September 14, 2016, 08:08 by dliu
Title screen from a TNI children’s series
The Arctic may seem a daunting place to many, but to Taqramiut Nipingat Inc (TNI), the Inuit regional broadcaster, it is an opportunity. More than that – it is a mandate. “We do things nobody else does,” explains Julie Grenier, TNI’s Production Director, “Documentaries about our people and our region’s culture, traditions and activities: like mussel-picking under the ice; Arctic Winter Games; educational children’s programming in our native language, Inuktitut.”
In fact 100% of TNI’s programming is produced in Inuktitut, the language of Nunavik (also known as Arctic Quebec). TNI produces more than 30 documentaries a year, including some that are broadcast on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).
TV production in the Arctic climate can be a challenge
TNI serves an audience of about 12,000 people, spread out over 14 communities that are so remote you can’t reach them by road. You have to fly – and from Montreal to TNI’s head office in Salluit the airfare alone can cost around $4,000. Logistics make communication challenging, but all the more essential.
“It was a huge investment, but every community is now connected,” Grenier says of the development of TNI’s operations. Known as the “Voice of the North”, TNI began in the mid-1970s with radio, and gradually expanded to TV. Because the network’s outer reaches are so remote, installation and repair of anything becomes that much harder, and far more expensive.
Thus began TNI’s search for an alternative to satellite transmission. The decision to switch over to IP was not without some hesitation. Internet is very limited in Nunavik. There is only one provider and the basic speed is 128kbps up and 512kbps down. Still, the initial transfer of radio broadcasts to IP has been a success, and TNI is turning its attention to TV over IP.
“We had to find a solution that would allow us to continue broadcasting without the crazy satellite costs,” says Grenier. TNI began testing IP broadcast in a single community, with the TelVue HyperCaster IP broadcast server and TelVue Connect cloud video management. Because of the remoteness of the network, the testing phase is still ongoing after two years. But Grenier is hopeful about expanding IP broadcast to the rest of the Nunavik communities by next March.
In the meantime, Grenier has her hands full developing partnerships, producing TNI’s Inuktitut-language content, and running what has to be one of the most unique broadcast operations in the world.
August 30, 2016, 08:26 by dliu
One-click upload to Connect/CloudCast
With HyperCaster v5.5 you can now upload video content directly from the HyperCaster to TelVue Connect/CloudCast VOD with a mouse click. The seamless integration with TelVue Connect/CloudCast™ means you can easily upload HyperCaster content to any of your TelVue Connect playlists, series, or categories, as well as map more of the metadata and view a VOD preview from the HyperCaster’s external schedule.
You will appreciate the new Playlist Randomization feature, which easily allows you to “shuffle” a HyperCaster video playlist — useful if you want to randomize the order of your video continuity playlist items.
Virtual Trimming Tool
Virtual trimming of a video is much more visual with the new sliders in the preview player. Just high-speed scrub to the desired in and out points to customize the offset and duration of any video in your HyperCaster.
The HyperCaster v5.5 includes the ability to schedule playout and capture any local or Internet-based IP, RTMP or HLS video stream, expanding your live source options to include nearly everything streamed on the Internet.
For more excitement, please refer to the full release notes for full details on HyperCaster v5.5 enhancements.
August 17, 2016, 09:11 by dliu
Aug 17, 2016 – (Mount Laurel, NJ) TelVue® Corporation (OTC: TEVE), the innovation leader in Television and Internet Broadcasting for communities, cable operators, and media companies today unveiled the HyperCaster AIO (All-In-One), a broadcast server with the ultimate flexibility in Input/Output configuration.
HyperCaster AIO (All-In-One)
The HyperCaster AIO is the first in TelVue’s highly successful HyperCaster Broadcast Server Series to include multiple, software configurable digital baseband (SDI) ports in a single server supporting playout, encoding and switching of live baseband video inputs. The HyperCaster AIO comes with up to twelve, auto-sensing SDI ports, and can handle format changes on the fly with built-in up/down/cross-conversion.
Coupled with the HyperCaster’s IP output, and StreamThru™ switching and capture capabilities, the SDI input/output features provide the best of both traditional SDI and modern IP workflows all in one box. The AIO can broadcast and record a variety of live sources including:
- remote encoders on a LAN or backhauled over the Internet
- networked programming feeds
- RTMP and HLS streams
- baseband digital video
The HyperCaster AIO’s built-in graphic overlay feature supports broadcast-quality news tickers, bugs, motion logos and snipes over all sources including both files and live with optional video squeeze-back.
