New Cablecast Community Media Platform Upgrade Speeds and Simplifies Scheduling with Enhanced Automation

April 1, 2019

New features in version 6.6 eliminate tedious tasks for short-form content and recurring time slots, intelligently filling the schedule while freeing users’ time

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, FEBRUARY 14, 2019 – Tightrope Media Systems today unleashed a significant new software upgrade for its Cablecast Community Media broadcast automation, playout and publishing platform. Cablecast 6.6 expands the system’s powerful features for automating repetitive scheduling tasks, thus speeding and simplifying day-to-day programming operations for community TV broadcasters. The new version will be demonstrated in the company’s suite at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel (Ren Exhibitor C) at the upcoming 2019 NAB Show, taking place April 8-11.

“While our recent software upgrades have added features to help PEG stations expand their reach  and better engage their audiences through online and OTT delivery, version 6.6 is all about the core scheduling tasks that community TV programmers deal with every day,” said Michelle Alimoradi, Marketing Manager, Cablecast Community Media. “Users switching to Cablecast from other systems have always been delighted by the time savings it offered, but we wanted to take it even further. Our goal with this release is to help them complete their scheduling in as little as half the time, by eliminating tedious, repetitious actions.”

The new Gap Filler tool intelligently fills breaks between shows with content beyond just the channel’s community bulletin board. Short-form videos such as public service announcements and event promos are intrinsic to community TV programming but are very tedious to schedule individually. With Cablecast 6.6, programmers can click on a gap in the schedule and select a saved search comprised of short-form content. Gap Filler will then automatically calculate and schedule the appropriate clips from that search to best fill the gap’s duration. Users can define intro and outro messages – such as station IDs – to bracket the gap, while options such as “Do Not Allow Repeats” ensure that viewers don’t simply see the same short-form clips over and over.

The new Auto-Scheduler feature automatically populates recurring time slots, sparing programmers from needing to schedule each episode individually. Users can define recurring time slots indefinitely into the future and set the Auto-Scheduler to dynamically populate them with the most recent show from a specified project, continually updating the schedule with the latest episode – a massive time-saver for customers running daily shows such as “Democracy Now!” Programmers also have the option of intentionally repeating a single show across all recurring slots and can flexibly override automatically-scheduled entries if they wish, with an event log reporting any such edits that superseded the defined rule.

The Gap Filler and Auto-Scheduler features both take advantage of Cablecast 6.6’s new allowable date range parameters. Start and/or end dates can be set for each show to define when the content is permitted to be broadcast – thereby preventing programs from being shown too soon or after they are no longer relevant, such as promos for past events or last month’s city council meeting. Gap Filler and Auto-Scheduler will automatically exclude any videos that would be outside their allowed date range, while users who attempt to manually schedule a clip for a prohibited date will receive a warning in the scheduling interface.

“We have always designed Cablecast to be like having a savvy, reliable, additional staff member at customers’ stations,” said Alimoradi. “You want to be able to train it, and then just let it do its thing. Version 6.6 makes the system an even more valuable team member, automatically filling up the channels’ schedule to free up real staff members’ calendars. By helping users do their scheduling faster, Cablecast gives them more time to create great content.”

The Cablecast 6.6 upgrade will be available at the end of February, and will be free for Cablecast customers on active support agreements. 

About Cablecast

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.

Dielectric Meeting with FCC Addresses Potential Repack Phase Completion Issues

April 1, 2019

Winter weather delays, tower rigging crew shortages among top issues driving concerns over successful completion of repack transitions; Dielectric to demonstrate auxiliary antenna solution at NAB

RAYMOND, Maine, February 19, 2019 — Dielectric, along with other broadcast representatives, attended a January 31 meeting with the FCC Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau to provide an update on repack site completions. The meeting followed an October 2018 meeting at which Dielectric presented data indicating tower crew concerns about timely completion of main antenna installations.

The output from the FCC meeting was clear: “The FCC will be flexible in considering STA applications, and extensions if justified, potentially allowing more stations to use interim antennas to meet phase deadlines,” said Keith Pelletier, vice president and general manager, Dielectric.

Although significant repack progress has been made, there are signs that broadcasters may face increasing difficulty in meeting phase deadlines due to severe winter weather and a shortage of qualified tower crews. As rigging and other delays build, Dielectric sees the potential for a domino effect, delaying installations of permanent antennas.

