Pittsfield Community TV Enhances Ops With Tightrope Media Systems
March 19, 2012
ST. PAUL, MINN.: Tightrope
Media Systems is helping Pittsfield Community Television in Massachusetts more efficiently
automate content across three cable channels using the company’s range of Cablecast
automation and video server solutions.
PCTV, serving the Pittsfield, Dalton and Richmond communities,
produces and broadcasts programming for three distinct channels: Access Pittsfield,
a public access channel; Pittsfield ETV, showing educational programming; and government
programming channel Citylink. Each station offers interactive bulletin boards, video-on-demand
and live web streaming—all enabled through Tightrope Media solutions.
A longtime Cablecast customer, PCTV added Tightrope Media’s new
Cablecast SXHD platform to incorporate high-definition programming. The Cablecast
SXHD video server supports three channels (one in, two out), multi-format SD/HD
encoding and decoding, and built-in content storage (16TB). PCTV has also established
file-based workflows using Cablecast SXHD, allowing the facility to work more efficiently
by moving away from tape-based studio operations.
In addition to program scheduling and playout, Cablecast SXHD
incorporates Tightrope Media’s Carousel digital signage application to manage program
graphics, channel logo insertion and bulletin board content created both in-house
and from the community.
The Cablecast SXHD video server supports native playout of many
different file formats, including MPEG2 I-Frame only (up to 100Mbps) and DVCPro
HD and SD. This helps PCTV retain video quality and eliminate cumbersome content
transcoding processes that many facilities experience upon migration to file-based
Shawn Serre, chief engineer, Pittsfield Community Television,
adds that the efficiencies extend well beyond internal processes and onto the greater
community through the interactive capabilities of Carousel.
“The built-in Carousel Framework allows viewers, as well as educational
and government users, to create and submit messages for broadcast on the bulletin
boards,” Serre said. “These are displayed to 20,000 households along with community
info, weather data, RSS feeds and other content. Carousel also informs viewers about
upcoming programs and schedules. It’s very vital to the workflow.”
Serre notes that Tightrope Media Systems has grown along with
PCTV as it moves away from being strictly appointment television. Cablecast SXHD’s
automated operation extends to Cablecast video-on-demand and live streaming.