SnapStream Blog

New release! SnapStream 5.5

April 13 2012 by Rachel Abbott

SnapStream 5.5

SnapStream 5.5 introduces lots of exciting, new features to the TV Search platform:

  • Workflows help automate the transcodes and bulk moves you do routinely
  • ShowSqueeze Live lets you transcode in-progress TV recordings
  • SmartChapters automatically detect and segment commercials

But we didn't stop there. We made some notable improvements, too:

  • In addition to Firefox, Mac Web Player now supports Chrome and Safari
  • Clip start and end points are now draggable
  • Encrypted communication between SnapStream and all clients for improved security

Now, let's go more in-depth so you fully understand the powerful possibilities behind each of these new features.


Two new trigger conditions!

Think of Workflows as paths laid out for your TV recordings. At the end of the day, what formats do you need your files in? And where should they get saved? Workflows help you answer these questions and set these processes in motion. Then, SnapStream manages the rest.

To kick off the action, you'll select a Trigger. SnapStream 5.5 brings you two new Triggers, Recording Started and Clip Created. So, for example, once a clip is created, you can have it automatically "ShowSqueeze to H.264" or "save a copy to John's News folder." These are called Actions.

Workflows: Actions

But wait, you don't want all of your recordings treated exactly the same, do you? Workflows help you move away from cookie-cutter, global settings. That's why we created Filters, to help you select the criteria for how specific types of recordings should undergo processing. In 5.5, we're giving you three new filters, just 'cause we like you so much: From Series, From Category and In Folder. So now you can get really granular and choosy with it.

ShowSqueeze Live

ShowSqueeze Live

ShowSqueeze Live is a brand new feature born out of Workflows. Up til now, you could only ShowSqueeze a TV recording once it finished airing. But now, you can take control right when it starts! Yes, right when a broadcast hits the air, you can send SnapStream to work and all of that lovely ShowSqueezing will happen in real time, while the recording is in progress, in sync with the program.

The beauty of this is, naturally, that it saves you not only the extra steps but the extra time involved. No more waiting. When you have a production deadline to meet, you'll appreciate this huge time-saver and wonder how you got along without it.


SmartChapters are another newbie to SnapStream, making the product a really well-rounded fit for ad verification. SmartChapters automatically detect commercials by marking major scene changes in the broadcast. You'll see the SmartChapters appear as grey segments on the Web Player timeline. Using your arrow keys, you can skip between the commercials and the program to easily navigate any TV recording, really great for ad tracking.



On top of that, SmartChapters add a smart layer to TV Search, allowing you to filter your results to include or exclude commercials. Like in the example above, we searched for instances of Swiffer only within ads, bringing us right to the money spot.

Upgrade to 5

There's truly never been a better time to get started with SnapStream, or to claim what is rightfully yours: a free upgrade to version 5!

SnapStream’s Top 10 Super Bowl Commercials

February 06 2012 by Rachel Eichenbaum and Joel Gabiola

Super Bowl commercials air pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while (in between gnawing on buffalo wings and guzzling beer), you could miss the best ones! Based on our selection of favorites from Super Bowl XLVI, we can conclude that SnapStream is made up of dog lovers and Betty White enthusiasts. Who knew?

An estimated 111.3 million people watched this year's Super Bowl, making it the most watched television show in U.S. History. In case you missed it, we created a 15-second recap of all the greatest ads to catch you up to speed. (Click below.)

Whew, that was a rush of subliminal messaging! We put that together using our very own TV recording and search technology. Now, for the unabridged versions. Please enjoy SnapStream’s handpicked favorites of Super Bowl XLVI, on the house!

