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 …
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.”
August 7, 2015, 13:58 by dliu
December 3, 2014, 11:54 by dliu
Antonio Prado giving a studio tour to visiting high school media teacher Mike Hendry
As a relative newcomer to government video broadcasting, New Castle County in Delaware is not weighed down by legacy technology, and has been able to leapfrog into the future with a completely cloud-hosted linear broadcast channel.
“That sums up why TelVue is great,” enthused Antonio Prado, Director of Communications for New Castle. “Our IT people saw the merit of not having any broadcast equipment in house.” With no need for a broadcast server at the headend, Prado and his staff can operate the New Castle County TV channel (NCCTV) from any Internet connection, because their channel is managed inside the TelVue Hosted Broadcasting Cloud.
How does it work? New Castle County TV runs off a Virtual TelVue HyperCaster®, which offers the user-friendly HyperCaster broadcast management interface without the need to maintain any broadcast hardware on site. Video content is uploaded through the Internet to TelVue ConnectTM – a content aggregation and management system – for direct distribution to the Virtual HyperCaster (VHC). Live studio output can be fed via IP encoder –> up to the public Internet –> to the VHC. Community message boards don’t even have to be uploaded, since they are generated directly in the cloud.It then becomes a simple task to arrange these different elements into a 24/7 channel, using the HyperCaster’s built-in drag-and-drop scheduling, plus the IP StreamThruTM feature that allows a programmer to schedule and switch IP events right in the VHC interface.
TelVue takes care of delivering the final VHC output signal to Comcast and Verizon. “Our long relationship with Comcast and Verizon paved the way for their acceptance of this innovative form of peering,” explains Paul Andrews, TelVue’s Senior Vice-President for Sales and Marketing.
In addition, TelVue delivers the NCCTV live streaming channel to Internet viewers through the TelVue CloudCastTM service, so viewers can watch directly from a web player. Prado is currently building up a video-on-demand library as well, which will become accessible through the same CloudCast player.
Prado says the feedback from their viewers has been good. “We’ve run features on local Polish and African-American festivals, a weekly message from the Governor, Department of Safety events, and some shorter pieces.” The station also has access to the TelVue Connect Media Exchange, a potential source of even more diverse programming.
NCCTV interview show with host Melody Kitchen
The migration to TelVue’s 100% Hosted Broadcasting solution began when New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon realized the government’s TV channel was not being used to its fullest potential. Previously, NCCTV ran only bulletin boards. Gordon realized the government could do a better job of reaching its constituents, and worked with Prado to build up enough local production capacity to be able to provide some real TV viewing to the NCCTV audience.
“There was a time this county had a local news channel and a PBS station, but no more,” says Prado, and the former newspaperman set about teaching himself everything he needed to know about video production, equipment, and studios. “My job was to realize Gordon’s vision.” Job done.
June 27, 2014, 09:26 by dliu
As an Educational TV operation, RETN (Regional Educational Television Network) is constantly looking to stretch the traditional PEG mandate beyond the limitations of traditional TV technology. Along with partner station VCAM (Vermont Community Access Media), RETN has not only moved to HD, but is also fully integrating the Web in its video distribution strategy. “The tools are changing. It’s a paradigm shift, even though we haven’t strayed from our core mission,” says RETN Content Manager Drew Frazier.
The core mission for RETN and VCAM in Burlington, Vermont, would sound familiar to any PEG aficionado: “Community involvement. And trying to draw from 12 communities around Burlington all manner of program sharing. And educating the community on the use of new media tools.” So says Scott Campitelli, Executive Director of RETN and the driving force behind the station’s transition to modernity.
RETN/VCAM have the advantage of operating in a state where PEG stations are well-known, watched, and appreciated. Vermont has the greatest number of PEG channels per capita of any state in the U.S. – 27 access centers, running a total of 45 channels – in a state with no more than 700,000 residents. “Politicians come into our access centers. Local government officials and legislators know the local access organizations and community media centers,” Scott explains.
RETN and VCAM are fortunate to be distributing over a local telco – Burlington Telecom – which operates a Gig network and had not only the bandwidth, but also the vision to grant VCAM an HD channel, with RETN planning to work with BT for another HD channel soon. Read more …
June 11, 2014, 09:01 by dliu
January 27, 2014, 15:18 by dliu
An Enviable Problem
A year ago, MetroEast Community Media had a problem that many fellow PEG stations would envy.
The channels it administers for the eastern region of Portland, Oregon, were going HD. The problem MetroEast now faced was: how best to handle the transition?
Technology decisions fall largely on David Elkin-Bram, MetroEast’s Chief Information Officer. CIO is a new title; one adopted from watching his bailiwick expand with the evolution of digital TV, and now encompassing audio and video production, networking, computer and server management, as well as scripting and programming.
The Complexity of Collaboration
Before the transition could begin, there were many factors to take into consideration. MetroEast Community Media is actually one hub in a collaboration of channels.
Read more …
August 9, 2013, 11:05 by dliu
April 24, 2013, 12:06 by dliu
Shrewsbury delivers three HD channels to its cable viewers.
Shrewsbury Media Connection (SMC) has the distinction of becoming the first access station in Massachusetts to deliver all three of their P,E, and G channels over their cable system in glorious HD. “Maybe the first HD cable access channels East of the Mississippi,” ventured Shrewsbury Executive Director, Bill Nay, “It’s amazing now.”
It helps that the Town of Shrewsbury (pop. around 35,000) operates the town’s only cable system, SELCO. Some time ago, Nay got assurances from SELCO that the Shrewsbury channels would have a place on the HD tier, and after some re-engineering and upgrading of equipment, they switched over to HD on Feb 28th.
Read more …
February 27, 2013, 09:49 by dliu
The Rutgers Channel is now available as an Internet TV channel in the Roku store
The latest addition to the Roku channel listings is the Rutgers Channel, which showcases Rutgers University’s original TV programming. The Rutgers Channel is just part of the operations of the RU-tv Network, which we feature here as our Station-of-the-Month.
With 40,434 students, the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University is as big as a moderately-sized American town. Like many towns, it has its own television station. But unlike a town, RU-tv is more than a station: Rutgers University Television Network distributes seven local origination channels and a selection of nearly one hundred additional channels to the more than 16,000 students who live on campus. That’s a lot of work.
We’re highlighting RU-tv as our station-of-the-month, not only because of the impressive scope of their work, but also because of their innovation. Today’s global launch of “The Rutgers Channel” on Roku, developed by TelVue and powered by TelVue CloudCast, is just the latest example of that. Read more …