TelVue introduced a new version of its line of broadcast servers, smaller and with important new features, along with a new cloud-based service based on those servers.
The new system is designed to enable any MSO to easily create up to 20 digital local origination (LO), leased access (LA) and PEG digital channels. It is also especially suited to support long-form advertising, specifically program-length infomercials.
TelVue's B1000 HyperCaster IP Broadcast Server crams everything in the previous B3000 into a single rack unit while adding a few key features, including support for EBIF applications and digital ad insertion. The previous B3000 handled 20 channels in a 3RU box.
LO/LA channels are considered expensive to create and support, explained TelVue CEO Jesse Lerman. With the new introductions, TelVue aims to make them easier to not only get them on the air, but also to promote them, add interactivity (perhaps especially attractive for infomercials) and – ultimately – make more money with them.
Cable operators that pride themselves on their local ties can amplify their local presence with additional local channels, easily getting anything from local high school sports to 4th of July parades on the air, Lerman said.
Operators can set it up so that local video contributors can easily input their video. Further, not only can the system be set up to dedicate LO/LA channels to any particular programmer, but the HyperCaster comes with scheduling tools that can divide any single channel into specific time slots that any number of different programmers can fill.
Lerman cited a local access station in Brooklyn, N.Y., overseen by Time Warner Cable that has 500 different programs weekly, with that many people dropping off assets for input.
With the latest version of the HyperCaster, this programming can also be listed specifically in program guides. Previously, Lerman explained, LO/LA content shows up in program guides only as "paid content" or "local programming." The HyperCaster now ties in with billing and other back office systems and supports standard metadata, so it goes into the guide with a full description. This has the potential to increase response rates, perhaps particularly valuable for infomercial companies.
The TelVue Connect service adds even more capability. Since the company does all the transcoding and other processing in the cloud, Lerman noted, an MSO could launch a channel delivered specifically to iPads, for example, or only to Roku boxes.
Hosted broadcasting could be equally attractive to very large companies doing a lot of LO/LA channels and small Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies that otherwise might not be ready to invest in a HyperCaster of their own.
When the B1000 HyperCaster is used in conjunction with the TelVue Connect cloud-based Broadcast Content Management System, cable operators can achieve dramatic workflow improvement and labor cost reductions of 60 percent to 80 percent in typical LO/LA operations, the company said.
The B1000 can match any input to any output, alleviating the requirement for a separate switcher. The company believes that capability may be unique in the category. "In fact, some cable companies are using it just as a switcher," Lerman said.
The B1000 with four channels activated is $14,950. Each additional channel up to the maximum of 20 is $1,000 each. "It's pay as you go," Lerman said, "It lets you monetize each channel." The company is taking orders for the system now.