Upgrading our outdated, Windows-based playback system to the TelVue Hypercaster has brought immediate improvements to Medfield TV’s capabilities and exponential increase in viewership.
Visitors to Medfield TV’s website grew 183% over the past year, including a 274% increase in sessions and a 175% increase in page views. Our viewership on other platforms has increased as well during the same period. We gained over 10,000 views on our YouTube Channel. As of the end of August, 2020, we have 46,500 views, far surpassing our prior year’s numbers.
TelVue’s HyperCaster AIO B2000-12 powers our three cable channels, while also providing us a fourth, 100% HD, online-only channel that we stream 24/7 on our website using the TelVue CloudCast streaming service: www.medfield.tv/watch. Leveraging the HyperCaster’s ability to stream directly on-air from various local and external programming sources allowed us to quickly expand our live programming. We launched Medfield TV OTT apps featuring live and on-demand programming on Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV, also using TelVue CloudCast, to reach new viewers and provide new convenience for our members.
Medfield TV Apple TV Board of Selectmen Meetings
More people are driven to our website now because of the HD streaming channel on our Watch page that has become a popular source of viewership for both the live and the corresponding video-on-demand programming. All of our channels have benefited from the ease of incorporating a wider variety of programming.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have relied increasingly on remote, streaming, live sources. The HyperCaster’s flexible support for just about every IP format out there has become critically important allowing us to incorporate live streams directly from Zoom meetings, YouTube Live events including our Selectmen Meeting, Facebook Live events from local social groups, live event and debate broadcasts from other access stations across our district, and remote encoders. We’re also excited to take advantage of the HyperCaster’s NDI integration as we expand the use of IP video at Medfield TV. The HyperCaster’s native integration with both the Mass Media eXchange (MMX), powered by TelVue Connect, and Archive.org makes it easy to find additional content well suited for our community.
With more programming sources to schedule, of course automation becomes even more important. We make heavy use of the HyperCaster’s Series Scheduling feature to fully automate scheduling all of our episodic programming and recurring live events, including records and replays. This powerful feature alone saves us a ton of time. Shows are automatically announced with “You’re Watching” graphics that displays for live and file-based programs, also with no scheduling required. This gives our channels a more professional on-air look and feel. Another automation feature we and our viewers love is the real-time, CALM audio normalization that ensures audio across all of our channels are consistent regardless of the source. This is especially important when bringing in such a wide variety of programming from so many different sources.
Along with the HyperCaster’s advanced automation, the numerous features allowing remote operations have been a big help to Medfield TV during the pandemic lockdown and social distancing. The built-in Channel Confidence Monitoring and Previewing allows us to monitor all four channels and confirm and test live sources as needed remotely, from anywhere, including on our mobile phones. The Picture-in-Picture feature allows us to place the live channel monitor video window anywhere on our desktop for workspace efficiency. Uploading remotely is also a breeze with secure, resumable, browser and mobile uploads supporting large meeting files.
The tight integration between our TelVue HyperCaster playback server and TelVue’s CloudCast streaming & OTT service saves us time publishing videos to our site. CloudCast allows easily embedding our Live streams, individual featured videos, plus entire Series into our website. The Series embedding makes it easy to design dedicated landing pages promoting our most popular programming that automatically updates when new programs are added. If you visit our website, you can see this in action on our “Popular Series”, “Selectmen”, and “School Committee and Dale Street” pages. These pages have become very popular for our residents, our municipality, and school district to use.
Medfield TV Website Selectmen Series
We also share our programs with other stations on the Mass Media Exchange (MMX) which is as easy as a single click because the entire workflow is integrated with our HyperCaster. The Media Exchange includes statistics that shows which of our programs are being licensed, and by which stations. One series in particular, “The Mike Paige Doodle Club,” has seen each of the 40-plus episodes downloaded over 20 times by other stations. The University of Texas has downloaded 45 of our programs alone. Our OTT apps on Roku, Apple TV, and Fire TV allow us to reach new viewers on the fastest growing TV viewing platforms, all in full HD. Publishing to OTT takes no additional effort. This puts us in a terrific position for the future of television and adds such a dynamic resource to our station that gives us exposure beyond our town’s borders.
Medfield TV Original Series
Medfield TV Staff
Medfield TV’s upgrade to the TelVue HyperCaster has been one of the most influential and important changes for our station. The flexibility, time-saving automation, and ways it has helped us expand programming and viewership have helped Medfield TV adapt quickly during these challenging times and future proof our station. Our community has noticed, and more people want to get involved and volunteer.
Contributed Article by Brett Poirier, General Manager, Medfield TV