August 22, 2014, 11:04 by Chris Perry
In the course of normal operation, systems will undoubtedly hiccup from time to time, new staff members may come aboard and have questions, or you will have to make simple, yet infrequent, changes and may need a refresher; luckily, with TelVue Care, you’re covered for all of these support-related needs. But what’s the best way to obtain support, and what should you expect when you ask? The following blog post offers notes from TelVue insiders on the best way to get support for your system that will ultimately provide the path for quickest resolution.
Technical Support is built into two tiers: Emergency and Non-Emergency. As in the ER, TelVue prioritizes support cases dynamically, responding to “off the air” cases first, and general support cases (questions, information requests) in the order they are received. There are two ways to submit non-emergency cases: email and phone. Emergency cases should ALWAYS be handled via a special set of prompts within our phone system.
An Emergency case means you need help now, or within an extremely small window of time. Some examples include:
-You’re off the air.
-You’ve got a meeting starting very soon and you can’t see the feed.
-You’ve got an error that’s causing, or will imminently cause, a production outage.
-You suffered a major power loss and are having difficulty getting the system back online.
In order to receive support most quickly for these type of cases, regardless of the time, or day of the week, it’s best to call 800-885-8886 and follow the prompts for EMERGENCY SUPPORT. You can also get directly into that system by dialing extension 611. Leave a clearly spoken message, including:
-Your name and the organization for which you work;
-A good call back number or the best way to contact you;
-Quick summary of the issue you are experiencing;
-Any deadlines that must be met.
Once this message is left, it triggers the following: First, it starts a ticket in our support system that is emailed to all support reps, and, at the same time, sends your voicemail to the on-call technicians. You should expect a call back within 30 minutes. For systems to which we have remote access, we do frequently start working on things much more quickly than that, especially if it’s the middle of the night (we want to go back to sleep, too!)
A Non-Emergency case mean you need help soon, or you have general questions, comments, or need clarification on something. 75% of these cases are resolved within 24 hours, and are handled within normal support hours, which are from 8AM-8PM EST. Some examples:
-You’ve got an event tomorrow afternoon that you wanted to verify signal continuity.
-You’re working to activate a new service that you are working to take live.
-You want training on the system(s) or have general questions.
-You want to schedule an upgrade or request support at a specific time.
The first step in submitting a non-emergency support case is determining that a support case is needed. This may sound silly, but sometimes, failing to arrive at, “I need to contact support”, turns a non-emergency issue into a total meltdown. I typically abide by the rule of 5’s: five minutes of “brute force” and “sanity check” troubleshooting, five minutes of searching the manual or the web, and finally, five minutes submitting a support case. These cases are frequently best handled via emailing email@example.com, as the email itself provides a great “future reference” tool. Within this original email, be sure to include:
-The organization for which you work;
-A brief description of the issue or request;
-A detailed description of any steps taken to resolve the issue;
-Any deadlines that must be met.
Sometimes, it’s easier to highlight the improper or inefficient methods for obtaining support:
-Replying to an old support case for a new issue- once we close a case it gets archived.
-Directly emailing or directly calling a specific support rep, who may be on vacation or working on other projects.
-Calling, texting, or emailing a sales rep requesting support.
-Emailing in an emergency support case, especially on weekends or outside the Monday-Friday 8-8 EST timeframe.
-Carrier Pigeon, Ham Radio, Smoke Signals, Semaphore, US Mail.
It’s also worth noting here that if you have an issue, even if you resolve it yourself, it may still be worth submitting a support case. At bare minimum, it allows us to track possible issues in the field, as well as relay information back to the staff at the organization if there are questions about resolving that same issue in the future. Frequently, we even have a resolution for a known issue in the field, and letting us know gives us a chance to fix the problem and prevent it from happening in the future.
There is a third class of support case that normally falls into one of the first two, except that the resolution time is longer. Fewer than 5% of all support cases fall into this category. Sometimes, when integrating our systems with another third-party system or environment, there are unexpected compatibility issues that range from simple communication errors, to truly systemic incompatibility. These would be considered “escalation” cases, as they could involve development, engineering and management. While the path to resolution may be longer, TelVue is committed to providing tightly integrated solutions that work out of the box; your experience as a customer is our number one priority.
TelVue Support is here to help. In summary:
-Determine if your issue/request is emergency or non-emergency
If an Emergency, call 800-885-8886, ex. 611
If a Non-Emergency, email firstname.lastname@example.org
-Submit a detailed ticket using the methods above, including a brief description of the issue and any steps taken to resolve it.
-Be patient; we will get back to you as soon as we can.
In order to receive support in the most timely manner, a current TelVue Care support plan is required. For customers purchasing new systems, the first year is included for free! For subsequent years of support, the cost is calculated based on a percentage of the actual purchase price. For more information on TelVue Care, feel free to reach out directly to your sales representative.
As always, we are continually working to improve the support process. If you have any suggestions on how we can provide a higher quality of support, please let us know. Stay tuned for our upcoming tips on system troubleshooting.
June 2, 2014, 09:58 by dliu
You can now integrate the TelVue CloudCast™ player as a top-level feature of your organization’s Facebook page, as shown here in the AMGTV Facebook page:
While you can always use the “share” icon to embed individual CloudCast videos as Facebook posts, this new way of adding the CloudCast app as a tab on your Facebook page keeps your CloudCast player right at the top of your Facebook page, alongside default FB tabs such as “photos” and “likes”.
See the CloudCast User Manual for step-by-step instructions for adding the CloudCast app and customizing your Facebook tab.
