On Saturday, September 15, 2018, Total Webcasting streamed the 61st German-American Steuben Parade in New York City, reaching an audience that stretched across the world. While the webcast was obviously very popular here in the United States and in Germany, thousands of viewers tuned in from over 500 different cities, including locations in Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Spain, Russia, Norway, even places as diverse as Thailand, Libya, and the Maldives!
This was the fourth consecutive German-American Steuben Parade that we webcasted, and it was remarkably successful. Unlike many of our typical webcasts, the parade requires more than one technician onsite. When police shut down Fifth Avenue to vehicular traffic, there is a small window of time before the parade commences when our technicians can safely run cabling across the street, which is much more easily accomplished with a small team. Furthermore, during the parade, one technician operates the TW MediacartTM while a second controls and maneuvers a camera boom, used to capture sweeping shots of the passing floats, musicians, classic German automobiles, and other folks marching in the parade.
At last year’s parade, a gentleman approached us during the webcast with a request. His friend in Germany was watching the webcast, and he wanted to surprise her by appearing onscreen. Our technicians worked together to capture the man on camera for a few seconds during a lull between passing floats. The gentleman returned a few minutes later, gushing about how his friend, halfway around the globe in Germany, had seen him “on TV” and how happy it had made them both.
The same gentleman attended this year’s parade, and once again approached our technicians about getting a tiny bit of screentime. This year, however, he had a companion in tow, the very friend who had seen him on last year’s webcast. They had other acquaintances back in Germany, they said, and hoped to send a little greeting via the webcast. We obliged them.
This uplifting little tale demonstrates the power and reach of webcasting. Our work can bring people together, even if they’re currently standing on opposite sides of the planet. For the worldwide audience of the 61st German-American Steuben Parade, and for our freund (friend), webcasting makes the world smaller, rendering great distances irrelevant.
Interested in seeing the parade—the people in traditional German attire, lively floats, talented performances, classic Volkswagens, and all the other sights—for yourself? You can view it here anytime!
The following press release was published on StreamingMedia.com on September 4, 2018, and is also viewable on their website here.
Since 2007, Total Webcasting has been providing its premier ‘Glass to Glass’ Webcasting solution to customers in the government, education, corporate, and non-profit sectors. Combining Total Asset Manager, TAM(SM), a cloud-based content publishing system; and the TW Mediacart (SM), a portable production system, Total Webcasting is a one-stop, white glove, full-service Webcasting provider.
Total Webcasting is committed to the development of Assistive Technologies for better access to Live and On-demand Webcasts for people with disabilities. As a leading provider of Full Service Video Production for government, education, and corporate organizations, Total Webcasting has advanced its live Webcast closed captioning service, now with In Room/Real-time Captions, so in-person attendees can benefit from Total Webcasting’s current Live Closed Caption functionality. According to the National Institute of Health, “Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing.” To address the issue of meeting participants having trouble following the program due to hearing challenges, Total Webcasting has added a low-cost solution that provides “in the room viewing” of the real-time transcript. Using ultra low latency streaming for signal acquisition and time shifting for Webcast viewing, Total Webcasting offers an uncompromised and innovative solution for a very challenging problem.
Total Webcasting has been integrating post-production closed captions to their Webcasts since 2007. In 2014, Total Transcript Integration (TTI) was released, which links media to transcripts, making all Total Webcasting videos ‘searchable.’ Today, TTI is fully functioning, using a combination of AI and human review for highly accurate transcription, systematic workflow, and a 12-hour or under turnaround no matter how long the content.
For more information on Total Webcasting’s In-Room Transcripts or TTI, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For our inaugural post, we hope to introduce readers to Total Webcasting and the qualities that make us unique in a rapidly growing and continuously evolving industry. These insights will help frame future posts while also chronicling Total Webcasting’s journey through a complex and competitive market.
