New server family increases configuration flexibility, channel density and customer value while providing a powerful platform for future software advances
ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, April 12, 2016 – Tightrope Media Systems is using the 2016 NAB Show (April 18-21, Las Vegas Convention Center) as the launch pad for Cablecast Flex, a new generation of multi-format video servers in the popular Cablecast broadcast automation family. Debuting in booth SL4228 at the show, Cablecast Flex servers combine the proven reliability and rich feature set of Tightrope's earlier Cablecast SX series with higher channel density, flexible configurability and increased performance. The Cablecast Flex platform also provides a powerful foundation for future Cablecast automation software enhancements.
Cablecast Flex Servers are available in two models, the Cablecast Flex 4 and the Cablecast Flex Lite. The Cablecast Flex 4 server features four channels that can be flexibly configured as either inputs or outputs. Ideal for customers with multiple channels – such as PEG operators with public, education and government access offerings – this increased channel density reduces equipment requirements, lowering both initial and operational costs. The Cablecast Flex Lite features one input channel and one output channel.
With Cablecast Flex 4, customers can do with one server what previously required two, lowering costs, minimizing maintenance and maximizing efficiency.
"It is very common for PEG stations, digital sub-channel broadcasters and educational campuses to operate three or more channels," said Steve Israelsky, VP Sales and Marketing, Tightrope Media Systems. "With Cablecast Flex 4, these customers will be able to use a single server to do what previously required two. This not only lowers their equipment purchase costs, but also enables ongoing savings in space, power, cooling and systems maintenance."
Users can change the input and output configuration through software controls, future-proofing the servers as customers' needs and channel line-ups evolve. The configuration flexibility of the Cablecast Flex line also extends to the servers' built-in storage, enabling customers to match the systems' internal capacity to their needs. Cablecast Flex 4 servers will be available with 16TB or 32TB of useable content storage configured as RAID5 for performance and fault tolerance. An additional model without an internal drive array will be offered soon for customers who prefer to connect an external storage system through a Fiber Channel or iSCSI interface.
Cablecast Flex servers include all of the powerful features and benefits that have delighted users of the preceding Cablecast SX series, delivering network-class reliability and comprehensive functionality in an affordable package. Multi-format playout enables media files encoded in MPEG2, H.264, DVCPro, ProRes and other formats to be played directly to air, with no transcoding required. Integrated live input encoding, channel branding and HD/SD up- and down-conversion can be controlled easily through Cablecast's intuitive software while minimizing the need for costly and cumbersome external equipment.
Cablecast Flex servers are driven by Cablecast broadcast automation software, providing a simple graphical, web-based user interface for automated playout scheduling, bulletin board promotion, reporting and online publishing. The Cablecast software can efficiently manage multiple Cablecast Flex (playout and recording), Cablecast Pro VOD (Video on Demand publishing) and Cablecast Live (live streaming) servers, or can be used standalone to control third-party video decks and routing switchers.
"For more than a decade, cable and broadcast stations have depended on Cablecast servers and software to easily, reliably and affordably manage and automate their channel operations," continued Israelsky. "Cablecast Flex servers continue this tradition while giving our customers even more value, greater flexibility and a forward-looking platform for the future."
Cablecast Flex servers will start shipping on May 16.