1. Doritos: "Man’s Best Friend"
Did you know that Doritos commercials are all user-generated? It's pretty cool, because both of their ads landed in our top picks. In this one, Doritos are centered as the dog’s mischievous bribe to his owner, in regards to the whereabouts of their missing cat. Sorry, Fluffy.
TV search term: “Cat”

2. Honda: “Matthew’s Day Off”
Matthew Broderick easily falls back into the character of Ferris Bueller, the role of a charming, clever high-school slacker which made him famous at the age of 23. In this spinoff, Broderick plays hooky in a red Honda CR-V instead of the red 1961 Ferrari GT California featured in the original film.
TV search term: “Broderick”

3. Bud Light: “Rescue Dog”
This is Pavlovian conditioning at its finest! A "rescue dog" named Weego is expertly trained to fetch Bud Light bottles whenever somebody says, “here we go.” Get it? "Here, Weego!" Clearly, Weego is prepared to handle the most urgent of emergencies, like needing a beer in your hand stat.
TV search terms: “Here we go”

4. Skechers: “Go Run”
Apparently we swoon over anything that includes a cute dog, and an underdog, at that. We also thought the CGI moonwalking was competitive to Michael Jackon's. Do you think Mr. Quiggly is an adequate replacement for the former Skechers spokesperson, Kim Kardashian?
TV search term: “Skechers”

5. The Voice: “Vocal Combat”
Dear Betty White, it is about time someone loved you for more than your body! She's America’s original and most wanted cougar, but with a mix of, "Awww, will you be my grandma?" Hey Betty, SnapStream would love to have you around, knitting sweaters and baking cookies every day.
TV search terms: “The Voice”

6. Volkswagen: “Dog Strikes Back”
At SnapStream, we're participating in a fitness challenge, so we admire this dog’s aspiration to get in shape. Plus, anything with Star Wars wins us over. Did you think the dog was funnier than the Vader kid?
TV search terms: “Get up offa that thing”

Doritos: Slingshot Baby
7. Doritos: “Slingshot Baby”
Another piece of consumer-generated gold for Doritos. Our favorite part is when the baby propels forward in slow-mo. Everything else in the world freezes in that moment of airborne bliss. There’s just nothing like snacking on nacho cheese Doritos with grandma on a sunny day.
TV search terms: “Doritos”

8. Oikos Yogurt: “The Tease”
We were all a big fan of John Stamos on Glee last season, so we were excited to see him make another televised appearance during the Super Bowl. Stamos proudly represents his Greek heritage in the name of protein-packed yogurt. Ladies, would you share your Oikos with John Stamos?
TV search terms: “Oikos”

9. Acura: “Transactions”
We have some serious car buffs in our office, but nothing like Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno. These two comedians are well-known for their automobile enthusiasm and collections. We totally want Leno's flying squirrel suit to make our daily commutes more like super hero missions.
TV search terms: “Acura”

10. Chevrolet: “Stunt Anthem”
The stunts featured in this spot were totally extreme and off the wall, just like us. Bravo to Chevy for an excellent musical choice to fuel this epic series of stunts. We could also wax nostalgic about the car’s name, Sonic.
TV search terms: “Chevy Sonic”

And that concludes our Top 10 Favorite Super Bowl Commercials of 2012. What were your favorites this year, and why?

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.

Fresh from #SMPTE2010: Exclusive Webinar Nov. 3

October 31 2010 by Rachel Abbott

If you missed the SMPTE conference this year, have no fear. We're recreating our presentation content just for you! Straight from SnapStream's file-based workflows session: "Inside the Jokes: TV Search Technology Yields Creative, Comedic Screenwriting."

This Wednesday, Nov. 3, you'll catch a glimpse of the HD workflows and long-term storage setup we pioneered at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, along with a behind-the-scenes look at how The Soup searches and clips TV.

HD Workflows & Long-Term Storage

Wednesday, November 3

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. EDT.