Since its founding in 2007, Total Webcasting has been focused on technology and services for the delivery of online video and content management. Based in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York, Total Webcasting has provided its premier products and services to organizations all across the country for over a decade.
Early on as a start-up business, we sought to develop core technologies and establish relationships with initial customers. Over the years, those core technologies evolved and advanced through several renditions as the company fostered numerous enduring relationships. Thus, Total Webcasting has emerged as a company with a reputation for accepting challenges head-on and delivering high quality solutions.
Technology continues to develop at breakneck speeds. Because webcasting—the process of broadcasting audio and video transmissions over the internet—requires those in the industry to stay ahead of the curve, we are constantly revising and improving our equipment, hardware, solutions, and on-site strategies. Oftentimes, these upgrades are smaller in scale: more durable and lightweight cabling, more efficient power sources, tripods that fold more compactly. But we’re also always looking for the best cameras and video encoders and sound mixers, improving whenever we can. No matter how big or small the change, however, all new equipment is thoroughly vetted and tested before being deployed on a job.
Strong client relationships have also been paramount to the success of Total Webcasting. We are committed to addressing every need our customers express, and will do everything within our power to provide a solution, even if it’s something we’ve never done before. Every aspect of the webcasting process, from inception to final distribution, is included in our services, and content can be streamed to the screen of any device—from desktop computers and laptops to tablets and smartphones, lending credence to our Glass-to-Glass Solution. From the glass of our camera lens to the glass of the viewer’s screen, Total Webcasting has you covered.
Need closed captions for your audience? No problem; we have offered that service since 2007. Want to embed our live webcast feed into your own website? We can do that. Customizable registration options? That has been available since 2009 when we released Total Asset Manager (TAMTM), a Software as a Service (SaaS) product. Pay-per-view? Check. Do you have a lengthy program and wish viewers could simply click on a section of the transcription to skip to that moment in the video? We’ve had you covered since 2014 when Total Webcasting introduced its Total Transcript Integration. And unlike many of our competitors, Total Webcasting has no cap on attendees viewing a webcast, no matter where they are in the world. We are aware of many of the emerging demands in the webcasting industry, but customers are always welcome to inquire if we may have a solution to their unique needs.
In closing, I would like to share a personal story that highlights some of the joys inherent in working in this business. As a technician, it was my job to webcast the two-day commencement ceremony of the State University of New York at New Paltz, the very institution that granted me my master’s degree. The weather was not very cooperative that weekend, rainy, breezy, and even in the best of times overcast and cool, but it was nice to be back on campus nonetheless.
The speeches were good, even memorable. There were no technical difficulties (and even though our technicians are equipped with plenty of redundant systems that allow them to operate without issue, it’s always a good day when they don’t need to resort to them). Plenty of coffee was consumed. Ostensibly, it was not a remarkable webcast.
However, near the end of the second day of the ceremonies, out of curiosity I accessed our live analytics report, which tallies unique IP addresses and sorts them by geographical location. I smiled at what I saw, and what the statistics implied. Then I looked at the numbers from the first day of graduation.
To date, nearly 3,000 unique IP addresses have accessed either the live webcast or the archived video. Obviously, this data cannot even begin to suggest how many individuals might have been huddled around a single screen in any one location, or how many repeated viewings there may have been. But the raw data was satisfying enough. At minimum, thousands of people across the globe had tuned in to watch their son or daughter, niece or nephew, grandson or granddaughter, best friend or godchild accept their college degree. There were viewers in France, Germany, Japan, China, Kenya, Pakistan, Nicaragua, Turkey, Egypt, Puerto Rico, Russia, Taiwan, Jamaica, Spain, and dozens of locations across the United States, to name a few.
Perhaps those who could not attend in person lived too far away or were too elderly, were ill or could not afford a distant trip. Maybe they had to work, or simply wanted to watch it all over again after the ceremony. Whatever the reason, it felt good to offer folks the opportunity to watch such a momentous occasion live (or later, on demand). It felt good to make a difference.