SnapStream Blog

Watch SnapStream's CEO, Rakesh Agrawal, on Bloomberg TV

June 26 2014 by Jennifer Miller

Are you curious about the present and future plans of SnapStream? Who better to ask than the CEO and Founder himself!

On Thursday, June 26th, at 9:45am CT, Stephanie Ruhle from Bloomberg TV's "Market Makers" interviewed SnapStream's CEO, Rakesh Agrawal. During this interview Rakesh explains how SnapStream technology is able to search anything said on TV - helping out the likes of corporate firms, federal and government agencies and, of course, television shows such as "The Daily Show" and "Last Week Tonight."

Rakesh also announces the future plans of SnapStream. (Hint: Anyone into social media? We thought so!)

Tune in! (Run Time: 7 minutes)

“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” Joins SnapStream’s Family of Talk Shows

May 16 2014 by Jennifer Miller

First and foremost, let me start by saying, “Welcome to the family “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver, and the entire team of producers, editors, and show writers!”

In case you haven’t heard, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” selected SnapStream’s TV recording and search technology to help build the TV clips and content that will be used on the show. (Here is the press releaselast-week-tonight-with-john-oliver)

Need an example? Next time you tune in (the show airs every Sunday on HBO) watch for the pop-up TV clips that John Oliver references throughout the show. Those clips are pulled using SnapStream!

How They Use SnapStream

With SnapStream’s technology, the team at “Last Week Tonight” is able to quickly search and aggregate mass amounts of current, often obscure, TV content from worldwide sources. This technology, along with John Oliver’s undeniable genius for political satire, is the perfect equation for comedic gold.

Just ask Ari Fishman, a producer at “Last Week Tonight” who said,

“SnapStream has proven itself to be the premiere product for high-volume television recording and search capabilities.

We are hoping to achieve an extensive SnapStream footage archive that we can effectively use as our primary research tool. SnapStream keyword searches makes it a very organized user experience, and we anticipate growing our SnapStream library. All of our producers [are] confident in SnapStream’s capabilities.”

A Favorite Among Many Shows and Networks

“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” is not alone in their hunt for an efficient way to find and repurpose specific TV content. They join a host of successful shows and networks including “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “The Colbert Report,” “E! News” and “The Arsenio Hall Show,” to name a few. All of these shows, and many more, use SnapStream’s clipping, content repurposing, and archival for their shows.

In fact, SnapStream is known throughout the broadcast and network industries for its ability to quickly research interesting commentary, news trends, and comparative talking points.

Here is what some of our current clients have said recently:

“It would be impossible to generate the amount of content our show requires without a [technology] like SnapStream. The immediacy with which we can research and distribute video has been invaluable to our creative process." - The Colbert Report

“Night in and night out, SnapStream helps us create the freshest monologues in late night.” - The Arsenio Hall Show

“SnapStream is a single solution for creating and packaging aired content for distribution to advertisers.” - MLB Network

So next time you tune into “Last Week Tonight”, or any of the other shows mentioned, wow your friends and family by letting them in on the secret behind those TV clip pop-ups - SnapStream’s TV search technology.

 

 

Breaking New Ground in SnapStream's TV Monitoring and Search Technology with Dr. Michael Speriosu, PhD in Linguistics

December 02 2013 by MSperiosu

Dr. Michael Speriosu, PhD in Linguistics and Engineer at SnapStream

Hi, everyone! My name is Mike Speriosu and I was the main developer of a set of TV search improvements in SnapStream 6.1 that involve language. I recently finished my doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin where I worked on problems at the intersection of human language and computer science, and was lucky enough to join the SnapStream development team a few months ago.

Products like SnapStream are part of an ongoing trend in technology to help people interact with each other and with computers using their most advanced and expressive mode of communication: language. After working on a variety of linguistic and software problems in academia, I was very eager to apply my skills to a real-life product that could benefit from more linguistic intelligence.

TV media monitoring: find anything said on TV with SnapStream

One of the most compelling features of SnapStream's TV media monitoring technology has always been its ability to search recordings and send alerts based on what’s said on TV, and now recording and searching closed caption data work better than ever.


