Fresno Community TV Channel Gets Cloud Distribution Service

Delivering live and on-demand video
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The master control room for CMAC’s downtown Fresno TV production facility

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC), a community access TV production facility serving Fresno and Clovis, Calif., updated its system to a more efficient on-demand and cloud delivery model. The PEG channel chose the Cablecast Reflect cloud-based service from Tightrope Media Systems to deliver its programming throughout its coverage region and beyond.

“With Reflect, we no longer have to worry that our internet connection has enough bandwidth to deliver all the live and on-demand video streams our online viewers want to watch,” said Bryan Harley, facilities and operations manager for CMAC. “Regardless of a show’s popularity, many viewers want to watch it on the device of their choosing. We also appreciate that [Tightrope] added mobile device support because, in this day and age, we need to support as many distribution platforms as possible. The Cablecast portfolio definitely gives us that flexibility.”

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CMAC's production control room now features HD gear.

Since its April 2012 inception, CMAC has been using a Tightrope Media Systems workflow — including Cablecast multi-channel broadcast automation for main programming and Carousel digital signage systems for backup and bulletin content — at its downtown Fresno TV production facility. This workflow includes Cablecast live and VOD servers that deliver a virtually unlimited number of high-quality, bandwidth-efficient H.264 streams to broadcast and online viewers respectively. Cablecast Reflect interfaces with on-site servers to aggregate, cache and distribute the media from its scalable cloud platform, removing the burden from CMAC’s Internet connection.

Shortly after adding Reflect, the City of Fresno held a City Council “General Plan Hearing” to discuss recommendations for handling urban development, and the challenge of urban sprawl in the region.

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CMAC gives Fresno and Clovis residents, schools and organizations the means to produce their own video programs.

“Since this has been a hot topic here in Fresno for decades, many citizens that couldn’t attend this particular meeting wanted to watch it live,” Harley said. “Using Reflect to host the live stream, we enabled a very large audience to watch the live hearing with no issues whatsoever on the streaming side. And with Tightrope’s end-to-end broadcast automation solution, we don’t have to spend time buying and integrating separate products.”

CMAC gives Fresno and Clovis residents, schools and organizations the means to produce their own video programs. For a small annual fee, Fresno and Clovis citizens train to use CMAC’s TV production gear, large studio and private editing suites and create any type of show they wish, including talk shows, music videos, sports, cooking shows and indie films. CMAC’s PEG channels are broadcast on local Comcast and AT&T U-Verse systems, and the content is streamed live and on demand to a global audience via CMAC’s web site.

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