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Tightrope Introduces Compact, Multiformat HD Video Server

ST. PAUL, MINN. —Tightrope Media Systems has debuted Cablecast SXHD LE video server, a new multiformat HD and SD video server.

SXHD LE is a single-box, 1-RU solution for video playout that includes 4 TB of storage, built-in branding functions, and other time- and money-saving features, making it ideal for small-scale broadcast operations such as public, educational and government-access TV stations; campus television; local origination cable channels; hospitals; and cruise ships.

The Cablecast SXHD LE video server plays MPEG-2, WMV, H.264, AVI, DVCPRO HD, and ProRes, with no transcoding required, and it encodes MPEG-2, DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, DVCPRO HD, and ProRes formats up to 220 Mbps in the full 4:2:2 profile. Besides having built-in support for all of those formats, the SXHD LE plays video files back-to-back on the same output.

Channel branding is facilitated with video overlay features such as a station bug, bug text and crawls with both foreground and background images, possibly eliminating the need for a downstream key.

The server also automatically downconverts HD files to SD for playout on an SD channel, and upconverts for HD playout.

The SXHD LE comes with Cablecast station automation and scheduling software, which allows users to "write once, publish everywhere." Users enter the program information into the system one time and then drag programs onto the schedule, and Cablecast automatically publishes the schedule to the channel, the website, TV Guide's format and station programming reports. Cablecast also automates file conversion for Web-based video on demand.

The SXHD LE is a lower-cost alternative to Tightrope's Cablecast SX2HD server in a smaller footprint. It is capable of standing alone, or it can control a Tightrope Carousel player through built-in software. The Carousel player automatically shows the program schedule and promotes upcoming shows throughout the day, and also serves as a community bulletin board for campus, shipboard, and community announcements.

The Cablecast SXHD LE video server will be available in the third quarter.