SnapStream Blog

The Future of Local TV News: Social

January 17 2017 by Sara Howard

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Examining the current state of local TV news, we notice two trends. 1.) Local TV viewership is declining, and 2.) About 6 in 10 Americans get their local news from social media.

How can local TV news position itself in this future of digital media? To answer this, we take a look at this changing landscape and into how local TV news stations are keeping audiences engaged on Twitter & Facebook. Read more

 

Introducing the SnapStream TV Set-Top Box

December 19 2016 by Sara Howard

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We’re excited to announce a new product that works as an accessory to your SnapStream server: the SnapStream TV Set-Top Box.

With a SnapStream Server and the SnapStream TV Set-Top Box, watch live & recorded TV on any PC, Mac, Chromebook or television in your organization. SnapStream TV connects to your LAN via your wired or wireless network and it connects to your television via HDMI. Read more...

 

 

Getting the Most out of 8.0 with the SnapStream Encoder

December 02 2016 by Sara Howard

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Recording in H.264 is key to getting the most out of your SnapStream upgrade. The SnapStream Encoder gives seamless HTML5 playback with no browser plug-in needed. It just works for anyone in your organization and across all browsers (yes, even in Chrome!).

The best way to start recording in H.264 will depend on your current TV source. Check out the options below for more information and be sure to join us for a detailed webinar on Thursday, December 8th.

SnapStream Encoder (Component & HDMI)

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The SnapStream Encoder (Component/HDMI) allows you to ingest broadcast signals through component (YPbPr) video, unencrypted HDMI, or S-Video and convert them into compatible H.264 IP streams with closed captioning for recording or multicasting over the LAN.

 

SnapStream Encoder (QAM & ATSC)

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The SnapStream Encoder (QAM/ATSC) allows you to ingest broadcast signals from clear QAM, digital antenna (ATSC), or analog cable through coaxial RF inputs and convert them into compatible H.264 IP streams with closed captioning for recording or multicasting over the LAN.

 


 

Join us for a webinar on Thursday, December 8th at 1pm as we explain the SnapStream encoders.

Sign-up for the Webinar

 

Why we Love our Customers...

November 23 2016 by Sara Howard

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With Thanksgiving this week, we're thinking about all of the ways that SnapStream customers are simply the best. To thank you for being so amazing, we're giving out "SnapStream: Made in Techxas" t-shirts (read below to find out how to get yours).

You are smart AND creative

You have been doing amazing things with SnapStream, things we never even considered. Examples of ingenuity with SnapStream:

  • Nancy Jennings at the University of Cincinnati is using SnapStream to study TV in order to improve the quality of children's media.
  • Emerson College is doing analyzing broadcast journalism through media research and content analysis with SnapStream
  • The folks at NBCUniversal are using SnapStream across the board, taking fan engagement to another level with shows like Maury, E! News, Bravo, Dancing with the Stars, etc.

How are you using SnapStream? We love to hear about what you're working on!

You are helping us evolve

So many of the new features in SnapStream are inspired by you. You request it, we make it happen. You are continuing to help us evolve as a company and we can't thank you enough. Check out the latest features inspired by you in SnapStream 8.0.

You're leading the pack

Keeping conversations real-time on Twitter and Facebook can be difficult to manage, but you're pulling it off.  Customers like:

  • The St. Louis Blues are engaging fans on Twitter with play-by-play posts
  • The Washington Examiner is focusing on using video to capture newsworthy moments in an instant. 

 


As a small token of our appreciation, we'd love to send you a SnapStream t-shirt. Thanks for being so awesome!

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SnapStream Advanced: Timecoded Tags

November 17 2016 by Eric Cohn

Timecoded tags reference specific moments during a recording. Using timecoded tags, you can identify and tag visual cues, non-verbal content and other important information that might not show up in the closed captioning or program guide data of your recording. Timecoded tags can be helpful in identifying and reviewing similar moments from different recordings.

