Latest Developments in TV Monitoring Software and Technology on SnapStream's TV Searcher Blog

The Newest Developments in TV Monitoring Technology


What’s New in SnapStream 6.6?

July 1st, 2015 by Rachel Abbott

New SnapStream 6.6 is available today. Upgrade now to get your hands on these new features:

See SnapStream 6.6 in action: Sign-up for a webinar

 New Twitter Updates

Twitter Native Video

We integrated Twitter Native Video into our social TV tools. Why is it so awesome? Because autoplay. TV clips and GIFs autoplay on Twitter like magic, so you get the best engagement on your content.

 See Twitter Native Video in action (11 secs)


Add Meme Text to Animated GIFs

With the new ability to add meme text to your animated GIFs, your GIFs just got 100% funnier! Check out the example below with Family Feud—the Internet is teeming with memes on this show:


What if you could match Tweets with their TV moments? Click “Snap” and SnapStream will take you to the moment in the broadcast, predicted by the Tweet’s context and timestamp.

 New Timecoded Tags

Tags are a useful way to label visual and non-verbal cues. Drop tags at specifc points of a TV show or a clip and they get indexed into TV search, so you can find a tagged moment at the drop of a hat.

 See Timecoded Tags in action (33 secs)

New Clip Montages

Once you’ve tagged a bunch of clips, merge them into a montage—a powerful way to composite highlights on a topic from around television.

 Watch this clip montage about “Marriage Equality” (47 secs)

Drop several clips into a Playlist and SnapStream produces them into a single file. Another new update: batch share segments of a Playlist with peers (via SnapStream cloud.)

New Transcode to XDCAM

SnapStream has a new ability to transcode to XDCAM, a format heavily used in broadcast. XDCAM enables a seamless export of TV recordings and clips into editing suites, like Final Cut Pro and Avid.


xdcam

See a Live Demo of SnapStream 6.6

Tues. July 14

3 pm eastern

signUp

Wed. July 15

Noon eastern

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Schedule Your Upgrade

Get on 6.6 today. Schedule your free upgrade* with SnapStream’s support team, please submit a ticket or email support@snapstream.com.

*All software upgrades are free for current SnapStream customers who have a valid support contract and meet the hardware pre-requisites.

 

 

New: Share TV clips as Twitter native video

June 2nd, 2015 by Rakesh Agrawal

Last week, Twitter announced support for native video uploads in their API.

Our engineering team jumped on it and today we’re happy to announce that we’ve added support for native Twitter videos into SnapStream. Check it out:

With native Twitter video as a part of SnapStream’s social TV features, our users can capture TV moments and upload them quickly and easily to Twitter. And their Twitter audience will get the best video experience Twitter has to offer (most views, most engagement). Publishers can also monetize video tweets in a Twitter Amplify campaign.

(And to other developers out there: since we’re early adopters of this new Twitter API, we also wrote-up our experiences and published some sample C# source code to github. Hope it helps.)

Our feedback on native video upload in the Twitter REST API

June 2nd, 2015 by Rakesh Agrawal

We just added Twitter native video into SnapStream (more on this here). For posterity, we documented our experiences and suggestions for improvement (feedback from Jason Baumeister):

The documentation is spread out.

https://dev.twitter.com/rest/reference/post/media/upload-chunked

The link above contains very little in the way of actual details (note it doesn’t even say what the JSON returned by INIT or FINALIZE is or even mention what the calls return/do in error cases), because they want you to go here:

https://dev.twitter.com/rest/public/uploading-media

but while that has more details in some areas it has less details in others (and still no error case documentation).

The examples are all given using the twurl tool, which has shortcuts like ‘–file-field “media”‘ so then you get to work backwards from the examples through the documentation to try and figure out what they actually want. If the examples were the raw multipart requests, the spec would be much easier to directly implement. Having to get their tool running and trace the headers that way is extremely roundabout for a simple example for someone to build off of.

The error messages during this process are vague. A poorly crafted multipart request gets things like a “media not found” error.

If twitter doesn’t like the video you upload, the upload itself looks to work fine, but you get a “The validation of media ids failed.” error when you try to actually post a tweet with the media id linked. If the FINALIZE command could actually validate the file and return an error message (and that error message actually indicated what the problem was) things would be a lot cleaner.

I believe they require MOOV before MDAT (aka MP4 FastStart) files, but the listed video specs don’t indicate this (or I have had a file be flagged as invalid for another reason I can’t track down).

Documentation for the multipart uploads says the Content-Type header is required on the multipart boundary with the file data, but in practice it seems to be completely optional?

Here’s some simple C# code on GitHub that uses the Twitter REST API to upload a native video:

https://github.com/SnapStreamJason/TinyTwitter
https://github.com/SnapStreamJason/TinyTwitter/commit/858d226100dc855b6911de1417f7eebfd0b5d002

(There are probably a few more things noted in comments in the github commit)

New SnapStream Express: Record & Search TV for $499

April 30th, 2015 by Rachel Abbott

snapstreamExpress

Meet the New SnapStream Express. At $499, it’s the smallest SnapStream appliance ever. You get all the power of SnapStream’s TV recording, search and Twitter and Facebook integration, in a compact, affordable package.