“Some of our customers have been forced to place their permanent repack antennas in storage,” said Pelletier. “Stations that fail to vacate their channels in time could prevent stations in future phases from staying on schedule, due to the critical linked changes in the transition plan. We see potential for a serious bottleneck in phases 3 through 6.”

The installation of interim antennas could keep channel phase evacuations and associated linked changes on track. Although this is not a one size fits all solution, there are many more rigging crews capable of safely installing these side-mount broadband antennas.

“The FCC has indicated their willingness to approve interim facilities for reimbursement with suitable engineering support, demonstrating that the interim facility does not significantly harm the station’s over-the-air viewership,” said Jay Martin, VP Sales, Dielectric. “If the choice becomes going off-air or staying on the existing channel and disrupting critical linkages, operating an interim facility may be a viable compromise for all concerned.”

Making an Interim Plan

Dielectric updated its entire TV antenna product line over the past several years in preparation for repack. The company also foresaw the challenges of the industry adhering to a strict transition schedule of 10 phases in 39 months — directly leading to the creation of its TFU-WB Series antenna in 2016.

The TFU-WB Series is a flexible, broadband antenna, available in horizontally and elliptically polarized versions. Marketed as a main or auxiliary antenna, the TFU-WB offers an interim side-mounted solution for stations challenged by rigging, permitting or other delays. This year marks the third anniversary of its first use broadcasting ATSC 3.0 signals over Las Vegas. It will continue to be a focal point at Dielectric’s NAB Show 2019 booth (C2213) as it serves a critical industry need. NAB Show 2019 show takes place April 8-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“TV stations and their consultants should critically evaluate their progress towards meeting phase deadlines now and, where appropriate, seek approval to use and install interim antennas,” said Pelletier. “The TFU-WB exists to help stations vacate their existing channels on time — the chief goal of the repack—by staying on the air, operating under STA rules, until their permanent antennas are installed.

No Time to Waste

Nearly 143 affected stations moved during phase 1, which ended November 30, 2018, with another 115 phase 2 stations scheduled to move to new channels by April 12. While the first phase progressed relatively close to schedule, more than 30 stations are now operating under STA approvals.

“The FCC’s stated willingness to be flexible with stations experiencing difficulties and considering interim facilitieswill be essential,” said Martin. “More than 400 more stations must move to new channels in phases 3 through 6 between mid-April and October 18th.”

“The broadband design of these antennas means that Dielectric can have antennas on hand for quick deployment,but it is important for stations to work with their consultants now to identify whether the interim antenna is a suitable solution,” said Pelletier. “Dielectric is firmly committed to working with the FCC and helping broadcasters meet their repack deadlines, thus freeing spectrum for Incentive Auction winners.”

About Dielectric

Based in Raymond, Maine, Dielectric LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group. Dielectric is a leading provider of innovative broadcast products. Now celebrating its 76th year of operation, the company builds and delivers antennas and RF systems optimized for every TV and FM radio broadcast need since 1942. Dielectric is an innovative, customer-centric organization with a long history of engineering excellence in designing and manufacturing high-quality broadcast solutions. As a trust partner of broadcasters worldwide, Dielectric maintains its legacy of advanced, precision RF solutions while building in features that prepare broadcasters for the future. More information can be accessed at www.dielectric.com

MultiDyne to Launch Next-Generation SilverBack Series at 2019 NAB Show

April 1, 2019

Market-leading camera-mounted fiber transport family now addresses virtually all production verticals across broadcast, cinema and professional AV markets

Hauppauge, NY, February 20, 2019MultiDyne Fiber Optic Solutions will refresh its market-leading SilverBack series of camera-mounted fiber transport solutions at the 2019 NAB Show with three additions to serve live production needs across all budgets. The updated series, anchored by the now-shipping, IP-enabled SilverBack V, includes the global debut of two models that extend MultiDyne’s reach into new production verticals. MultiDyne will demonstrate all three systems at Booth C5013 from April 8-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The SilverBack V broke ground in the convergence of fiber and IP-based production workflows upon its introduction in 2018. The industry’s first 12G- and 4K-capable camera-back system to incorporate an IP output, the SilverBack V offers a gateway to multipoint IP networks, enabling users to move field-acquired content to many destinations. Broadcasters and content producers can send video, audio and data captured on location to studios, post houses and mobile production trucks at once, for example.

