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Decisionmark expands MediaStar DTV programming application

Decisionmark has begun shipping full versions of its new MediaStar application.

MediaStar was introduced at NAB2004, and began shipping a free “lite” version last July. It includes a two-week window of what’s on TV as well as the ability to edit content. Other features, such as the ability to program into the future as well as alerting and reporting, are only available as a subscription to the full MediaStar suite of software applications.

As of February 1st there has been a lot of interest in MediaStar, since the FCC began mandating the inclusion of PSIP data along with DTV broadcasts (detailing what’s on a particular TV channel). Many stations remain confused about how to incorporate PSIP into their broadcasts, so MediaStar has become an easy way for stations to become compliant. More than 160 stations have signed up to the full-blown MediaStar application so far. Nearly 200 have signed up for a PSIP-only version (which is included in the full MediaStar version).

MediaStar is a scheduling, communication and distribution tool that allows station personnel to make last-minute changes or updates to the schedule. This new schedule is then automatically is published to the Web site as well as to all TitanTV subscribers. All published changes to programming are immediately reflected on the TitanTV guide, a station’s PSIP generator and other departments within the station.

Stations’ Web sites can include not only their program schedules but also that of all competing stations within a given DMA. Programs are continually added to the Decisionmark program data warehouse and these shows are available to broadcasters to enable them to create and maintain their own list of shows for use in MediaStar. Broadcasters are also able to send and receive messages from other users of the product. This keeps everyone informed of daily/weekly changes.

The full MediaStar suite offers a series of components:

  • Schedule page - users compare programming in their market, copy programming from one time slot or one station to another and customize the display;
  • Contacts section - set up automatic distribution of reports as well as track programming contacts;
  • Administration section - includes setting a specific broadcast day and customized field names.

Decisionmark hosts all of the station Web sites that subscribe to MediaStar and Titan TV, with input from the local broadcasters.

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