Secretary.  This is in recognition of Dan’s skills in handling TelVue’s business processes and financial systems for years, and invests him with greater responsibility for the overall financial direction of the company.

Chris Perry is now TelVue’s Director, Broadcast Product Management – a leading role in envisioning and implementing the roadmap for the development of TelVue Broadcast products. Chris has years of experience in Pro and PEG broadcast. In his previous position as Director of Systems Engineering, Chris learned first-hand about the requirements of TelVue customers, and looks forward to incorporating that feedback into future product features.

Matt Christy, who joined the company as a Systems Engineer, moves to Product Manager – Pro Broadcast.  Our Pro market customers including Cable and Telco operators use the HyperCaster, ProVue and AdCaster systems, and Matt’s experience in integrating and designing these systems is a great resource for this market.

Ben Liu has long been leading the charge on the development of TelVue’s cloud services, and his promotion to Director of Cloud Development is a natural extension of those responsibilities. TelVue’s cloud services – Connect, CloudCast- are key to giving TelVue customers access to the latest in online, streaming, and Over The Top (OTT) video technologies.

Matt Smith knows all there is to know about what makes a HyperCaster work. Matt has been named Director of Broadcast Development to lead the development of TelVue’s flagship broadcast server to keep up with the evolution of broadcast technology, as well as add more and better features to future versions of the broadcast server.

Kevin Miscia has been promoted to Senior Web Apps Developer. Kevin was previously lead developer on the AdCaster as well as the Princeton and HyperCaster web applications. He has transitioned into the Cloud team, and brings with him years of broadcast workflow experience.

Stephen Pasich becomes TelVue’s Principal Engineer Real-Time Development. Stephen drove the development of the ProVue IP decoder, which has become such an essential part of the HyperCaster system.

Chris Garrett, whom some TelVue customers might recognize as a voice on the other end of a tech support call, has done such a good job of it that he is now Manager of the TechOps team.

Please also welcome two new members of the TelVue team: Ryan Mulvaney is the TelVue Product Training Specialist, and Lauren Caputo joins TelVue as Sales Coordinator.

Our customers may not know many of TelVue’s behind-the-scenes personnel, and may not even notice any difference in the way TelVue works. But we expect this re-organization, like any good workflow improvement, will strengthen our ability to keep our products and services at the leading edge of broadcast technology.

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TelVue Releases HyperCaster v5.3 with Enhanced Graphics and Content Management

November 4, 2015, 15:20 by dliu

Nov 4, 2015 – (Mount Laurel, NJ) TelVue® Corporation (OTC: TEVE), the innovation leader in Television and Internet Broadcasting systems for cable operators, communities and media companies today released version 5.3 of its flagship HyperCaster SD/HD broadcast server. TelVue HyperCaster v5.3 includes professional quality on-air graphics and new sophisticated content management features.  Integration with the AJA® KUMO SDI video switcher has also been added, joining a wide array of popular baseband video routing switchers supported by the HyperCaster for hybrid SDI and IP workflows.

When integrated with a TelVue ProVue IP decoder, the new HyperCaster expands the design capabilities of the graphics overlays to include foreground and background images in the ticker design, drag-and-drop positioning of all design elements, and drop shadow text for both tickers and snipes.

On the content management side, HyperCaster v5.3 displays a revamped user interface with more intuitive metadata features, improved search, and easier access to media file and workflow actions.

The HyperCaster v5.3 release coincides with the release of ProVue v2.6, which — besides the graphics enhancements — now supports baseband input (Analog, HDMI, SDI) for scaling and graphics with baseband inputs in addition to IP, and a configurable Autofade feature for enhanced transition effects.

“Version 5.3 represents significant improvements throughout the entire application, most notably: more elegant graphic tools, simplified content management, and improved synchronization with our cloud-based TelVue Connect content aggregation and transcoding service,” explained Chris Perry, Director of Broadcast Product Management.  “These improvements – often driven by user feedback – mean TelVue can continue to provide a high-quality, professional-looking user experience at an affordable price… and the downstream graphics are nothing short of stunning.”