The SilverBack V remains the high-end option for broadcast and digital cinema customers working with Ultra HD resolutions. Its optimized bandwidth efficiency reliably accommodates the high data rates that live 4K and 8K productions require — a substantial benefit for live sports, concerts, and motion picture productions.

New for NAB, MultiDyne has added power management capabilities to the SilverBack V that eliminates the need for external power supplies. This will prove especially valuable for camera operators and cinematographers for powering focus, iris and zoom directly from the unit without risk of power supply failure. The compact, lightweight design also supports two camera heads that are configurable to today’s leading cameras, with a common, integrated multiviewer to monitor both cameras.

MultiDyne will additionally introduce the SilverBack HP, a re-imagined version of the popular SilverBack II fiber transceiver that adds two-channel intercom and Ethernet alongside video, audio, and data. Like its predecessor, the SilverBack HP provides  robust, full bandwidth fiber-optic links for 3G, HD and SDI signals from the field to a truck, control room or other receive point along with genlock, tally and audio.

MultiDyne will also extend the operational benefits of SilverBack to commercial AV and smaller event productions for the first time with SilverBack Pro. The SilverBack Pro offers the same engineering innovation, live production benefits and ease of use associated with all SilverBack products at a much lower cost. This provides worship facilities, corporations and K-12/higher education systems with a highly configurable camera-back fiber transport system to cover live performances, presentations, lectures and high school/college sports at an affordable price point.

MultiDyne President Frank Jachetta notes that the popularity of the SilverBack line inspired the company to diversify the product line, with specific models and price points that can serve a much broader customer base.

“All three of our next-generation SilverBack systems integrate the same user-friendly features, interfaces and menus, with just the right amount of signal density and networking capabilities to serve each price point,” said Jachetta. “Whether the customer is using SilverBack for professional AV applications, cinematography, or the largest, mission-critical live broadcasts, the model that suits their needs will offer the same flexible, project-to-project configurability for their signal acquisition goals in the field.”

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About MultiDyne

With over 40 years of experience serving the Broadcasters and video production communities worldwide, MultiDyne Fiber Optic Systems leads the industry in developing pioneering signal conversion and fiber-optic-based transport systems for the broadcast, cable, satellite, production, digital cinema, pro A/V, corporate, retail, surveillance, teleconferencing, judicial arraignment, transportation, government, military, and healthcare markets.

Atlona Updates and Expands Accredited Training Programs

April 1, 2019

AV professionals earn industry credits and certifications while broadening their knowledge of AV over IP technology and transitions

SAN JOSE, Calif., February 20, 2019 – As the demand grows for professional training and certification in the AV over IP industry, Atlona has updated and expanded the quality, relevance, and value of the accredited online courses offered through the Atlona Education Portal.

Business meeting in a modern office

Specifically, Atlona has streamlined and revised its 100 and 200 level online certification courses. These changes provide the most up-to-date instruction and information for rolling out, configuring, and using Atlona’s complete suite of AV over IP products and solutions. Atlona has also added new accredited courses for its Velocity™ IP-based control AV control platform.

“This update aligns with the evolution of Atlona as a company, as we help our customers transition from foundational HDMI and HDBaseT technologies to IP networks,” said Ken Eagle, Director of Field Training and Technical Sales, Atlona. “AV professionals will now gain comprehensive knowledge, tools, and industry best practices on the entire end-to-end process. This spans the design, rollout, and integration of AV over IP systems, as well as set-up, management and control of the underlying AV network.

The Atlona Education Portal is one of many training resources Atlona offers. Atlona’s overarching goals are to teach established and aspiring AV industry professionals how to maximize the company’s industry-leading AV and control solutions, as well as the broader array of AV over IP technologies on the market today. Atlona also offers a video on demand Education Video Library and periodic webinars.

For those seeking more personalized training and hands-on product experience, Atlona will offer eight Atlona AV Factory Training events in 2019, including four to be held at its San Jose, CA headquarters. Internationally, Atlona will offer four multi-lingual events at its Zurich facility in English, French, or German. Eagle expects to also announce up to 18 dates for Atlona’s 2019 Roadshow.

