At the 2017 IAMU Broadband Conference, one of our general sessions was a panel discussion on how local programming can ad value to a small cable operator's service. The challenge for a system looking to make a move into local programming is the cost of equipment and the human resources needed to do it well. Now, a new solution called "SlingStudio" may be a reasonable answer.
SlingStudio, announced by Dish Network at the NAB show in April, is promoted as a solution for producing high-quality video content for social media platforms. However, it appears from the product's description that it could also be a solution for producing local programming for either live telecast or for delayed playback.
SlingStudio, which has a starting price of $999, allows you to set up a multi-camera video shoot for an event (sporting event, community event, etc.) through the use of a private WiFi network that is included in the system. Professional-grade camcorders are connected to the network through a wireless adapter that streams video to a virtual switcher that resides on an iPad. In addition to regular camcorders, you can also use smartphones and tablets equipped with cameras to stream video to the hub via an app on the device. Once the video is mixed by the iPad it can be stored on a hard drive or even streamed live to various social media platforms.
A use case might be this: your cable system wants to provide live coverage of the local high school graduation. You could use the SlingStudio equipment and a few smartphones (or cameras) to do so and stream the video live to your Facebook page while at the same time recording it for playback on your local channel. The same could be done with sports, although schools might frown on a live broadcast for fear that it would reduce gate receipts.
There's a good article about SlingStudio on Fierce Cable's website. The SlingStudio website also has details and pricing information.
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