Need to find each time a character makes a silly face? A time-coded tag called "silly face" would help you catalog and search on these specific moments in your library. It's simple to create and search for timecoded tags in SnapStream. Find out how below:


 Timecoded Tags

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1. To create a time-coded tag, right-click (Ctrl+Click on a Mac) in the playback bar or click the clip0060.jpg button. You will be prompted to select a name for the tag or choose a pre-existing playlist. The time-coded tag will show as a blue line on your playback bar. To create a timecoded range tag, set a clip start and end point before clicking the "Timecoded Tag" button

 

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2. Choose an existing tag from the dropdown menu or type a new tag. Click “Add” to finalize the tagging.

 

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3. Timecoded tags are visible in the progress bar as a tag icon and blue line. Click on any tag to take you to the moment tagged.

 

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4. Tags are indexed by SnapStream. Timecoded tags will appear in all search results organically, but you can also tailor your search to tagged terms only by using the search filter “TAG:”


The results are in! SnapStream is the father... of Maury's fan engagement.

November 10 2016 by Sara Howard

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If you're not following The Maury Show on Twitter, you're missing out on some quality entertainment. The show has been around since 1991, and just aired it's 3,000th episode. The success of The Maury Show isn't waning anytime soon as they continue to make strides via social media and fan engagement. 

Paul Faulhaber is the executive producer of The Maury Show and realizes the importance of social media in the daytime television landscape.  He decided to bring in Snapstream as a tool for the digital producers, Eric Hanson and Kristin Scheele, to grow the social media presence of The Maury Show.

Kristin and Eric spoke with us about how The Maury Show is harnessing the passion of their fans to deliver real-time engagement

Q: Can you tell me a little about your role at NBCUniversal?

Kristin: I am a field producer and one of the digital producers. Eric is the head person and I help him create original content for our different social platforms. I do a lot of behind the scenes shooting during tape days and create original content with that. I also helping with the daily social posts, whether it's grabbing funny moments off of SnapStream and posting them or creating GIFs, memes, things like that.

Eric: My role is to take the content from the show and bring it to the second and third screen. Taking what the viewers experience in live TV and putting it on social. Allowing the viewers another way to experience the show.



"My role is to take the content from the show and bring it to the second and third screen... 
Allowing the viewers another way to experience the show." 

- Eric, Producer, The Maury Show


Q: How did SnapStream get implemented at The Maury Show?

Eric: Paul Faulhaber, the Executive Producer of Maury, was instrumental in incorporating SnapStream into the show.  Paul gets social media and the value it adds to our show.  When he first introduced us to SnapStream we were sold.

Kristin: Paul was so excited about Snapstream, it was contagious.  We were fired up and couldn’t wait to incorporate it into our workflow.

Q:
What does your social workflow look like?

Eric: We're kind of like a big "think tank". We throw out ideas, between the whole staff. We actively encourage everyone from the producers to the interns and the office managers to help us come up with ideas on what to post. But ultimately, I decide with our Executive Producer, Paul Faulhaber, how and when we'll encorporate that into our platform.

Q: How does SnapStream fit into this workflow?

Kristin: Over the summer, every day we would do a live chat on Twitter which we used SnapStream for. We would pull stills from the show, creating GIFs, using the live Twitter feed. 

SnapStream is a valuable tool for us. We have three other shows in Stamford (where we're located) and they can't wait to start using it as well. We (The Maury Show) has been used a guinea pig, but it's gone so well.

Q: What other aspects/features of SnapStream do you find the most useful for Maury?

Kristin: One of the other major things that we do is put clips directly onto our Facebook page from SnapStream. It's great that SnapStream includes the closed captioning, native in the video. 

We also have an agreement with Amazon Fire, so we upload clips from SnapStream into YouTube, and that aggregates directly to our Amazon Fire account.

Eric: SnapStream has been really wonderful because we incorporate anything we want to use in our social workflow. It also allows us to stay really engaged with our fans. Content is king, and our viewers want new content, fresh content. We may be airing back episodes, but we can still create fresh social content with those episodes. 

Kristin: The search function has really been helpful. We're starting "Out of Control Teen Tuesday" this week. Now that we have a backlog of Maury shows built up in the SnapStream library, we can go in there and do a search for "out of control teens". We can see every show that we've done that includes that search term and post it directly to our social media platforms. 

We have a lot of moving parts here, and everyone is so busy. So instead of having to ask other producers or managers to go search for a clip, we can just do a quick search in SnapStream, grab it and share it. 