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TelVue Training Opportunities

October 30, 2015, 12:48 by dliu

In keeping with TelVue’s commitment to providing our users with top-notch training so they can get the most out of their broadcast systems, TelVue is launching two new series of training webinars.  The series will address both the basics and more in-depth aspects of the HyperCaster broadcast system and of the InfoVue digital signage service. All existing and prospective TelVue users are invited to register for any or all of these webinars — whether you just need a refresher, have staff turn over, need info on the latest features or are thinking about purchasing your first TelVue system. Each series will begin with an overview and delve into more detail in later sessions.  Each session will have time for your questions. 


Here is a brief rundown of the HyperCaster broadcast system sessions:

#1 – HyperCaster Overview: Designed for first-time HyperCaster users, this webinar covers the basics of HyperCaster use, including an overview of the User Interface, content management, importing content, and scheduling tools. REGISTER HERE for HyperCaster Overview webinar, Thu, Nov 12, starting at 2pm EST.

#2 – Advanced HyperCaster scheduling: Learn 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, recurring events, scheduling or capturing live IP streams. REGISTER HERE for HyperCaster Advanced Scheduling webinar, Thu Nov 19, starting at 2pm EST.

#3 – Graphic Overlays: This webinar applies to HyperCaster users with the ProVue graphics package, which enables the design and scheduling of bugs, tickers, snipes, and emergency notifications.  REGISTER HERE for HyperCaster Graphic Overlays webinar, Thu Dec 3, starting at 2pm EST.

#4 – HyperCaster/Connect: This webinar is tailored for HyperCaster users with TelVue Connect integration, and goes into best practices for the Connect workflow, including drag-and-drop uploads, HyperCaster distribution rules, use of the Series and Playlists functions, and scheduling priorities. REGISTER HERE for HyperCaster and TelVue Connect integration webinar, Thu Dec 10, starting at 2pm EST.


Here is a brief rundown of the InfoVue sessions:

#1 – Getting Started with InfoVue – This webinar is designed to help you get InfoVue digital signage up and running as quickly as possible. Find out more about setting up your InfoVue players (Pro and Preview), getting to know the key features, and understanding the design and scheduling workflow. We will also show you how to customize templates from the existing InfoVue Library to suit your needs. Some of these topics will also be covered in greater detail in future webinars. REGISTER HERE for Getting Started with InfoVue webinar, Tue, Nov 10, starting at 2pm EST.

#2 – Working With Social Media and Data Feeds – Take full advantage of InfoVue’s ability to display many kinds of dynamic data feeds including live weather, social media, RSS, and feeds that you create for outside contributors to fill. Learn how to add new data sources to InfoVue, and display them in on your screen. Sources can be an external RSS/XML feed, a Twitter feed, or your own “Server Feed”.  REGISTER HERE for the InfoVue Datafeed webinar, Tue, Nov 17, starting at 2pm EST.

#3 – Designing Templates and Tickers – 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. Learn how to upload, organize, and design with the multiple media possibilities in InfoVue. REGISTER HERE for the InfoVue Design webinar, Tue, Dec 1, starting at 2pm EST.

#4 – Playlists and Scheduling – Now that you have made your InfoVue templates, understand how to organize the elements you are going to display on your channel.  Learn how you can use playlists for both scheduling and template building; how to build your schedule; and how to integrate your InfoVue output with a TelVue HyperCaster. REGISTER HERE for the InfoVue Playlists & Scheduling webinar, Tue, Dec 8, starting at 2pm EST.

 

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Seasonal InfoVue Backgrounds

October 21, 2015, 13:25 by dliu

IVseasonalWe have just added some colorful seasonal backgrounds to the InfoVue Library, giving you an even wider choice of pre-designed template backgrounds for your digital signage.

Remember that to use these library graphics, simply Copy/Paste the template from the InfoVue Library to your own, before you start editing the template.

These seasonally-themed backgrounds arrive just in time for your Fall/Winter and even Spring announcements. Available in HD and SD.

 

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