Local governments are rapidly embracing virtual civic meetings to comply with social distancing initiatives amid the COVID-19 pandemic, creating new operational challenges for the community media organizations that the public depends on for up-to-date information and transparency. In response to this sudden and pressing need, Tightrope Media Systems has created Screenweave LIVE, a cloud-based service designed to bring live feeds from Zoom and other web-based conferencing solutions into the Cablecast Community Media platform for cable television, online, OTT and social media distribution.
The Cablecast team has also launched a collection of free resources and tutorials to help PEG stations remotely manage their media operations and provide timely COVID-19 information to their audience.
“The need for community broadcasters to bring real-time information to local residents is greater now than ever before, and as always, we’re here to help,” said Steve Israelsky, President, Cablecast Community Media. “Collaboration tools such as Zoom have been crucial in enabling city or town councils and committees to continue meeting, and government access stations want to provide live and on-demand coverage of these virtual sessions. Screenweave LIVE makes it easy for them to integrate virtual meeting coverage into their cable, online and OTT channels.”
While version 7.1 of the Cablecast platform could already ingest an RTMP stream for broadcast or recording, and Zoom can output an RTMP stream, the ‘missing link’ was the need for an intermediary RTMP server between them. Screenweave LIVE eliminates this need without requiring additional hardware or any changes to the station’s network configuration or firewall.
Deployed entirely in the cloud, Screenweave LIVE receives a live RTMP stream from Zoom – or another RTMP streaming solution – and delivers it to a Cablecast VIO or Cablecast Flex video server running version 7.1 software, or to the Carousel Bulletin Board software for users of earlier Cablecast hardware or software. The Cablecast Broadcast Automation software can then record or broadcast the live feed on the station’s cable channel, while the tightly-integrated Cablecast Live, Cablecast Pro VOD and Screenweave OTT options can automatically publish live streams or on-demand clips for viewing on the web, Apple TV or Roku devices. Screenweave LIVE can also simulcast the incoming RTMP stream to Facebook Live and YouTube Live for maximum audience reach.