April 25, 2014, 11:41 by dliu
The CloudCast MRSS API has been extended to include the ability to limit the MRSS feed to a pre-determined number of recent videos. This was done to reduce the time to query recent items using the CloudCast MRSS API for users with a large number of videos.
You can now limit the number of returned videos by specifying a query string parameter “recent“:
This will show the 100 most recent videos added to your account. (More information on how to use the CloudCast API is available here.)
You can see the feature in action on these Community Media and PEG Station sites using Drupal integrated with TelVue CloudCast: brattleborotv.org and retn.org.
October 28, 2013, 12:54 by Chris Perry
(Chris Perry is TelVue’s Director for Systems Engineering)
Over the past six or so months I’ve spent an increasingly large portion of my day talking about how to backhaul video across the public Internet. Before diving in let’s clarify what I mean by backhaul. In situations where you are shooting a game, parade, or other event in the field you have to transmit that video back to the station or whatever demarcation can get you back into your broadcast system. Traditional methods such as Satellite uplink and Microwave transmission have an extensive amount of testing, research, and development behind them; however there are two main downsides: cost and ease of use. Sat transmission prices start around $5/minute and require a trained engineer to setup and maintain. Microwave requires either an FCC license (for reliable transmissions) or unlicensed transmitter/receiver (more susceptible to interference); not to mention that you need line-of-sight or multiple hops in order to establish a connection.
Enter the Internet – prolific, speedy, and cheap. Sounds great, doesn’t it? And in many cases the Internet can prove to be an important part of a remote backhaul solution where traditional means are not available or affordable. However the Internet does not come without its own set of challenges for video transmission. In this blog post I hope to address some of the issues and strengths with using the Internet as a live video backhaul solution, as well as some of the products that I’ve tested recently and my findings from those tests.
Let’s begin with a bit of information about the Internet itself.
October 15, 2013, 15:39 by dliu
One of the best-attended workshops at the recent ACM-NE conference was entitled “My Network’s A Mess…Help!“ – featuring TelVue’s Chris Perry, Director of Systems Engineering.
As we push further and further into truly non-linear, tapeless workflows, networking has become increasingly important. This workshop was about proper network design and construction, products available on the market, and some basic network troubleshooting tools. Chris Perry is pretty well-known among TelVue clientele, having helped a number of stations transition to all-digital, HD, tapeless systems.
Luckily for those who couldn’t make the workshop, we have recorded it. Chris’ handout is also available here.
June 25, 2013, 08:08 by dliu
Google Analytics tracks video vews as “Events”
Google Analytics is now capable of tracking views on your Roku Channel as well your CloudCast players. This is made possible with the advent of a new type of Google Analytics account known as “Universal Analytics”, which allows tracking on many different kinds of platforms, besides websites.
Go to the CloudCast User Manual for more detailed instructions on how to integrate a Universal Analytics account.
In a nutshell: Read more …
June 6, 2013, 09:32 by dliu
In this Tips & Tricks blogpost this week, TelVue’s Director of Systems Engineering Chris Perry spells out the do’s and don’ts of creating the proper environment for best server performance:
Having visited and worked in countless Data Centers or Master Control Suites across the country, I’ve seen just about everything – the good, bad, and ugly. Whether you are looking toward a new building, server upgrade path, or just looking to clean things up a bit – here are a few tips, tricks, and thoughts on Data Centers.
Read more …
May 30, 2013, 22:45 by dliu
Chris Perry, TelVue’s Director of Systems Engineering, gets a lot of questions in the course of his work with many stations across the country. In an attempt to address some of the more frequently-asked questions, here is his Tip of the Day, on understanding SDI:
Although most of my day is spent dealing with IP video, SDI and analog video transport still plays a very important role in both control rooms and airpath distributions at many facilities. There are however a few misconceptions when it comes to terminology.
SDI is an acronym for “Serial Digital Interface.” But saying something is “SDI” doesn’t mean much more than that. There are actually subsets of standards that fall under SDI, that are standardized by SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers).
Misconception #1: All “SDI” means Standard Definition, “HD-SDI” means High Definition.
Read more …
May 8, 2013, 11:36 by dliu
The TelVue® CloudCast™ video streaming service has become even more versatile, with the addition of Closed Captioning, Roku Analytics, and enhanced MRSS.
With captions uploaded, player displays on/off button
The latest release of CloudCast includes:
The ability to upload SRT and DFXP style Closed Captioning to each of your videos. The CloudCast player will display a button to turn on/off the captions.
Roku Analytics – The same Google Analytics event tracking available in the web player is now available to custom Roku channels developed by TelVue. If you have an existing Roku channel with us, please contact TelVue to have this enabled.
Enhanced MRSS – The MRSS feed now includes more CloudCast-specific details about the video, as well as the RTMP and HTTP format for each video (if available). See the MRSS details page.
Plus, we’re happy to report that there is a new version of the media_cloudcast Drupal module, with great thanks to Drupal developer Emily Frazier! Frazier has posted about the new version of media_cloudcast Drupal module here: http://drupal.org/node/1982788
Here is Emily’s screencast on how to use it. She says this will soon be included in the Community Media Starter Kit Moderate release.
Media Cloudcast 7-2x from Emily Frazier on Vimeo.
April 12, 2013, 10:57 by dliu
The following CloudCast tip comes from Dan Silvia at ChelmsfordTV. Thanks, Dan!:
I just wanted to let you know how Chelmsford has started using our CloudCast player. We have been running into an issue of how to help our producers promote their shows without creating a ton of extra work for our staff. The solution, we realized one day, was staring us in the face with the equipment and services we already had!
Read more …