Eric: Another thing that we do with SnapStream is grab stills from the platform and use them in our weekly "caption this" contest. 

Q: What was the workflow like before you had SnapStream?

Eric: It was very cumbersome. We'd have to have someone go to the editing bay, mark clips, have them pulled. Then we wait 24-48 hours to have someone pull them, mark them and send them to us. 

Now, as I watch the show, I'm pulling and archiving clips, deciding when and where I can use them. A lot of people are incredibly thankful for SnapStream, because it makes our jobs so much easier.



"We were able to go into SnapStream to find all the clips of Searcy and pull those. We can continue the conversation, adding more content to fuel the fire."

- Eric, Producer, The Maury Show


 

Q: Can you think of any particular posting or episode where SnapStream was instrumental?

Eric: We just celebrated our 3,000th episode, so we played a lot of Maury's favorite episodes and guests through the years. We would pull those directly from SnapStream and share via social. 

A lot of times when something goes viral, it's not always because of us. For instance, a reddit user said one of our guests looked like Ted Cruz. So, we were able to go into SnapStream to find all the clips of Searcy and pull those. We can continue the conversation, adding more content to fuel the fire. 

Kristin: We love seeing how creative people can be with our clips.

Eric: Since we've introduced SnapStream into our platforms, it's really revitalized our social presence. It really makes us stand out in comparison to other shows. We have this immediacy that sometimes other shows lack.

It's nice to have a library, or an archive of our shows. Sometimes something will go viral that we didn't even think about. A lot of times,  you just don't know what is going to hit. Now we can go back in and add that extra content to the conversation, engaging with our followers and our fans. 



"Since we've introduced SnapStream into our platforms, it's really revitalized our social presence. It really makes us stand out in comparison to other shows."


 

New SnapStream 8.0: Native HTML5 player means no more browser plug-ins (and more)

November 02 2016 by Sara Howard

A few of the highlights:

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Native HTML5 Player (H.264 TP & MP4)

Enjoy seamless playback with no browser plug-in needed for all your H.264 transport stream (TP) and MP4 recordings. "It just works" for anyone in your organization, and across all browsers and devices including:

  • Windows
  • Macs
  • iPads & iPhones
  • Google Chromebooks and
  • Android phones and tablets

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Using SnapStream without a browser plug-in is easy... you just need your recordings in H.264, which you get automatically with the SnapStream Encoder. If you are recording to MPEG-2 or MPEG-2 TP, learn how you can start recording in H.264.

Automatic MP4 Conversion

Access your transcode settings in the admin panel to toggle this feature. Once toggled on, all of your H.264 clips will automatically be converted to MP4.

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MP4 file format offers maximum compatibility with video editors (like Avid and Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere), social websites (such as Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, etc) & mobile devices. Export MP4s directly into your video editing software, or clip directly to MP4 for easy integration with iOS and Android.

Frame-accurate Clipping (H.264 MP4 Recordings)

We’re always working to improve our clipping performance, and we’re happy to announce frame-accurate clippings for MP4 recordings.

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Lineup Based Permissions

Want to allow certain users a more extensive library? Or are you concerned with restricting channel access (does everyone need to be watching ESPN...)? With SnapStream 8.0, you can ensure your users are only accessing the channels they need.

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Additional New Features:

  • Password reset functionality
  • Composite/S-video input support on the SnapStream Encoder
  • True full-screen experience
  • Playlist sorting
  • SnapStream Set-Top Box support.

Read the full release notes.



Schedule Upgrade to  8.0

(Usually 1 hour)

SnapStream's support team will perform the upgrade via a remote session.

  Book a Time Now

For most users, you won’t need to uninstall and reinstall a new version of the SnapStream Web Player. Once your system admin upgrades your SnapStream to 8.0, your users will be ready to go.


 

Webinar: SnapStream 8.0

Wednesday, Nov 16th at 1pm

 

  Sign Up for 8.0 Webinar

SnapStream Advanced: Uploading Media

October 19 2016 by Eric Cohn

In our next post outlining advanced features of the SnapStream software, we'll take a look at uploading video and audio into your media library. Like playlists and merging, SnapStream's uploading feature is a great advanced tool for SnapStream power-users.

