Tightrope Unwraps Update for Cablecast Community Media Platform

Tightrope Media Systems has again added valuable new functionality and efficiencies to its Cablecast Community Media broadcast automation, playout and content publishing platform. Available immediately, version 7.2 of the Cablecast software adds support for NewTek’s popular NDI media-over-IP technology alongside powerful new clip trimming and metadata tagging capabilities.

Many community media organisations now use NewTek’s TriCaster or another NDI-enabled solution as their production switcher. Cablecast 7.2 can ingest NDI streams from such systems from anywhere on the network – whether the studio or a council chamber – as an IP-based input source. “Many PEG stations are moving from traditional baseband signal infrastructures such as SDI to IP-based production workflows,” said Steve Israelsky, President, Cablecast Community Media. “Our new NDI support will help streamline this transition for our customers while seamlessly integrating Cablecast into their next-generation video architectures.”

The new NDI compatibility further expands Cablecast’s flexible support for bringing live, network-based input sources into the platform for recording or broadcast without requiring an external decoder. Also supporting H.264-encoded RTP, RTMP or HLS streams from remote locations or social media outlets, Cablecast’s IP input support has been further optimised in version 7.2 to directly encode network streams to files for subsequent playout without tying up a baseband recording channel on the server.

Cablecast 7.2’s new virtual clip editing features enable users to cut out non-essential sections of a recorded program without requiring a separate editing system or creating multiple versions of the file. Using the new File Trimming and File Linking functions, operators can mark ‘in’ and ‘out’ points within the recording to define sections that will be skipped during playout. “This is ideal for long-form content such as city council meetings where there might be multiple breaks during the session,” Israelsky noted. The new linking feature also enables a single shared file – such as a title slate or opening credits – to be incorporated into multiple shows in the scheduler.

While the new trimming capabilities enable specified portions of recorded files to be edited out for playout, another new feature in version 7.2 allows unwanted sections to not be recorded at all. Users can now pause and resume recording during periods such as meeting breaks, minimising the storage space needed for the resulting media file.

The 7.2 software also enhances Cablecast’s versatile metadata handling capabilities that mirror the taxonomic classification features common on social media platforms. A new Tags field type makes it even easier for users to search and organise their content by allowing multiple defined values in a single field. While previous versions allowed customers to enter multiple, comma-separated keywords into a custom text field, the Tags field adds structure that is particularly valuable in grouping multi-word phrases. Cablecast 7.2 can also pull up a list of suggested, previously-used Tags when the operator begins typing, helping ensure metadata consistency.

“Text fields worked fine for most users, but as an example, a search using ‘virus’ as a text keyword might return shows about both computer viruses and COVID-19,” said Israelsky. “With version 7.2, ‘coronavirus’ and ‘computer virus’ can be two separate, distinct tags, making searching and categorisation more accurate.”

The Cablecast 7.2 upgrade is available for users of Cablecast VIO and Cablecast Flex media servers, and is free for Cablecast customers on active support agreements.

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