The HyperCaster AIO supports an optional Simulcast feature that allows outputting HD and SD versions of the same channel on a pair of SDI ports. Both file and live sources are automatically converted as needed for each Simulcast path, eliminating the cost and complexity of file pre-processing, upstream and downstream conversion equipment.
“The HyperCaster AIO allows stations to customize a single box playback server that blends right in to existing baseband workflows, without sacrificing the HyperCaster’s modular architecture or advanced IP features that make it easy to scale both input and output channels in the future,” says TelVue President and CEO Jesse Lerman. “Additionally, the HyperCaster AIO is a great fit for Public, Educational, and Government (PEG) Access operations that are such an important part of the community media ecosystem. Most PEG stations are still stuck with SD channels only on Cable, even though most of their programming sources are now in HD. This is a big frustration point for PEGs. The Simulcast feature coupled with TelVue CloudCast makes it easy to deliver channels in full HD for web and mobile viewing, and to TVs via popular OTT devices such as Roku and Apple TV, while still delivering to Cable in SD.”
The HyperCaster AIO sports two models:
- The multi-channel HyperCaster AIO B2000 – a 2 rack unit box with up to 12 SDI ports with a mix of 5 simultaneous playback/encode channels, RAID 6 Storage, and redundant power supplies.
- The single-channel HyperCaster AIO B100 – a 1 rack unit box with 4 SDI ports and 1 playback plus 1 encode channel.
Like all TelVue HyperCasters, the AIO models include a host of user-friendly features such as browser-based content management, easy scheduling tools, on-air graphics designer, multi-format HD/SD playback, and optional cloud video integration for content contribution, sharing, and streaming/OTT.
A live demonstration of the HyperCaster AIO will be featured at the upcoming Alliance for Community Media (ACM) National Conference in Boston, Aug 18-20.
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 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.”
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.
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. Read more …
November 12, 2015, 14:48 by dliu
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.”
October 13, 2015, 13:29 by dliu
At the geographical center of Pennsylvania lies a unique consortium of government and educational institutions that have pooled their resources to fund C-NET, an access TV operation that serves a spread-out community.
C-NET is Centre County’s Government and Education Access Television Network. It administers a G and an E channel on Comcast and the smaller Windstream cable system, which together give C-NET a potential reach of 46,000 subscribers. The territory includes Penn State’s largest campus, surrounded by a fairly rural stretch of homes, many without cable TV service.
So when it came time to upgrade, C-NET was looking for – among other features – the ability to webstream in HD. They got that and much more with a complete overhaul to a TelVue system, including a HyperCaster broadcast server, CloudCast streaming, and the InfoVue digital signage system. Now C-NET can simulcast in SD to cable and HD to the web, reaching even more viewers via Roku set-top boxes. C-NET has embraced the era of social broadcasting — and were so happy with their new HyperCaster install, they tweeted it:
Executive Director Cynthia Hahn says: “My community is really thrilled that they can obtain embed codes, direct links, and can share programs on Facebook and Twitter. That means one of our partners can put a specific video on a local planning dept website, for example. They also love the fact that I can send them individual chapter points in a video. And I love having the reach of Roku available.”
80% of C-NET’s coverage is local meetings, some of them quite long. The rest is comprised of Penn State lectures, festivals, forums, and roundtables. C-NET benefits from the ability to go live from any of 10 remote locations that can be switched through Comcast. Because they do not have a studio, nearly everything they do is field production, and that is staffed with a steady supply of interns from Penn State who rotate through and get college credit for working at the station. ”They work with us, learn to troubleshoot, and get professional experience. That relationship with Penn State is very valuable,” says Hahn.
Hahn admits she is not a “tech person”, but feels that gives her more of a chance to focus on what her community really wants. When Hahn researched the upgrade of C-NET’s broadcast system, her primary consideration was to go with “a vendor that was always forward-thinking, that says ‘you need to get ready to do this’. That’s been my impression of TelVue for many many years. If something was going to come down the pike, it was going to come from TelVue first. I wanted that.”
“TelVue products and services are in constant development,” explains TelVue President Jesse Lerman. “From our first, pioneering channel-in-a-box playback system, to IP workflows and cloud-based broadcast file sharing, TelVue takes pride in being a PEG broadcast technology innovator. We are pleased to be able make cutting edge technologies easily accessible and easy to use for our customers.”