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MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, JULY 12, 2018 – Broadcasting from its coastal town on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, Falmouth Community Television (FCTV) prides itself on being a key source of rich programming and informative content for local residents. Continually striving to contribute exceptional value to its community, FCTV depends on the Cablecast Community Media platform and Carousel Digital Signage software from Tightrope Media Systems to reliably deliver three cable channels along with timely information on its bulletin boards.
FCTV was an early adopter of the Cablecast platform, and the system has helped them scale as they grew. Most recently, the station upgraded to a Cablecast Flex 4 server, enabling them to unify their programming and playout operations by bringing the previously independent educational channel into the same system as their public access and government offerings.
The public, education and government channels all feature their own community bulletin board, each powered by a Carousel system. In addition to airing on FCTV’s cable channels between scheduled programming, the bulletin boards are available 24/7 online at www.fctv.org. In addition to attractively presenting bulletins about local activities, FCTV relies on Cablecast and Carousel to get information to their community when it matters most.
“A game-changer for us was the ability to work with the local emergency planning committee to post information that was critical and timely, when it absolutely has to get out,” said Debra Rogers, executive director and CEO of FCTV. “Using the browser-based user interface, we can post emergency notices from wherever we have electricity and Internet connectivity, or even using cellular data on our mobile phones if our Internet link is down. People in the community really sat up and took notice, as there was nowhere else they could go to get information that quickly. It made Falmouth Community Television instantly more vital to the community.”
In addition to FCTV staff on call during emergencies, two members of the local fire department have been trained on Carousel and can post announcements directly or go live on the channel from Falmouth Fire/Rescue headquarters. FCTV’s Cablecast deployment also integrates feeds from the National Weather Service using the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), automatically overlaying emergency alerts as text crawls on top of cable channel content. Such timely information is crucial to residents, given the number of major storms that hit the Cape Cod area.
The station leverages Carousel’s multi-zone layout flexibility, dynamic data feed integration and seamless workflow with Cablecast to present constantly-updated weather information, emergency alerts, upcoming program schedules, social media feeds and more alongside bulletins from non-profit organizations, municipal entities and community groups.
“I think about our bulletin board from the viewer perspective,” said Tony Sadera, program coordinator at FCTV, who designed the station’s bulletin board layout. “It’s great that we can have separate zones with different types of information for different viewers. The traditional bulletin board had one screen, and you had to wait through whatever was being shown to get to what you were interested in. Now viewers can tune in and see it all at once.”
Carousel’s multi-zone capabilities also enhance FCTV’s viewer engagement. “I love that our station’s information can be on the right hand side of the screen, even while people are looking at community bulletins on the left,” said Rogers. “They can glance over and see upcoming programs, so they might watch the channel looking for one thing but end up discovering a lot more that they may be interested in.”
FCTV offers Carousel training courses and self-serve access that allow community organizations to create and publish their own bulletins. In addition to letting such users to get their notices on-air faster, it allows larger entities with their own branding guidelines to preserve their desired styles.
“One of the really nice features of Carousel has been allowing our local, regional and state organizations to maintain their own branding within FCTV’s visual framework,” said Rogers. “Our branding surrounds the page, but they can put their own branding within their on-screen zone. They can use our self-serve portal, or simply send us a finished JPEG to ensure their own look.”
Rogers also praises the dependability of Cablecast and Carousel in helping FCTV fulfill its mandate to the Falmouth community. “The last thing you want to happen is to be off the air,” she explained. “The reliability of Cablecast and Carousel has been superb, and the systems have helped us be an increasingly vital contributor to our community.”
For over 20 years, the Cablecast Community Media platform from Tightrope Media Systems has enabled exceptional workflow efficiency, usability and versatility to help local cable channels, campus television and other community media providers engage their viewers in the evolving media landscape. The comprehensive Cablecast product line provides complete, tightly-integrated broadcast solutions including station automation, playout servers, Internet video on demand and live streaming. For more information, visit www.cablecast.tv or call (866) 866-4118.