Closed Captioning Correction

Capitalization

A lot of the closed caption (CC) text that initially comes through with the video and audio signal is messy in various ways. Many CCs are in all caps or just capitalized oddly, so at least some degree of re-capitalization is necessary before we show and save the text, in order to be easily readable.

Previously, we essentially lowercased everything except the first letter of every sentence. We now use a combination of algorithms and dictionaries to be smarter about what should be capitalized. Names of people, places, companies, and more are now often properly capitalized.

TV Monitoring, Recording and Search Technology

Click image to expand.

Misspellings

Another problem with CC text is that it sometimes contains misspellings. We now use a dictionary and statistical model to detect when we think a word is misspelled, and automatically correct the spelling when we have high confidence that our fix is correct. We took special care not to make this feature too aggressive, because we know how annoying automatic corrections can be when they’re wrong. Making a valid correction, however, could be the difference between getting a relevant alert and not getting it.

Television Monitoring Software: Custom Dictionary

To give SnapStream customers more control over these CC-altering features, we've included a custom dictionary where administrators can specify their own words and phrases that they want capitalized a certain way. We’ll never attempt to change the spelling of words in this custom dictionary.

We’re trying out these advanced CC-altering features on English text only, with plans to expand to other languages in the future. In the meantime, we have an algorithm that ensures incoming CCs are English before applying the features, so that your favorite Spanish or French shows don’t have their spelling corrected as if they’re English.

Did You Mean? Search Suggestions

When you searched in previous versions of SnapStream, you would sometimes get suggestions in the form of Did you mean ____? but the quality of these suggestions left a lot to be desired. Our suggestion engine now takes into account the statistical properties of your entire library of recordings, resulting in much more useful suggestions. We also now have the ability to give suggestions when searching the program guide, something that was absent from past releases.

Advanced TV search engine

Click image to expand.

Suffixes

Another improvement we’ve made to search makes it so that suffixes like -s, -ing, -ed, and so on do not affect whether a word counts as a match for your search term. For example, searching for campaign will now match recordings that mentioned campaign, campaigns, campaigned, and campaigning, giving you more relevant results with less effort.

Linguistic Intelligence - SnapStream TV Media Monitoring and Search

Click image to expand.

Synonyms

We’ve also added some lists of synonyms to our search engine, so that searching for big will also match large, and similarly for many other words. We made an effort only to make such connections between words that really do mean the same thing the vast majority of the time.

TV Search results include synonyms

Click image to expand.

Pronoun Matching

SnapStream returns results for pronouns like he, she, and I that likely refer to the same person named in a search, e.g. Lebron, in addition to exact matches on the name itself.

Pronouns are allowed to match names for up to about one minute after the name is mentioned. We hope this feature makes it even easier to find relevant information in your recordings without spending a long time refining your search query.

Advanced TV Monitoring Software: Pronoun Matching

Click image to expand.

Accent Ignoring

Finally, we've made it so SnapStream recognizes accents and other special characters and treats them alike, so you don't have to worry about exact spelling in your searches to return all possible matches. If you search for entree, you'll get hits for both entree and entrée. And if you search for entrée, you'll get hits for both entrée and entree.

Accent ignoring yields higher quality TV Search results

Click image to expand.

The End

We added these features with the intent of making recording and searching just work better, even if you don’t always notice the new feature that kicked in and just made your life easier. We appreciate software that simply works, and hope we’ve achieved that goal with this update!

About Mike Speriosu

Mike Speriosu received Bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Linguistics from Stanford University and a Master's and PhD in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. He has published work in computational linguistics and done consulting in software development for companies looking to beef up the linguistic intelligence of their products. He is now on the development team at SnapStream.

 

 

The Daily Show equivalents in South America and Italy

July 31 2012 by Rachel Abbott

Following up on yesterday's post: We're exploring international TV shows equivalent to The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, in terms of their cultural significance and satirical style. To kick off our trip around the world, let's take a look at the funniest fake news TV shows of South America and Italy, where everyone loves Tarantino movies and double entendres. As awesome as descriptions are, it's even more telling to watch the clips!