SnapStream Express paves the way for more users to get their hands on SnapStream. Everyone can record and search TV like “The Daily Show” and “Last Week Tonight.” Be it a single TV show with a social media initiative, a TV-focused journalist, or any organization using DVRs or TiVos.

New! SnapStream Express ($499)

SnapStream Express is now available with free U.S. shipping. Get yours at snapstream.com/express:

• Record 2 TV channels in SD or HD

• Up to 2,076 hours (SD) or 346 hours (HD) with 2TB

• SnapStream’s TV search & social TV features*

• Share unlimited clips in the cloud

• Regular software & program guide updates

• Full-service technical support & user training

We got an awesome write-up about the SnapStream Express launch on Ars Technica. And oh, here’s a #BananaForScale, to show the svelte form factor of SnapStream Express.

Which SnapStream is Right For You?

Considering the SnapStream Small Business Edition (SBE) starts at $10,000, SnapStream Express delivers a new entry-level option that’s easy to budget for, manage and deploy.

SnapStream Express SnapStream SBE or SD/HD
Size Desktop PC Size (10.9″ x 8.7″ x 6.9″) 3U Rackmount (25.5″ x 17.2″ x 5.2″)
Weight Lightweight (10 lbs) Heavy-duty (75 – 120 lbs)
IT Footprint Quietly sits on your desk like a PC IT admin stores in your server room
Storage 2 TB stores up to 2,076 hrs (max) SBE: 3 TB stores up to 3,400 hrs (max)
SD/HD: expandable storage/archive
Channels 2 SD/HD channels max SBE: Max. 6 channels SD/HD
SD/HD: 4-10+ channels expandable
Users 5 users max SBE: 5 users max; SD/HD: unlimited
Price $499 Starts at $10,000

We’re happy to consult on the best SnapStream option for you. Drop us a line at sales@snapstream.com or 1-877-762-7787.

*SnapStream Express has the same feature set as the Small Business Edition. This includes capabilities like TV recording, search, unlimited clips, cloud sharing, file export, social media integration and more. This excludes SmartChapters and Clustering, and limits ShowSqueeze to clips only. Maximum of 5 user licenses.

SnapStream Highlights from NAB 2015

April 20th, 2015 by Rachel Abbott

We’re back, y’all! Team SnapStream just wrapped from exhibiting at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas.

NAB Highlights

Our booth was awesome this year!

We got to meet with hundreds of folks in the television and entertainment space, plus government and education, too. Everyone was digging our new social TV features for sharing TV moments to Twitter and Facebook. We had some beta features on display, exclusively for the NAB crowd, including time-coded tags and the new transcript word cloud.

But the best part, hands down, was showing new people what SnapStream can do and watching their eyes light up! When you demonstrate how easy it is to schedule recordings in our program guide, search by keyword and pull up a clip, people are amazed. Our established workflow solves a very real problem for organizations out there, who are still using DVRs or don’t have an existing or easy way to manage television.

We’re excited to help more people overcome their TV recording challenges, and provide all the right tools for efficiently tracking and monitoring TV.

#WalkingGIF

As soon as you walked up to SnapStream’s booth, you were immediately greeted by a smiling and waving shark. The one and only #LeftShark, as seen on TV… and Twitter!

Many people hadn’t seen a real, live GIF in person before.

Let alone, a GIF that walks and talks!

The #WalkingGIF made waves around the Las Vegas Convention Center, and made friends with everyone he met.

If you tweeted a photo, video or GIF with the #WalkingGIF, you could enter our contest to win a free Apple Watch. How could you win? Well, you had to get the most engagement on Twitter (highest total of retweets + favorites.)

Check out our blog post about the #WalkingGIF contest to see some of the wacky photos and to find out who won!

All in all, our 9th NAB Show was a huge success. We were inspired to meet new people we can help, and there’s nothing we love more than continuing relationships with our amazing customers. See you next year for our 10th anniversary!

SnapStream’s #WalkingGIF Contest at NAB Show

April 20th, 2015 by The Walking GIF

To launch SnapStream’s new social TV features at NAB 2015, I was invited as the special guest of honor. You may have seen me roaming around the NAB hall, dancing inside of a life-size Tweet and waving hello to welcome you into our booth.

They call me: the #WalkingGIF.

Just like SnapStream’s new social media tools for sharing TV GIFs, clips and moments to Twitter and Facebook, it was also my first NAB experience. What a show, what a place!

NAB goers were understandably very excited to meet me. It was love at first bite. They instantly knew I was a GIF of #LeftShark! (You know, the Twitter celebrity and Internet meme from the Super Bowl halftime show.)

At least I felt like a celebrity, anyway.

The people at NAB wanted to remember this moment, forever. They were all like, “I gotta take a selfie with you!” Yes, please. I am the king of selfies. I told them to tweet about our time together, to win a free Apple Watch.