Atlona’s current course offerings has been updated to include 100-Technology Specialist, 200-Atlona Certified Technology, AV over IP-Technical Networking Certification, and Velocity Control Certification. The newly revised course materials, as well as quizzes and tests, have been approved for AVIXA and CEDIA certifications and credits. These credentials, which are awarded upon completion of a course or program, signify the qualifications achieved by AV professionals, and are especially valuable to those seeking to advance within the industry.

“We’re offering free, award-winning training, industry accreditation, and occasionally, an opportunity to win rewards such as select Atlona products,” said Eagle. “Most importantly, AV professionals acquire an invaluable understanding of the key technologies that empower the networked AV user community.”

The Atlona Education Portal is accessible to anyone at http://www.atlona.com/training.

About Atlona

Atlona, a Panduit company, is a leading global manufacturer of AV over IP distribution, connectivity, and control solutions. The company designs and engineers innovative, award-winning products for a diverse range of residential and commercial AV and IT markets. Backed by an award-winning 10-year warranty, Atlona’s products are developed to enable our customers’ ability to connect and collaborate with simplicity. More information about Atlona is available at atlona.com.

About Panduit

Global connectivity leader Panduit Corp. creates innovative electrical and network infrastructure solutions for applications across the enterprise. Headquartered in Tinley Park, Ill. and operating in 112 worldwide locations, Panduit’s technology leadership and robust ecosystem help support, sustain, and empower business growth in a connected world. panduit.com

 

Barix Introduces Silence Monitor with Cloud Service for Broadcast Audio Quality Assurance at NAB 2019

April 1, 2019

New device overcomes network connection issues with backup signaling connectivity to ensure alarm continuity, with pre-alarm audio clip capture for troubleshooting

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, February 20, 2019 — Audio over IP innovator Barix will unveil the company’s new Silence Monitor solution at the 2019 NAB Show, reaffirming its commitment to assured connectivity with active monitoring of live audio broadcasts. Silence Monitor is a web-accessible, analog-input audio monitoring device that delivers the highest levels of quality assurance, monitoring audio streams 24/7 and sending real-time alerts when an outage or silence is detected.

Barix will showcase the new product in booth C1139 at the event, which takes place April 6-11 in Las Vegas.

Unlike other solutions on the market, Silence Monitor does more than just detect silence—it also captures and sends a 10-second pre-alarm audio clip that users can listen to and analyze to determine what might have happened before the error occurred. In addition, Silence Monitor offers optional LTE 4G/ 3G/ NB-IoT transmission for RF out-of-band connectivity. This backup communication link ensures alarm detection signals are transmitted, even in the event of an IPnetwork outage. Other products with silence detection send alarm notifications over the same network where the audio should be transported—a definite limitation. Silence Monitor allows the use of both local and out-of-band connection technology at the same time for robust reliability.

Silence Monitor checks transmission and monitors broadcast streams continuously, sending immediate alerts to the user’s email or mobile device via SMS/text message. Once users receive a notification, they can click on the link provided in the message to automatically stream the last audio transmission.

Users can monitor the status of the network and transmission online through a cloud-based management portal. Silence Monitor devices and alarms can be easily managed through the portal, and a full overview history of logs and audio clips is available for all connected sites. Users can also listen live to the audio at each monitoring site through the web-based interface, with specific location designations identifying points quickly and easily.

“Silence Monitor is designed to offer a cost-effective, quality assurance monitoring tool for broadcast transmissions,” said Reto Brader, CEO, Barix. “Broadcasters need affordable monitoring and prefer a decoded audio signal so they can receive alarms at an affordable cost. They need to be sure their audio signals arrive as intended, and it’s not just silence being delivered. Combining an independent network for backup alerting with a pre-alarm audio clip and the power of the cloud bolsters reliability while making troubleshooting easier.”

Barix: We Move Audio (www.barix.com)

Barix supplies simple and reliable solutions and components to systems integrators and end users worldwide.  We move high-quality audio across IP networks, adding value to customer solutions for more than a decade with hundreds of thousands of devices installed worldwide.  Background music distribution with dynamic advertising insertion for retail shops, bars and hotels; public address solutions for schools and public spaces; and intercom and entry systems for facility surveillance, protection and security are among the many applications of Barix solutions.  Barix also supports OEM projects for a number of Global 500 listed companies serving many industries worldwide.

 

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