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YOU ARE AT:Business NewsNAB 2024: New Cablecast Accessibility Upgrades Deliver Improved Viewer Experience

NAB 2024: New Cablecast Accessibility Upgrades Deliver Improved Viewer Experience

Tightrope Media Systems’ Cablecast Community Media platform has been a key tool for 25 years, enabling organizations to efficiently distribute video across various platforms, including cable channels, websites, and mobile devices.

Cablecast Community Media is introducing several new features at the 2024 NAB Show in Las Vegas, including Multiple Audio Programs (MAP) functionality for broadcasting multiple audio pairs, Enhanced Search for Video-on-Demand (VOD) titles, chapters, and transcripts, and improved accessibility features conforming to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2.

These upgrades aim to enhance the viewer experience for PEG channels by providing better accessibility options, allowing for multi-language broadcasting, improved search capabilities, and ensuring compliance with web accessibility standards. This aligns with Cablecast’s goal of helping community media channels serve all members of the community, including those with disabilities and non-English speaking residents, while also streamlining content delivery and navigation.

Cablecast Community Media is helping PEG channels improve the viewer experience with several new features that will be demonstrated at NAB Show 2024 in Las Vegas April 14-17. Cablecast will exhibit at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel next to the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Known for its streamlined solutions for linear TV, Video on Demand, OTT and mobile streaming for local media, Cablecast is leading with accessibility upgrades at NAB this year. Its new Multiple Audio Programs (MAP) functionality answers the need for Secondary Audio Program (SAP) support. Other upgrades include expanded web content accessibility features and improved VOD search capabilities.

Developed for Cablecast VIO video servers, MAP allows PEG channels to broadcast multiple audio pairs. Initially supporting two audio channels, this full-featured option will eventually allow PEG stations to air four languages simultaneously. Station programmers can define languages and select them at the channel or program level. Viewers can use the SAP feature via their television or streaming app on mobile and OTT platforms. MAP allows for other use cases as well, such as audio description for residents with visual impairments or director’s commentary.

“Some states are considering implementing SAP requirements anytime the population of a community reaches a certain threshold of non-English speaking residents,” explained Steve Israelsky, President, Cablecast Community Media. “Our new MAP feature will enable them to serve these groups of non-native English speakers without requiring an additional channel.”

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Another upgrade allows community media centers with the Cablecast REFLECT+ cloud-based content delivery service to offer Enhanced Search on Cablecast Internet Channels. This feature enables search of Video-on-Demand (VOD) titles, chapters, and transcripts. “The ability to search closed captioning transcriptions across an entire online library of content, particularly for local sports and city meetings, makes it much easier to find the content you want to watch and skip the parts you don’t need,” Israelsky said.

For example, rather than watch an entire basketball game, a viewer can type in the name of a specific player. If the player’s name is included in the closed captioning, the viewer can then access the portions of the game that mention the player and watch those highlights. The same process can also work for viewing specific agenda items or discussion topics during a city commission meeting, rather than watching the whole meeting or needing to scrub to the exact moment frame by frame.

Cablecast is also making an effort to expand video accessibility features on its Cablecast Internet Channels by conforming to the updated Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Published by the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative, WCAG 2.2 became a W3C recommendation last fall. The guidelines are designed to make web content more usable for people with disabilities and users in general.

“Community media channels want their programming to be enjoyed by all members of the community,” Israelsky added. “By making sure Cablecast Internet Channels not only comply with but exceed the WCAG, we are helping our PEG customers serve residents with disabilities.”

Cablecast is scheduling meetings for the 2024 NAB Show to demo its new accessibility upgrades and other PEG channel solutions.

 

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