SnapStream Blog

How journalism schools and TV shows use SnapStream (by Columbia Journalism Review)

April 07 2010 by Rakesh

Alexandra Fenwick at the Columbia Journalism Review interviewed me on a recent trip to New York City. That interview resulted in this piece about SnapStream and how folks are using it in academia and in entertainment. Check it out!

University of Hawaii preserves island history with SnapStream

February 15 2010 by Joel

University of Hawaii Logo

The Sinclair Library at the University of Hawaii at Manoa maintains the only extensive archive of television broadcasts about Hawaii in the state. The library, which for decades relied on videotapes and VCRs, recently switched to a SnapStream Server to ensure the integrity and longevity of its media collection.

The Challenge
In the past, student workers at the library selected broadcasts from published TV listings — and did the taping, quality, and pre-cataloging checks manually, which required hours of work and thousands of videotapes. “We can’t buy Super VHS tape quality anymore. The VCR is obsolete,” explains RuthMarie Quirk, manager of operations at Sinclair Library, who sought a digital solution.

The Solution

After two months of testing, the library in October 2009 deployed a 10-tuner SnapStream Server with 4 terabytes of storage as its exclusive TV-recording device. “SnapStream replaced the prior system completely,” Quirk says. “We save money on supplies [video tapes], and we can search for shows just by looking for the term ‘Hawaii.’ It saves hours of student work each week.”

“The entire process of setting up recordings and processing recorded shows is much easier and faster with SnapStream,” says Emily Albarillo, the digital media specialist.

“Having the shows in a digital format will make them easier to access in the future and also makes viewing much simpler. Storage also takes much less physical space compared to stacks of VHS tapes.”

Stream TV to the Classroom using your existing LAN

July 06 2009 by Melissa Kidonakis


On Tuesday, July 14th, join us for our web seminar geared towards K-12 schools looking to stream television to the classroom.

The SnapStream Server is a DVR appliance that allows schools to distribute television using their existing LAN, projectors and electronic whiteboards, eliminating the need for expensive RF cable drops, traditional TVs, VCRs and DVRs. In addition, the SnapStream server gives you the flexibility to record anything on TV, from PBS to Discovery to the History Channel to CNN. And unlike Safari Montage or Discovery Streaming, the SnapStream Server does not come with any expensive subscription fees.

Using educational TV programs in the classroom, teachers can reinforce and expand on material being taught and increase student interest in learning. SnapStream makes TV useful to educators in entirely new ways — using SnapStream’s easy-to-use TV search technology, teachers can pinpoint relevant TV content themselves and then easily create clips and download for use in their class curriculum.

Attend our web seminar to learn more about providing your teachers with a valuable new teaching tool - the SnapStream TV Server.

Web Seminar: Stream TV to the classroom over the LAN
When: Tuesday, July 14th; 2:30 CST

Sign me Up!

Searching television for "breaking news"

December 05 2008 by Rakesh

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 - Play - View Transcript - Download Transcript - More

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 - Play - View Transcript - Download Transcript - More

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 - Play - View Transcript - Download Transcript - More

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 - Play - View Transcript - Download Transcript - More

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

Using SnapStream to study children's television

November 26 2008 by Rakesh

One field where SnapStream's TV search technology is having an impact is broadcast television research in the field of journalism. Rather than manually transcribing TV broadcasts for the purposes of content analysis, researchers are using SnapStream to automatically retrieve full transcripts for TV shows.

We recently heard from one such customer, Dr. Nancy Jennings from the University of Cincinatti. Broadly, Dr. Jennings' research has focused on children and the media (this article talks more about Dr. Jennings' research background). Dr. Jennings' current research, for which she is using SnapStream, seeks to inform the development of television and online media that increases in literacy young children:

"I'm very pleased with the SnapStream server. I have used it thus far to record Saturday and Sunday morning children's shows for the entire month of October on 8 different channels simultaneously. I'm just beginning to get through that data, so I don't have any findings yet. But it was such a pleasure using the server compared to how I was doing it before...literally having 8 different VCRs taping different shows on different machines, then having to digitize them after that. I also recorded 2 of 3 presidential debates and the vice-presidential debate on the SnapStream on several different stations at once. I'm curious to look at the commentary of the debates by the different stations, and now I can code it by time stamp as well. It has also helped me with some experimental studies of educational television that I'm doing. Through use of the SnapStream server, I was able to record programming on HBOFamily called Happily Ever After which has inspired a new line of research with a PBS Ready-To-Learn program called Super Why. Also, the transcription function is phenomenal! I'm sure that would come in handy with content analysis of language use. I'm hoping I may use that with another study on another PBS Ready-To-Learn program called MarthaSpeaks."

SnapStream generates buzz at George Washington University

March 06 2008 by Melissa Kidonakis

George Washington University’s independent student newspaper, the GW Hatchet, reports on the use of our SnapStream Enterprise product in the School of Media and Public Affairs. The story highlights the impact that SnapStream's television search technology will have at GWU's public policy and journalism schools, making it so that faculty and students can search television broadcasts for educational research and analysis. A few choice quotes:

Sean Aday, an associate professor at GWU, says:

"It's a great tool for research. For example, with the recent news about the U.S. embassy in Serbia, we could collect and compare coverage from all the networks. Graduate students, especially in the research methods class, will be able to conduct their own content analysis.”

Paul Fucito, GWU's director of communications, says:

"It takes seconds and minutes now to do what took weeks or months. After recording, let's say a month of Andersen Cooper, you can then go back type in relevant keywords, find the clips that apply and watch those segments."

Article: SMPA acquires TiVo-like technology

What is SnapStream? There's an unlimited amount of video content out there: 24/7 news channels, breaking news events, sports, talk shows, awards galas, entertainment shows, and so much more.

SnapStream makes a real-time news and media search engine that makes it fast and easy to find the video moments that support our customers telling great stories.

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