Tightrope Expands Cablecast Video Servers With VIO Series

MINNEAPOLIS—Tightrope Media Systems is rolling out its new Cablecast VIO series, the latest version of its multi-format video servers from the Cablecast Community Media platform. With VIO, Tightrope has consolidated more of the platform’s functionality into a single hardware unit while also offering broader live and file-based native format support.

VIO is designed for station automation, playout, branding and multi-platform content distribution. Through a web-based interface, users can control content scheduling, publishing and playout from any device. Further integration includes enabling more software options to run through the single server, including the ability to run multiple instances of bulletin board software Cablecast CG, allowing for the operation of community bulletin boards on the same server handling scheduling, automation and playout.

On the hardware side, Cablecast VIO delivers increased channel density. For instance, the Cablecast VIO 4 Plus model provides six SDI interfaces that can be configured as four outputs with two recording channels, or three inputs and three outputs. This versatility is advantageous for PEG stations, according to Steve Israelsky, president, Cablecast Community Media.

The VIO series’ baseband I/O features support for live, IP-based inputs. With Cablecast’s RTP stream input, VIO can ingest live, H.264-encoded RTP, RTMP or HLS streams without needing an external decoder or consuming an SDI interface, allowing for the playing of live feeds or pulling from sources like YouTube or Facebook Live.

The new platforms also expand Cablecast’s multi-format playout capabilities. VP8 and Theora now combine with support for non-broadcast-standard frame rates for use of internet-originated content. VIO also adds H.264 encoding for channel recording.

In addition to the Cablecast VIO 4 Plus model, other iterations of the VIO line include VIO Lite with 8TB of storage and two SDI interfaces; the VIO 2 with 10-40TB of storage; and the VIO 4, which has four SDI channels that be configured as outputs or inputs. All of these models have the latest version of Cablecast Broadcast Automation software and an option for Cablecast CG. There is a VIO CG model with dedicated bulletin board applications, but does not have automation and playout features.