I really loved meeting all of you and took home a lot of fun memories. Thanks for welcoming me to my first NAB!

And the winner is…

Congratulations to the #WalkingGIF contest winner @CandLSMommy for having the most engagement on her Tweet (retweets + favorites)! Enjoy your new Apple Watch Sport!

New at NAB 2015: SnapStream Cloud + Social TV

April 7th, 2015 by Rachel Abbott

We are on Cloud 9, literally! It’s our 9th year in a row exhibiting at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas. And we are thrilled to be introducing SnapStream Cloud, along with SnapStream’s new social TV features, to over 100,000 of the most tech-savvy media and entertainment professionals.

If you’re one of ‘em, come on by and visit! We’re in a prime-time spot (pun intended) in South Upper Hall SU5402. We are the 9th booth (noticing a theme here?) in the first main aisle.

Here’s a lovely map for you.

See a SnapStream Demo at NAB

To schedule a demo (which we recommend), email sales@snapstream.com. But drop-ins are welcome! We’ll show you the ropes of SnapStream’s TV recording and search technology, plus you’ll get an exclusive look at what’s new and coming soon:

New Social TV Features

  • View Tweets in sync with TV broadcasts
  • Link Tweets to their TV moments
  • Reply to Tweets with pics, TV clips & GIFs
  • Post TV clips & pics to Facebook
  • Add “meme text” to screenshots

New SnapStream Cloud

  • No up-front hardware cost
  • Easier to install & Internet accessible
  • $300 / month fee (no contract)
  • Record 4+ channels over IP
  • Unlimited clips and users

New Features Coming Soon

  • Add time-coded tags to TV clips & recordings
  • Transcode to XDCAM
  • Merge TV clips into one file
  • Auto-segments & transcript word cloud

NAB Show Exhibit Hours

Mon. April 13 10 AM – 6 PM
Tues. April 14 9 AM – 6 PM
Wed. April 15 9 AM – 6 PM
Thurs. April 16 9 AM – 2 PM

 #WalkingGIF Contest: Win the Apple Watch

Our Walking GIF will be roaming the Las Vegas Convention Center and he needs your help commemorating his inaugural visit to NAB.  The contest starts bright and early Monday at 10 AM and ends Wednesday at 3 PM (Pacific Time). Here’s how it works!

1. Find the Walking GIF

Keep your eyes open and cameras ready during the convention because the GIF won’t be in one place for too long…

2. Take a picture, GIF or video

Take a selfie or quick video for Twitter. GIF if you know how!

3. Tweet it with #WalkingGIF #NABShow

You must use both hashtags to enter the contest.

4. Most engaged Tweet wins the Apple Watch

The person with the most combined Retweets and Favorites will be awarded the Apple Watch Sport, so it pays to be creative!

Official Contest Rules:

  • Contest runs Mon. April 13th @ 10 AM – Wed. April 15th @ 3 PM Pacific.
  • Must Tweet either a picture, GIF or video with the Walking GIF.
  • Must use BOTH hashtags WalkingGIF and #NABShow to be eligible for the contest.
  • The Tweet with the most combined Retweets and Favorites on Wed @ 3 PM will be declared the winner. In the event of a tie, the person who posted first will be the chosen winner.
  • SnapStream will direct message the winner on Twitter on Wednesday after the 3 PM deadline.
  • The winner will receive the new Apple Watch Sport (color and size chosen by the winner). SnapStream will purchase the watch on behalf of the winner on April 24th, the Apple Watch launch day, and it will be shipped directly to them.

New: SnapStream Cloud DVR

March 11th, 2015 by Rachel Abbott

Today, we’re announcing a brand new product… going bravely where no SnapStream has gone before…

SnapStream Cloud is a new SnapStream, without the hardware. It’s easier to install and Internet accessible. So you can enjoy all of SnapStream’s powerful TV monitoring features on-the-go.

  • No upfront cost
  • $300 / month fee, no contract
  • Record 4 TV channels over IP*
  • Create unlimited clips
  • Approximately 1 week of 24×7 storage
  • Unlimited users


*More channels can be added to your package.

Here’s How SnapStream Cloud Works:

step1 Capture your local TV source(s), like analog cable, digital cable or satellite.
step2 SnapStream Cloud accepts H.264 video in a transport stream container over UDP, RTP or TCP. If you don’t already have this, here are some devices we support: HDHomeRun Extend, Hauppauge StreamEez-Pro, Haivision Barracuda, Haivision Makito.
step3 Point your IPTV source to the SnapStream Cloud to start recording & watching live TV.
step4 Search, play, clip and share your TV shows from anywhere in the world.

Want a Demo of SnapStream Cloud?

See how you can record, search, clip and share unlimited TV on-the-go, using SnapStream Cloud to monitor TV from anywhere in the world.

Upcoming live demos:

Tuesday, March 24
3 pm EST / Noon PST
Sign Up
or Wednesday, March 25
12 pm EST / 9 am PST
Sign Up

Want a demo sooner, or have questions about SnapStream Cloud?

Contact sales@snapstream.com or 1-877-762-7787.


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