Using SnapStream's upload functionality, you can add compatible video and audio content directly into your SnapStream library. Once it has been uploaded, you can use the full suite of SnapStream's features to create social media posts, clip, share and transcode the clips. Follow along below to learn how you can use this great feature.


Uploading Media 

1. Select the upload button from the SnapStream Library. (Note: You will need the "Upload Media Items" permission enabled for this button to be in the library)

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2. Select the file to be uploaded. If you have an .SRT subtitle file, you can include the SRT file alongside the video upload to provide captions for your video.

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3. Once the file is uploaded, the software will prompt you to edit any file information for the recording. Click "Save" to add the recording to your library. 

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Making TV clips (& pop culture headlines) at E! News.

October 10 2016 by Sara Howard

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Stefan_Lysenko.pngNBCUniversal is one of the longest running users of SnapStream. From “The Soup” to E! News, they’ve got every SnapStream use case covered. The man behind it all, the pulse of SnapStream at NBCUniversal is Stefan Lysenko. His role was created to manage SnapStream, so he knows the platform in and out, backward and forward. He spoke with us and shared some of his workflows and tips for managing the platform and how SnapStream, and his role, have changed over the years.

 

Stefan is a unique customer for SnapStream. He manages requests from ALL shows or departments at NBCUniversal (E! News, Bravo, Access Hollywood, E! Online, E! News Now) and uses SnapStream to record, clip and share. NBCUniversal has one of the largest SnapStream setups with 50 channels being recorded simultaneously, 12 shows/teams using the platform and 9TB of storage per tuner card. It's a monster setup.

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Q: Tell me about your role at NBC Universal?

Stefan: I manage SnapStream at NBC Universal as I am the main contact overseeing the platform. Everyone will tap me first to find a solution to address the current challenge, issue or question for TV recordings. As far as maintenance, I handle all the conflicts. We can record 50 things simultaneously, so I manage the priority list to make sure everyone gets their needs met.

We also have a backup TV tuner, to ensure we don’t miss any recordings. I’ve developed a “hunch” recording. Because we have the ability to record so many things, sometimes I can take a look and think, “someone is going to want that”. I get plenty of requests from people that may have missed a recording and they’re double checking with me to see if I happened to grab it. When things go wrong, if there’s a bad tuner, etc. I’m the first one to address the issue, and get one of our engineering team members to address the issue. At the same time, I’m trying to find a way to get our production team the show they need. So, that’s when I may tap into the backup server.

Q: Do all of the shows under NBCUniversal that use SnapStream go through you?

Stefan: Exactly, my role was has been created around this. We’ve been a SnapStream customer since it’s infancy, and you’ve all done so much to expand and evolve the platform.  Our SnapStream use has really broadened over the years.

 

 

Some of the NBC groups using SnapStream have very unique tastes and needs. For instance, “The Soup” focused on clipping really odd moments in television and pop culture with commentary by a comedian (Joel McHale). They had PA (production assistant) scouring all these odd cable shows, finding these wacky things, using that to build the show. Whereas, E! News is very traditional.

Our entire SnapStream user base is very diverse, there are so many different uses. We have some groups that are recording things just to see the commercials.

 


We’ve been a SnapStream customer since it’s infancy, and you’ve all done so much to expand and evolve the platform.  Our SnapStream use has really broadened over the years."


 

Q: Can you walk me through your SnapStream workflow?

Stefan: And now to our workflow..!  We've been able to manage our SnapStream workflow with only one full-time employee (myself).

When new users are added, they are logged into the SnapStream system and  given a small welcome packet outlining the SnapStream tools and details along with the SnapStream login link used for access.  

TV show searching and clipping details are outlined for our new users and the new social media tools are highlighted since they are powerful, seldom used tools that SnapStream has recently added to their software. New users are given a SnapStream TV show recording request link/template, so that they can request recordings directly through our team.  

Last but not least, new users are added to our SnapStream group email list so that all users can be notified and updated with one single email contact, while they're also given a SnapStream Operational group email address that accesses our core team directly (including SnapStream engineering) in times of important needs.



