Tightrope Media Systems will unveil a new software upgrade for its Cablecast broadcast automation platform at the 2016 NAB Show. The new version addresses evolving audience viewing habits across smartphones and tablets, along with open APIs that maximize front-end presentation flexibility for Community TV station web developers.
The new functions in the video on demand (VOD) Chaptering application allows users to insert chapter markers at important points in the content, along with searchable descriptions of the marked events. Viewers watching the VOD version of a program can jump directly to a section of interest, such as a council meeting agenda item or a scoring play in a sporting event.
VOD programming and live streams are accessible to audiences through the new Cablecast Public Site, which provides an elegant front-end layout of a TV station’s schedule, live streams, VOD content and programming highlights. Category names are customizable and galleries can be updated dynamically based on customer-defined search criteria, increasing the flexibility and freshness of how programming is presented without ongoing manual effort.
“Today’s busy viewers want to not only watch programs on their own schedules, but also skip directly to the particular sections they’re interested in,” said Steve Israelsky, VP Broadcast Solutions of Tightrope Media Systems. “The new VOD chaptering feature lets viewers jump to what they want to see in one easy click, without having to scrub through the stream to find it.”
For customers with multiple channels, the site now allows viewers to switch between channels – for example, from public access to education – providing faster access to targeted live and VOD content. Behind the scenes, the Cablecast Reflect cloud-based service continues to offer customers the ability to deliver Cablecast’s adaptive bit rate, H.264 streams to a virtually unlimited number of viewers while conserving station network bandwidth.
Each Cablecast system comes standard with the Cablecast Public Site, a ready-to-use website that stations can serve as a standalone web portal, or integrate into existing websites. Since all Cablecast 6.1 functionality is now built on open-source APIs, web developers have unlimited freedom to incorporate Cablecast web display features and custom applications into their own websites.
Further easing operational management, Cablecast 6.1 features an overhauled reporting engine, including an updated user interface and new functionality. A new ‘First Run’ report lists all content that ran for the first time during a specified period for one or more channels, helping stations comply with franchise authority reporting requirements.
Israelsky added that whether online viewers are looking for public affairs shows, sports, news or simply the newest programs overall, they will be able to browse and connect with interesting content even faster across desktops, tablets and smartphones. “Cablecast 6.1 ensures viewers, developers and stations have greater control of their experience,” he stated.