Live Q & A to follow

Sign up now at GoToMeeting (it's free)

The Daily Show Scores 8th Emmy In A Row

August 30 2010 by Rachel Abbott

Congratulations to our decorated clip-show customer, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, who just picked up their eighth straight Emmy for Best Variety, Music or Comedy Series. It's no wonder that Jon Stewart and his team have held on to such a supreme winning streak; they churn out 168 fresh episodes per year at a rigorous pace. That's four tapings weekly, 42 weeks out of the year.

As The Daily Show unit floated to the stage on cloud nine, the Emmy commentator prodded, "I am not sure that the Academy would be so quick to award The Daily Show these things if they knew what we used the Emmys for around the office. Executive Producer Rory Albanese will accept for the program because Jon Stewart is too busy resting in his bed of melted Emmys."

Who knows why Jon Stewart really wasn't present, but Albanese was certainly in high spirits as he acknowledged the caliber of the fellow nominees.

“This is crazy. Stephen Colbert went to Iraq. Conan. This category is insane,” Albanese exclaimed in disbelief.

Insane, indeed. We are so darn proud of The Daily Show for their continued success and back-to-back critical acclaim. And we have to give them props for having in-house TV search technology and a massive digital archive. Here @SnapStream, we always enjoy the hysterical programming that ensues.

"We keep winning it," Albanese rejoiced in television glory. "It’s tough to feel bad. We work really hard."

Yes, we know you do! Eight cheers to you all at The Daily Show! Keep up the excellent work!

Here is the full video of Jon Stewart's Glenn Beck impression shown in the nomination reel:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Conservative Libertarian
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

NAB Afterglow

April 28 2010 by Mark Brooks

The team jetted back from Vegas at the end of week before last, in a total whirlwind. We had a real successful showing at the
National Association of Broadcasters conference. At our booth, we had the 50-channel DVR on display and ramped up for active demos and got to meet tons of interesting people in the entertainment industry.

We were in South Upper Hall, a lively, active spot. Passerby came over to enter our DVR contest, which is still going on until the end of this week (April 30), if you haven't entered. But man, did we get some funny names and reactions at the booth!

The Broadcast Education Association had a co-located conference that Thursday (April 15) where our CEO Rakesh Agrawal participated in a panel along with other news assignment editors and journalism professors. The panel explored adapting news video for the Web.

For those of you who couldn't make it and requested the rebroadcast, we've clipped out Rakesh's portion for you to watch. (It's on our YouTube channel.)

All in all, definitely a great show. This was SnapStream's fourth time, my third, and I know we'll be back to kick it again next year.

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!

What's the top medium for news amongst Americans?

March 18 2010 by Rakesh

It's traditional television, according to a study that the Pew Research released earlier this month.

In the line-up of 'where people get their news', traditional television took the #1 and #2 spots (specifically, #1 went to 'local TV stations' and #2 went to 'national TV network') followed by the Internet. (read the link above for more details)

We talk to people all the time who can easily (or easily enough) use things like Google Alerts to track what's being said online but tracking what's being said on traditional television is more difficult.

And that's where SnapStream's TV search appliance and our TV Trends services come in. We make it easier to for organizations to track what's being said on traditional television.

With our TV search appliance, you can do searches across traditional television, quickly browse the video search results, create and email clips, and burn DVDs.

And with TV Trends, we record national TV news (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, MSNBC and CNN) and make it so you can view trends.

MLB Network Chooses SnapStream to Search Television

February 22 2010 by Joel

Baseball junkies rejoice! Today we announced MLB Network as the newest SnapStream customer. If you love baseball as much as I do, you're familiar with MLB Network. Spring training is around the corner. I wonder if they have any news about my Astros...

press release:

MLB Network Chooses SnapStream to Monitor and Search Television

Major League Baseball Network Logo

Houston TX, (PRWEB) February 22, 2010 - SnapStream Media, Inc. announced today that MLB Network, the ultimate television destination for baseball fans, will install SnapStream's TV search technology to monitor the competitive landscape, showcase their on-air marketing executions, and support business development efforts by providing the company with competitive intelligence.

