Latest Developments in TV Monitoring Software and Technology on SnapStream's TV Searcher Blog

Archive for the 'Local TV stations' Category

Monitoring TV channels with PEG Funds

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Recently, I attended the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO) conference in College Station, TX. There was one session that really grabbed my attention, it was the session amazingly named: “Better than beer money! 101 ways to spend your PEG funds.” Based on the reaction and conversation that I heard regarding this session, I knew that this was one that I definitely wanted to attend!

What are PEG Funds?

PEG funds are simply funds that are provided to a local government to help support their public access channel(s). These funds can be easily applied to capital expenditures for the channel, for items such as cameras, lights, audio equipment and so forth. The main stipulation for the use of the funds is that they have to be used for broadcasting and running the channel. So, what other projects could these funds be used for? SnapStream?

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SnapStream TV Search in Action: Plane Crash in the Hudson

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

I was deep in marketing-land on Thursday (also known as “writing a case study”), when I heard about the US Airways plane that crash-landed in the Hudson. I grew up in Houston, but lived in NYC for 5 years and moved back last year. I still have lots of friends there…so when I hear news like that coming out of NY I still feel like it’s My News and it feels personal. Within minutes, my boss showed me that rescue picture that Janis Krums took from the ferry and posted to Twitter. I was really amazed by how quickly that picture got out. I watched as the number of “views” went from the dozens to the thousands. It was posted and cross-posted on lots of different blogs as the page views overloaded the Twitter server. Twitter is an amazing thing. I posted it to my Facebook page; I had friends in NY who learned of the plane crash from my Facebook post. Incredible.

A few minutes later, I ran across an article on Silicon Alley Insider, “U.S. Airways Crash Rescue Picture: Citizen Journalism, Twitter At Work.” I was astonished at how quickly that all happened. I know that sounds cliche…but not just the news of the plane crash – but also how quickly the photo some random guy took from his iPhone got thousands upon thousands of views within minutes; according to Dan Frommer, he was interviewed live on MSNBC just 34 minutes after he posted that photo to Twitter. Pretty cool. It got me thinking about how much technology has changed the way journalists cover the news.

Which got me wondering over the weekend, if I were a video blogger, how quickly could I get up a story about that plane crash? Here in the SnapStream office, we record most of the National news programs for our own interest and example purposes, and we’ve got alerts that are set up for “breaking news” (read more about that here). I went to my email alerts, did a quick search through Gmail for “Plane Crash” and got several results. I clicked right through to the program through the link in my alert:

In the end, though, I was just fascinated by how quickly that news spread, and how new technologies like Twitter and SnapStream can help journalists keep track of an unfolding event. Pretty cool.

Here’s the clip of the TV broadcast my “breaking news” alert linked me to.

Chatting With FreshDV’s Matt Jeppsen About How “The Soup” and Others Are Using SnapStream

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

In this half-hour podcast, Rakesh talks with Matt about how different industries – including entertainment programs like “The Soup” – are using SnapStream TV search servers, and why.  Check out the podcast here:

FreshDV Podcast – Snapstream Media’s DVR on Steroids

Searching television for “breaking news”

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Sometimes, we hear about cool and unexpected ways that our customers are using our TV search technology. This one example.

Local TV stations live and die by their local news operations. In their 2008 “State of the News Media”, The Project for E

xcellence in Journalism says:

Newsrooms are a big factor in the economic success of local television. They contributed 42% to a station’s total revenue, according to local news directors. And the majority of these news directors say their newsrooms are profitable.

So competitive intelligence for a local TV station is important — this means knowing who’s getting the scoop on local news stories and how other local TV stations are covering the local news. And that’s why one of our local TV station customers started using their SnapStream Server to scan for the words “breaking news” filtered on the names of their local news competitors.

This particular local TV station setup multiple SnapStream E-mail TV Alerts on the exact phrase “breaking news” for each of their local market competitors. And by setting the frequency to “as it happens”, the news director of this TV station now gets an e-mail alert everytime a competitive local station is reporting on “breaking news”!

For example, at 10pm yesterday, they might have received this mention of breaking news on our local ABC station:

13 Eyewitness News at 10PM Yesterday, 10:00 PM – 13 hours ago
>>> Breaking news tops the news, right now firefighters are battling a two-alarm warehouse fire. Authorities are not sure exactly what is burning at the elwood warehouse but they are evacuating that building. We have on the telephone assistant fire chief from the houston fire department omar longoria.
Channel: 13 (KTRK) – Show Length:34:27 - PlayView TranscriptDownload TranscriptMore

We thought this was pretty cool, so we’ve setup e-mail TV alerts on “breaking news” on a couple of the SnapStream Servers we are running here in our office.

So whether it’s sports news on ESPN:

SportsCenter Today, 9:12 AM – 2 hours ago
The sentencing hearing will be carried live here on “sportscenter” at noon eastern. Roger cossack will return to discuss that. We appreciate the insights this morning. >> My pleasure.breaking news out of the nfl and it is about the new england patriots who have signed another player. You may have heard of him before, linebacker junior seau entering his 19th season. He’s returning to the patriots once again. He played for them in 2006 and in 2007, a 12-time pro bowler.
Channel: 33 (ESPN) – Show Length:59:42 - PlayView TranscriptDownload TranscriptMore

Or celebrity gossip on EXTRA (OK, maybe they shouldn’t be calling some of this stuff “breaking news”!):

EXTRA Wed 12/3, 4:33 PM – 2 days ago
I have a contrac through 2011. So right now that’s what I have. Until somebody wris me another one. Ok? >> We need you. >> No, you don’t. >> Oprah was in new york last night honoring susan taylor. Breaking news. She reveals there’s big time confusion about who’s throwing the party of all parties at obama’s inauguration next mom. >> Everybody is calling me about having a party.
Channel: 12 (KPRC) – Show Length:33:53 - PlayView TranscriptDownload TranscriptMore

Or national news on Fox News:

Hannity & Colmes Yesterday, 8:31 PM – 15 hours ago
The next news break is about an hour away, “hannity and colmes” continues right now. breaking news tonight in the minnesota senate recount. While most of the votes are recounted norm coleman is sill in the lead. Yesterday 171 ballots turned up giving franken an extra 37 votes, and with thousands of challenged ballots, his 316 lead could easily change. According to the republican party of minnesota franken is calling for an investigation into a minneapolis church and could possibly be connected to more than a hundred missing votes.
Channel: 38 (FNC) – Show Length:1:03:53 - PlayView TranscriptDownload TranscriptMore

Searching on the term “breaking news” is one useful way to put your finger on the pulse of television!

How to find SnapStream at NAB 2008

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

The Las Vegas Convention center is huge at 3.2 million square feet and while at the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas, SnapStream only occupies 100 sq. ft. of that space. And based on feedback from visitors last year, we know that the SnapStream booth was hard to find.

Hopefully this year we’re easier to find simply because we’re not as far back in the South Upper Hall as we were last year (many thanks to our contact at the NAB, Joy Lindsey!):

NAB south upper bird’s eye view

But, we still wanted to make it easier for you to find us so here are some maps and directions.

Directions to SnapStream at NAB2008:

1. Get to the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (veterans of the Las Vegas Convention Center will know that this is on one end of the convention center, furthest away from the Hilton and the North Hall)

2. Take the escalator up to the South Upper Hall

3. Walk down the main corridor of the South Upper Hall (you’ll pass massive booths from companies like Sony and Motorola)

4. When you see the Ross Video booth, hang a left.

5. You’ll see us on a corner to your right — our booth number is #SU6008.

See you at NAB!

NAB map to SnapStream

NAB map to SnapStream


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