“SnapStream is doing amazing things. They’re always meeting our needs regarding our truly unique workflows.”


 

Q: How has SnapStream impacted the workflow at NBC Universal? Did it replace another system, or did SnapStream open up an entirely new department?

Stefan: We’ve used SnapStream from the beginning. When SnapStream came out with the most current version, our department leaders asked me to research similar companies to find a comparable solution before our upgrade. I tried, but I came back and said “I suggest we stick with SnapStream”. 

SnapStream is doing amazing things, and they’re always meeting our needs regarding our truly unique workflows.

Q: Which shows are using SnapStream the most, which ones are seeing the most success with the platform?

Stefan: When it was on-air, The Soup was a huge user of SnapStream. 

Currently, our biggest user is E! NewsOn a consistent daily basis, E! News is clipping off segments or scenes from such shows as Live with Kelly, The Voice, The Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Good Morning America and Dancing with the Stars to name a few.  Those clips are then inserted into packages and edits that run on-air.  For example, Jimmy Kimmel’s Mean Tweets segment would be clipped off in order to air on E! News.  Or when Kelly Ripa returned to work from being away after Michael Strahan’s announcement – her first day back & monologue was clipped off and edited into a package that aired on E! News. 

On the Digital side we’re doing a lot of the same work.  On Tuesday night for example when the two Dancing with the Stars “Pros” got engaged, E! Online editors clipped that segment and posted it on our site along with a write up of what happened on set.

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As a social posting, we'll pull Live from the Red Carpet or during an actual award show.  Social would grab the moment off the Oscar’s telecast where Jennifer Lawrence fell going up the stairs to accept her award and would create a GIF on our pages at that moment after it happened.


Bravo
is a big user for monitoring their own shows. They aren’t Bravo_TV.svg.pngbuilding a show with it, but they’re using it in their broadcasts.

Q: Is there one aspect of SnapStream you see as particularly beneficial to your organization? One feature you couldn’t live without?

Stefan: We’re in a phase with our user groups being so traditional. They really been sticking with the key features of SnapStream, recording and clipping. One thing I believe to be underused is the social media aspect. Sharing clips to Twitter and Facebook. There’s so much that can be done there, you could really have just one person dedicated to the social media aspect of SnapStream.

The team at SnapStream has been incredibly helpful and supportive of us, they have our back. And I enjoy pleasing our users. When you get that appreciation from your users and the support from the SnapStream team, it’s just icing on the cake.

I'm always amazed at what SnapStream is doing, my excitement remains unwavering."

 


I'm always amazed at what SnapStream is doing, my excitement remains unwavering.




SnapStream Advanced: Playlists and Merging

September 30 2016 by Eric Cohn

In my last post we took a look at some of our most popular resources for using SnapStream. SnapStream cheat sheets, how-to pages, and help file are great resources to get comfortable using the software.

In this series of posts we'll take a look at some of the more advanced features that can be added to your SnapStream workflow to take full advantage of the software's power. In our first post, we'll take a look at playlists and merging, an incredibly helpful tool for presenting the TV clips and recordings you've created with SnapStream.


Playlists and Merging

Now that you've mastered the art of clipping, often the next step will be reviewing the clips. SnapStream's playlist feature allows consecutive playback of two or more clips or recordings.

This is great for meetings, lectures and presentations where you need to review or discuss multiple recordings. SnapStream even gives you the option to merge all of your recordings into a single clip comprised of all of the recordings in your playlist. Follow the steps below to create a playlist and a merged video.

1. Simply select the media you would like to add to the playlist, choose "More Actions" and select "Add to Playlist." You will be prompted to select a name for the playlist or choose a pre-existing playlist. 

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2. Selecting "Playlists" in the Library will show you all of the different playlists that have been created. To review the recordings, push the Capture.png button on the playlist. Playback of the first recording will begin in the webplayer. To select between playlist items, use the back.png and forward.png buttons.

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3. To merge all recordings in a playlist, click threebuttons.png  and select the "Merge" button. You can choose the file format, target quality, tags and title of the merged file before you begin the merging process. 

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4. Once the merge has been completed, the finished merged file will be in your clips folder.

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