Telestream, a provider of digital media tools and workflow solutions, has announced that Meredith Corporation’s broadcast television group, a publicly held media and marketing services company based in Des Moines, Iowa, has chosen the Wirecast Gear appliance to enable its stations to stream breaking news and news-related content directly to Facebook Live.
Meredith owns and operates 15 U.S. DTV stations in 13 markets, including Atlanta, GA, Phoenix, AZ, St. Louis, MO, and Portland, OR, reaching 12 million people—or 11%—of U.S. households.
Recognizing the potential of Facebook Live, the Meredith TV Group issued a corporate directive to their digital content teams at its stations to use Facebook Live to reach new viewers that tune into social media more often than TV, connect with loyal viewers outside of normal news cycles, and serve as a trustworthy news source for the Facebook community.
“Since live video news is a key service that we provide, Facebook Live presents a unique opportunity for us to raise the visibility of our media brand on Facebook, and to share the timely, trusted news programming that airs on our main channels,” explains Larry Oaks, Vice President of Technology, at Meredith Corporation.
To support its Facebook Live strategy, Meredith has invested in Wirecast Gear—a streaming production solution from Telestream— in all of their markets nationwide to stream content via Facebook Live, and eventually to other social media platforms, on a regular basis.
“Our primary interest is to use Wirecast Gear for breaking news outside our typical news cycle but also for simulcasts of our studio broadcast, or promotional and pre-recorded content. With the ability to interface with our routers, we can drive any content from our facility or a remote shoot to Facebook Live, complete with branding.”
Wirecast Gear appealed to Meredith because this solution integrates a core toolset essential to streaming production, including: a user-friendly interface, intuitive operation and quick learning curve; image branding, graphics and keying for the placement of logo bugs; multi-camera switching, audio mixing, roll-ins, green screen keying, and other production tools; and of course quick, easy connections to go live on leading social media sites.
Another important criteria was to choose an established vendor with a solid reputation. Since for the last seven years, Meredith had already been using Telestream’s Vantage platform running on Lightspeed servers to automate their media processing operations, it made sense for Oaks and his teams to once again put their trust in Telestream, and choose Wirecast Gear.
“When we were evaluating our choices, Wirecast Gear met all of our criteria. This includes integrating the key live production capabilities we need into a single, compact, affordable system that’s easy to learn and operate. More importantly, Wirecast makes it simple to get a secure connection and start streaming media to social destinations. We just select Facebook Live from a pull-down menu and it facilitates whatever handshake, log-in or settings we need to start streaming quickly and reliably,” added Oaks.
Wirecast Gear includes the Wirecast streaming software fully loaded and configured on turnkey, qualified, compact computer hardware built for the rigors of live streaming. The local stations’ house routers feed video to one or more of the four inputs Wirecast Gear includes. The video feed can be from HD-SDI cameras, iOS and webcam devices, remote video feeds and other acquisition devices and sources.
When streaming to Facebook Live, Wirecast makes it easy for users to select Facebook as their desired output destination from a dropdown menu; they can also quickly select the precise destination page or site to stream to, choose a stream type and encode setting, and save a recording of their live broadcast for future reuse or archive.
“Our Wirecast Gear systems move video—whether it’s live or pre-recorded —directly to Facebook Live. For us, having the ability to stream our trusted, high-value video news content to Facebook Live is the key to really engaging social media users. It’s a way of expanding our market reach into social media, while enticing devoted social media users to also check-out our on-air channels,” concludes Oaks.