Upgrade to Cablecast VIO servers with Cablecast RTMP service enables new streaming opportunities and streamlines live contribution from field productions
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, August 18, 2022. From its studio in the picturesque mountain region of western Massachusetts, Community Television for the Southern Berkshires (CTSB) facilitates and promotes informative, educational, and entertaining content to residents in the towns of Lee, Lenox, Stockbridge, Great Barrington and Sheffield. Wanting to take advantage of broader online distribution opportunities and new remote workflow capabilities, the broadcaster upgraded to Cablecast VIO playout and automation servers from Tightrope Media Systems last year. The station is also taking advantage of Tightrope’s Cablecast RTMP streaming service to easily and reliably bring IP-based source feeds into its channels from field production locations.
CTSB had been using earlier versions of the Cablecast Community Media platform for many years. When it came time to upgrade its existing Cablecast SX servers, the station also wanted to expand its online capabilities to live stream all three of their channels (public, education, and government) simultaneously. Staff were also excited by features such as Remote Upload in newer Cablecast versions, which would enable them to submit programs from home.
Working with systems integrator The Ockers Company, CTSB deployed a complete new Cablecast VIO system. A Cablecast VIO 4 server automates two playout channels plus two recording channels, while a Cablecast VIO Lite server drives playout for the third channel. Cablecast Live and Cablecast VOD Pro servers power live streaming and video on demand, with content delivered over the Cablecast Reflect cloud-based streaming service. Each channel has its own unique bulletin board – primarily differentiated by its program schedule – provided by Cablecast CG software. The station’s content is also available to viewers on the latest digital
viewing platforms through Cablecast over-the-top (OTT) and mobile apps.
While CTSB has fiber connections to provide feeds from common meeting locations such as schools (spanning four school districts) and Town Halls, they also needed a solution for bringing live feeds back to their facility from temporary production locations in the field. They turned to Cablecast RTMP, a virtual service that brings live RTMP streams directly into Cablecast servers and to social media outlets without the need for a separate, dedicated RTMP server.
CTSB first used Cablecast RTMP for the most recent edition of the annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare. Each year, ten high schools participate in the festival, culminating in a multi- performance event hosted by Shakespeare & Company in Lenox. Limits on in-person audience sizes this year led organizers to request that CTSB stream all performances live. Using Cablecast RTMP over Shakespeare & Company’s standard internet connectivity, CTSB successfully sent the feed of the performances to their Cablecast system, from which it was shown on the educational cable channel and streamed on the festival’s website.
“The festival is the biggest community event we do each year, and Cablecast RTMP turned out to be the perfect solution," said Erica Spizz, Operations Manager, CTSB. “It went super smoothly, and it was easy – it ‘just worked.’ It did exactly what we wanted to do, without any hiccups.”
The station used Cablecast RTMP again to stream a lecture by Congressman Jamie Raskin. While that venue has a fiber connection available across the street at Town Hall, Spizz chose to use Cablecast RTMP because of its ability to stream directly to Facebook Live and YouTube Live in parallel with feeding the Cablecast VIO server for the cable channel and website. “Our previous workflows used a separate encoder for social media, but it was so much simpler being able to use Cablecast RTMP to stream to all of our destinations.”
Spizz also highlights the excellent customer service the station receives from the Cablecast team. “If I have a question, I can get a person on the phone right away who feels like a friend and can solve my problem,” she said.
Ultimately, it is the ability to better serve CTSB viewers that makes Spizz most satisfied with the Cablecast platform. “Our new Cablecast VIO servers and Cablecast RTMP enable us to provide a great service to our community that we couldn’t do otherwise,” she concluded.
For over 20 years, the Cablecast Community Media platform from Tightrope Media Systems has enabled community media organizations and content producers to easily and efficiently engage viewers across expanding consumer platforms including cable channels, websites, mobile devices and OTT delivery. The comprehensive Cablecast product line provides flexible, tightly-integrated solutions ranging from broadcast automation, playout servers, bulletin boards and on-air graphics to Internet VOD, live streaming and OTT distribution. For more information, visit www.cablecast.tv or call (866) 866-4118.
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