Leightonix Inc.’s PEG Central in action Webstreaming has become the latest tool available to public, education and government channels to help them reach the widest audience possible, including providing content to viewers who not only leave a channel’s immediate broadcast area, but who also leave the state.
In order to stream content, PEG stations have some options, which include engaging a service to conduct the webstreaming for the station, or acquiring the appropriate equipment and having the station’s staff conduct the streaming.
For those PEG stations interested in contracting a service to conduct its webstreaming, there is Leightonix Inc.’s PEG Central service.
PEG Central provides a PEG channel with the opportunity to increase its audience by having content that is broadcast over the local cable channel, to be placed online, said Bruce Morrison, Leightonix Inc.’s national sales manager.
The content can be a graduation ceremony, a ballgame or any a community event. By placing those activities online the event can be viewed in other states, not only expanding the viewing audience for those channels, but also promoting the town.
In addition, Leightonix provides PEG Central users with a website, which is designed to make it easy for the user to get their videos online, Morrison said. “They send us a video. Then we post it,” he said.
PEG Central also automatically creates “thumbnails” of all the videos. Viewers can access the videos using metadata attached to the video including the title, subject matter or even the index points of a city-council meeting agenda, Morrison said. Viewers can use the metadata to find a specific point in the video “and jump right to that point, rather than searching through the video to find the topic of interest,” he said.
According to Morrison, clients have expressed concerns about their websites crashing if a video attracts a lot of viewers. “We take care of all the bandwidth required, so it doesn’t drain or drag down their bandwidth and otherwise slow down their online infrastructure and affect their day-to-day operations,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons we host it for them.”
THE EQUIPMENT OPTION
PEG channels interested in conducting their own webstreaming can acquire Tightrope Media Systems’ Cablecast SX LE, said Steve Israelsky, the company’s product manager. The Cablecast SX LE video server is basically a multiformat video server designed for PEG channels. It will play out almost any file format that an access producer provides, he said.
The Cablecast SX LE operates from a Web browser, which is used to upload content into the system. It uses standard Windows networking tools and transfers content from server to server, including from an editing server to a playout server.
The video servers play HD file types, including from DVCPRO, DVCAM, DV QuickTime and MPEg-4 H.264.
“So anything that a producer will throw at it, it will play,” said Israelsky. Other features of the Cablecast SX LE include automatic conversion of SD footage for playing on an HD channel; and it will do the same when it comes to converting HD footage into SD. It also handles closed captioning in both SD and HD.
In addition, the Cablecast SX LE has an encoder built into it making it a video server with an encoder, which enables a user to encode video for playout, Israelsky said. The unit also has built-in graphics and a crawl with both foreground and background images.
Tightrope Media Systems: