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Looking to overcome streaming-related issues with its existing automation and playout solutions, Massachusetts broadcaster Holden Community Television (HCTV) turned to the comprehensive Cablecast Community Media platform from Tightrope Media Systems. Since going live at HCTV last April, the Cablecast solution has met all of the station’s online objectives while also bringing significant workflow improvements and time savings to their cable and bulletin board operations.
“Our main motivation for changing platforms was to improve our streaming,” said Jay Brunetta, public access director at HCTV. “Our streams were often being interrupted or failing, requiring us to restart them. Our existing system could also only create one stream, and we wanted to start streaming both our public access and educational channels.”
HCTV had used another vendor’s solutions for many years, but found that company’s offerings becoming increasingly outdated. Brunetta researched alternatives and found Tightrope’s Cablecast to be a great fit. “Cablecast already had all of the things we were looking for, while our previous supplier was still just promising them for future,” he said. “It was clearly time for me to move in a different direction. I really liked the Cablecast Broadcast Automation software’s clean, user-friendly and modern-looking interface, and I also liked how seamlessly Cablecast and the Carousel Digital Signage software work together.”
HCTV purchased the Cablecast software and a Cablecast Flex 4 video server for scheduling, automation and playout, while two Cablecast Live servers and a Cablecast Pro VOD system create high-quality, bandwidth-efficient live streams and on-demand clips for online and mobile viewing. The cloud-based Cablecast Reflect service dependably delivers HCTV’s live streams and VOD clips to a virtually unlimited number of viewers with minimal impact on the station’s network. Rounding out the deployment, Carousel Digital Signage systems power HCTV’s three community bulletin boards. All of the systems were supplied and installed by audiovisual integrator HB Communications.
In addition to bolstering the reliability of HCTV’s streams, Cablecast has also simplified and automated the station’s online publishing workflows. “We just select which programs will be available on-demand or streamed live when we schedule them, and Cablecast automatically makes them available on our website, which we built on Cablecast’s included dynamic web templates,” explained Brunetta. “That eliminates a tremendous amount of manual effort, and allows us to get shows online much faster after their first live broadcast.”
HCTV found similar efficiency gains for both creating and publishing the station’s program schedules. “Scheduling is much smoother, faster and easier with Cablecast,” said Brunetta. “I can now search for when shows are running, and copy and paste blocks of shows between days. And while other systems required us to publish our schedules separately for each platform, Cablecast does it automatically for both our website and bulletin boards.”
Brunetta pointed to additional product features such as the Cablecast Flex server’s flexible codec support, Carousel’s dynamic external data integration and Cablecast’s platform-independent remote accessibility as delivering tangible benefits, but saved some of his highest praise for Cablecast’s technical support team. “Our customer service experience has been excellent,” he lauded. “We aren’t very engineering-savvy, but our old vendor had us doing a lot of troubleshooting and updates ourselves. The Cablecast team is very responsive and takes care of any problems for us, logging into our systems remotely as needed. That’s a big deal for us.
Already very satisfied today, Brunetta is also excited about HCTV’s future with Cablecast. “Cablecast has met all of our goals so far, and has enabled a 70 to 80 percent reduction in the time we spend scheduling, creating bulletins, and publishing online content,” he summarized. “I love that they are constantly working on further improvements and enhancements, which gives us great confidence in the platform for the future.”
About Cablecast Community Media
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.