“We will be taking aired content and creating packaged distribution to advertisers, affiliates, and for national and local marketing opportunities,” said Mark Haden, MLB Network’s VP of Engineering and IT. “We had used a variety of methods and SnapStream will allow us a single solution. The user interface is very intuitive and to be able to search using a published program schedule is very slick.”

“MLB Network is one of the most forward-thinking players in the industry,” said Rakesh Agrawal, Founder and CEO of SnapStream. “Having chosen SnapStream over a number of alternative solutions, including building a custom solution in-house, ultimately SnapStream made the cut because we offer a turnkey solution and an ease-of-use that is unmatched in any other product or solution, which re-affirms SnapStream as the optimal way for government, education and entertainment organizations to monitor television.”

The SnapStream TV search solution to be deployed at MLB Network will allow staff to centrally record and archive 4 channels of television; then subsequently search those recordings and create clips.

Visit the website to learn more about SnapStream's affordable and effective TV search technology

About SnapStream Media, Inc.

SnapStream allows organizations to put their finger on the pulse of traditional television. Customers can record a virtually unlimited number of TV shows from satellite, cable or antenna and then search inside those TV shows to pinpoint television content of interest. Existing customers include government organizations, such as the U.S. Senate and the City of New York, to educational institutions at the university and K-12 level to entertainment organizations such as Comcast Entertainment, Current TV, and MTV.

Current TV replaces their 'messy' DVRs with SnapStream

February 11 2010 by Rakesh

We announced Current TV as a SnapStream customer earlier today (press release copied below).

If you've never watched Infomania, it's a look back on the week in media, similar in form to The Soup on E! and Best Week Ever on VH1/MTV (both shows that also run off of our TV search technology).

One of the segments that Infomania does that I'm a big fan of is "Target Women" with Sarah Haskins. Hilarious stuff.

The press release:

Current TV and infoMania Install SnapStream, Replace “Messy” DVR Setup

Houston, TX (PRWEB) February 10, 2010 -- SnapStream Media, Inc., announced today that infoMania, the half-hour satirical news show that airs on Current TV, has installed a six-tuner SnapStream Server to record, search, and grab video clips for usage in their weekly commentary. Launched in 2007, the SnapStream Server is a turn-key television search appliance that enables organizations to record and store thousands of hours of television and then search inside those recordings by keywords and phrases.

Each week, the infoMania crew strives to put a humorous spin on media trends, routinely using video clips from TV and the Web to illustrate jokes. When the show debuted in 2008, staffers were doing a lot of extra work to track down footage.
Current now uses SnapStream to make infoMania. SnapStream’s technology allows infoMania to record six shows simultaneously and store hundreds of hours of television. Its producers can then quickly locate the desired footage by keyword. The biggest gain, says global senior broadcast engineer Dave Simon, is the ability to find content fast. "SnapStream was the first system we looked at that had the ability to record and search closed-captioning," Simon says. "To a television operation like infoMania, that is paramount."

In addition, Current Media, the corporation that owns and produces infoMania, has installed a second SnapStream Server for media monitoring in their San Francisco office.

“Their selection of SnapStream to not only produce infoMania, but also to monitor media mentions of the company itself, as well as create content for their corporate video and news feeds, speaks volumes about the power and capabilities behind the SnapStream Server solution,” said Rakesh Agrawal, SnapStream’s CEO and Founder.

Visit the website to learn more about SnapStream's affordable and effective TV search technology - our turn-key TV search appliances starting at $2,000.

About SnapStream Media, Inc.

SnapStream allows organizations to put their finger on the pulse of traditional television. Customers can record a virtually unlimited number of TV shows from satellite, cable or antenna and then search inside those TV shows to pinpoint television content of interest. Existing customers include government organizations, such as the U.S. Senate and the City of New York, to educational institutions at the university and K-12 level to entertainment organizations such as Comcast Entertainment, Current TV, and MTV.

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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