Minnesota's Tightrope Media Systems announced is expanding its Screenweave mobile and OTT apps to bring community media organizations’ live channels and on-demand programs to an even wider range of viewing platforms. Complementing existing Roku and Apple TV support, a new Screenweave app brings content from Tightrope’s Cablecast Community Media platform immediately to Amazon Fire TV devices. Screenweave apps for Android TV devices as well as Android and iOS smartphones and tablets will follow in the coming months.
According to Tightrope, Screenweave apps work seamlessly with Cablecast broadcast automation servers and the Cablecast Reflect cloud-based streaming service to easily and efficiently make public access, education, and government (PEG) channels available through OTT media players and mobile devices in glorious HD quality. Viewers can browse categorized collections of VOD clips, search the station’s VOD library for topics of interest, and switch easily between the station’s live feeds.
Extending the Cablecast platform’s “add once, publish everywhere” simplicity, Screenweave requires no ongoing operational effort by station staff. After initial Screenweave configuration – adding the station’s branding, customizing metadata display, and defining content categories via keywords – new content added to Cablecast is automatically made available in dynamically-updated libraries across all OTT and mobile platforms. Customers can simply “set it and forget it.”
“Community broadcasters need to reach their audiences whenever, wherever, and on whatever device each viewer prefers,” said Steve Israelsky, President, Cablecast Community Media. “OTT platforms have become crucial conduits for making content accessible to potential viewers who don’t have cable subscriptions. Meanwhile, although our responsive online templates already let stations offer content to mobile viewers through their websites, users often now prefer an app-based approach for everything from media consumption to online shopping. With the expansion of our Screenweave app family, our customers can effortlessly make their content available in intuitive apps on all of the most popular OTT and mobile platforms.”
Viewers can access content through the standard Screenweave app, which provides a central directory of all Screenweave-powered community media channels and automatically recommends the station located closest to the viewer when the app is first used. The viewer’s preferred station is remembered for subsequent app sessions, automatically going directly to the station’s branded portal. Stations can also upgrade to their own custom-branded, dedicated app, making it even easier for their audience to find the station in their platform’s app library.
Publishing through the community Screenweave app is free of charge for Cablecast customers with an active Cablecast Reflect stream delivery subscription, including up to three channels per station. Custom, dedicated Screenweave apps can be created by Tightrope’s professional services team at extremely competitive pricing – typically far less expensive than alternative offerings or the time and effort of customers doing their own development.
“With the standard Screenweave apps free for stations to use with our Cablecast Reflect subscription, there’s less reason for any PEG broadcaster not to make their content available on all of these OTT and mobile platforms,” added Israelsky. “Even for viewers who also have cable, Screenweave lets them add the community channel to their device’s home screen right alongside their favorite commercial media services, elevating it from being buried deep in a channel guide. Plus, once a station sets up Screenweave for one OTT or mobile platform, they’re instantly set up for the other five – plus any future Screenweave platforms we add. For example, our new Fire TV app launched with several hundred channels already available from our existing Screenweave customers – all with zero additional effort required on their part.”
The new Screenweave Fire TV app is available to viewers immediately, with the Android TV, Android mobile and iOS mobile apps slated for release in the coming months.