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Announcing Cablecast 5.0!

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Cablecast 5.0 is here!

We know that you’re all itching to read on about the cool new features in Cablecast 5.0, but there are several components to this upgrade that makes this a unique release. Therefore, we will be rolling out the update in three stages starting July 11. Be sure to read all about it at the end of this post.

When you get a chance, be sure to head over to our Cablecast home page and check out the new brochure and overview video.

Cablecast is all about workflow, and it just got a lot faster.

What’s New

Improved Schedule User Interface

Cablecast 5.0 allows you to drag and drop show runs, and groups of show runs, directly in the schedule. Shift them around as needed. You can also paste and ripple show runs to a specific time, e.g. “ripple this group of show runs to 8:00pm”.

You can now use keyboard shortcuts for many common tasks. This is likely to significantly cut down your time spent scheduling, especially when copying and pasting your programming to multiple days.

You will see icons next to each show run, which indicates what type of media the show is, e.g. Video File, DVD, Live Feed etc.

Improved Digital File Management

There are several enhancements to Digital File Management, all of which contribute to speeding up your workflow. Cablecast 5.0 constantly checks for video files in the media directory of the SX Video Servers. This ensures that all files are scanned for validation and are included in the file list before the page even loads. By reporting the exact discrepancies, Cablecast has taken out the guess work by providing you with exact details on how to fix the video file.

Meta data that includes frame rate, size and length is now stored in the show record and the associated video file under Digital File Management. Show records now contain a thumbnail of the video. Thanks to file validation, Cablecast will check the length entered into the show record against the actual length of the file.

“Orphaned Files” can now be renamed in the user interface. This allows you to link up an unassociated video file to a new or existing show record on the fly.

New Autopilot

The new Autopilot has been rewritten using the same back-end technology as our ZEPLAY platform. This allows faster sends and detailed reports. The Autopilot Send Report will let you know exactly what discrepancies there may be, giving you a peace of mind. Cablecast 5.0 will never attempt to play a video file that does not pass the validation, and therefore it will always skip over any unsupported video and switch to your default input.  What this means for you is that your station will never go to black!

Why this upgrade is different

As some of you know, we’ve been hard at work on ZEPLAY, which happens to be the best broadcast instant replay server that money can buy! ZEPLAY was part of our plan to dramatically improve everything about our playback video servers and now with Cablecast 5.0, the SX Video Servers are taking advantage of it!

Since ZEPLAY is sold internationally and competes with systems costing more than $250,000.00, we needed to be sure we were protecting ourselves, even though we’ve never had any issues with piracy in the past. That means that all of our SX servers are protected with a HASP key, which is a USB dongle and software driver that you install and then forget about.

Along with the HASP key, the new sub-system for the SX server requires new firmware for the system and taken together, it’s “kind of a big deal.” To keep things sane, we are releasing Cablecast 5.0 in stages.

Remember, if we are assisting you with the upgrade, the upgrade appointment needs to be scheduled with our support staff!

Stage 1: Customers with a Gold System Assurance contract have already paid for assistance with the installation and will be processed first. Also, if you purchased your system after December 31st, 2010, you will be included in this stage. Again, call or email for an appointment!

Stage 2: If you have Silver Assurance, the upgrade is free to you, but you’ll be in this stage. We expect to be ready to send HASP keys and instructions out around August 30th to everyone that would like to install the upgrade by themselves. We’ll even have an installation video ready to help!

Why can’t I get the upgrade right now, without your help?

While the HASP key is free, given that it only protects Tightrope, having our staff actually install the software is not covered under the upgrade warranty or our free support. The truth is, we’d love to give that away for free, but it wouldn’t be fair to Gold Assurance customers who paid for that service or anyone else who would be left waiting for support on their system! :)

Because of this, we want to be sure that we’re ready for customers who decide to go it alone, which means getting past the installation of upgrades to systems where we’ve been hired to help. We are determined to be ready, should you run into any issues and that means a staggered release.

I want to be in Stage 1 and want someone to walk my station through the upgrade!

If you have Silver System Assurance and would like to be included in the first stage of upgrades, we are making an offer to help with the cost of our upgrade installation assistance. We’ll shave 60 bucks off of the cost, bringing it down to $300.00. We’ll also throw in a free, Amber Ward Designed T-Shirt and the price includes a short introductory orientation to Cablecast 5.0! In truth, the t-shirt is worth it, all by itself!

If you do not currently have an assurance contract with us and would like to receive the upgrade, please get in touch with your dealer or call 866-866-4118 and press 1 to speak with a sales representative.

We’ll be in touch with more details on the roll out. For now, if you have any questions, please let us know! Thanks!

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