Caiga Quien Caiga

About: Caiga Quien Caiga, translated to "Whoever May Fall," is the big front-runner on the world stage, having won an International Emmy for Best Non-Scripted Entertainment in 2010. Also known as CQC, this Argentine TV show is a weekly news mashup that injects current affairs, show business and sports with humor and irony. When you watch the clip featured above, you'll get the futuristic, rock-concert vibe right away. CQC has also been adapted in Spain, France, Chile, Italy, Brazil, Portugal, and briefly in Israel and the Netherlands. The hosts vary from country to country, but in Argentina, they are Juan di Natale and Guillermo López.

Where: Argentina et al; Canal 13.

First Aired: 1995

Fun Fact: All presenters on the show wear trademark black suits and sunglasses, inspired by Quentin Tarantino's movie Reservoir Dogs.


Custe o Que Custar

About: Custe O Que Custar, translated to "Whatever It Takes," rounds up weekly events in politics, the arts and sports with a satirical slant. The show, also known as CQC, is directly modeled after its successful counterpart, Caiga Quien Caiga. In the episode featured above, in the Política segment (15:45), the "reporter" appears to be hounding various public officials with ridiculous, off-the-wall questions. Even without speaking Portuguese, you can get the flavor and context! They're known for adding humor with superimposed thought bubbles, graphics and sound effects. The hosts are Rafael Cortez, Felipe Andreoli, Oscar Filho, Monica Iozzi, Mauricio Meirelles and João Pedro Carvalho.

Where: São Paulo, Brazil; Band Network

First Aired: 2008

Fun Fact: Really, who knew Reservoir Dogs was so influential in South America?

Le Iene

About: Le Iene, translated to "The Hyenas," is another adaptation of CQC. The show features comedic sketches and reports covering political affairs and consumer issues. One of the show's most popular recurring sketches, besides the mock news reporting, is the "double interview," in which two people are asked the same questions. Their answers are then edited together on a split screen, so that they answer one after the other. You can watch an example of the intervista doppia in the clip above. The current hosts are Ilary Blasi, Enrico Brignano and Claudio Amendola.

Where: Italy; Italia 1

First Aired: 1997

Fun Fact: Le Iene was also the release name in Italy for the film Reservoir Dogs. And you guessed it: all the presenters on the show don the signature black suits, white shirts and black ties prescribed by the movie.

Striscia la notizia

About: Striscia la notizia literally translates to "the news slithers" in Italian, but more accurately means "strip the news." Stricia airs right before the regular news, which gives it the perfect stronghold to sneer at government corruption and rip scams to shreds. The show is hosted by Ezio Greggio, Enzo Iacchetti, Michelle Hunziker, and the comedy duo of Ficarra and Picone. One of the show's segments can be translated to "the new monsters," and it shows the best and worst of TV, using clips and witty commentary, kind of like The Soup on E!. Watch the clip above for an example.

Where: Italy; Canale 5

First Aired: 1988

Fun Fact: The term striscia has a variety of double meanings which relate to the show's editorial voice: cocaine, which conveys excitement; comic strips, which are funny; and snakes, which are sly.

Come back to SnapStream's blog to learn about the comedy news TV shows of Canada and the United Kingdom.

See related posts:

SnapStream makes its official European debut with DVB-T and PAL! #IBC11

September 09 2011 by Rachel Abbott

Meet us at IBC! Hall 6, Stand 6.A06

Today is the day! At the 2011 International Broadcasting Convention, Europe's largest professional broadcast show, SnapStream will premiere its best-of-breed TV recording and search capabilities on the world's stage, Hall 6, Stand 6.A06. This is a highly anticipated moment by many, and I mean MANY. Every day, we receive messages from organizations all over the world, looking to enlist SnapStream to solve their TV monitoring problems (which include costly clipping services and traditional, subscription-based media monitoring services).

The international distinction, or technical hurdle, has long been the varying digital broadcast standards native to each country. For example: In the U.S. and Canada, it's ATSC. In Europe, it's DVB-T and PAL. We soon discovered it wasn't going to be a simple migration to transfer the complexity of SnapStream's architecture over to these foreign standards.

Digital broadcast standards

Luckily, our engineers are incredibly smart people! So it's in due course that our team is now on the ground in Amsterdam, showcasing the first prototype of our European TV monitoring technology. The new SnapStream adds support for PAL and early support for DVB-T. Subtitles and teletext searching will be incorporated into a subsequent release.

If you're at the Amsterdam RAI, Septemeber 9 - 13, you'll see up close how SnapStream enables organizations to record, log and search traditional TV (terrestrial, cable or satellite), all over the LAN.

Today, our powerful TV monitoring platform is used by hundreds of broadcasters, production studios, educators and governments across North America. Now, European organizations will soon be able to leverage SnapStream's robust capabilities:

- Record large amounts of TV, from 4 channels to 50 channels or... more!
- Archive an unlimited amount of TV shows with expandable storage
- Access TV over the LAN from any LAN connected PC with a web browser
- Perform real-time keyword searches of subtitles (where available)
- Easily create, download and e-mail TV clips
- Receive TV e-mail alerts of specific mentions
- Watch TV from any PC on the network
- Transcode TV files seamlessly and quickly to WMV and H.264 formats

If you're not going to be at the show, contact us to set up a Web demo and to glean additional information.

Are you monitoring the East Coast earthquake on TV?

August 24 2011 by Rachel Abbott

First of all, who knew the East Coast of the U.S. was prone to seismic activity? The last earthquake on record for the region was 1897!

When breaking news unfolds in a flash, SnapStream comes in extremely handy to rack up mentions about a particular topic. Boom, boom, boom. Today's rattling event is a prime example of our powerful TV search technology at work. In a matter of seconds, I pulled up 100+ hits and climbing for the keyword "earthquake," based on the local and national news channels recording at our office in Houston. (What you can record, is what you can search.)

How is your organization monitoring the East Coast quake? See examples of my TV search findings (click images to enlarge).

TV search results for east coast earthquake

East coast earthquake on TV news

East coast earthquake

P.S. To all of our customers and partners in the DC and NE area, we hope you're doing OK!

TV Trend: Jersey Shore, Snooki fly off the charts!

January 07 2011 by Rachel Abbott

Blowing up the Tube

On Thursday night, Jersey Shore premiered with a blowout of 8.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched series telecast in the history of MTV. Love it or hate it, the Shore is up 62% compared to last year's debut, according to the Nielson Co.

On the up-and-up, the reality soap's TV ratings have been progressively climbing, not "creeping," since it first aired in December 2009 with 1.4 million viewers. The Season 2 opener in July 2010 had 5.2 million people hooked.

While this news is shocking, it's also not a huge surprise. When you "punch" in a search on SnapStream's TV Trends (see: Snooki's face punch), the news results and media coverage match up 100%.

Tidal Wave of Jersey Shore News

All puns aside, the American news media propagates the popularity of Jersey Shore with continuous commentary and constant exposure. Think about it, any singular topic garnering this much attention in the press is going to incite public interest and provoke curiosity. No wonder people can't get enough.

The shenanigans on Jersey Shore have become the go-to source of pop culture satire—producing a gold mine of interviews, media appearances, spin-offs and talk material that everyone wants to capitalize on.

Snooki Dominates TV Trends

Play around with the graph below. Or visit tvtrends.com to type in your own keywords and see the context of each mention within the closed captioning. (Playback is reserved for SnapStream TV Search users.)

Snooki gets the most references, the most "hits" - isn't that interesting? She single-handedly outdoes the namesake of the show. If I was her, I'd command higher pay based on the sheer amount of media exposure she's raking in. So in conclusion, Snooki is the icon and MVP of Jersey Shore.

Have a great Friday. GTL.

For fun, here's the cast of Jersey Shore on The View:

Subscribe

Posts by Topic

see all