TV stations are using StreamClick, a cloud-based software service from Megaphone TV, as a production studio. With the tool, someone using a laptop can replicate a broadcast-quality stream without any other equipment.
Just days away from an important election, WITI, the Fox O&O in Milwaukee, discovered the answer for how the station wanted its streaming coverage to look.
“We wanted it more like a broadcast, similar to what we do on air without having all sorts of broadcast equipment like we do on a normal basis,” says Kale Zimny, WITI’s chief photographer.
Zimny says WITI subscribes to Megaphone TV, a service that provides on-air polling. But the company also offers a newer product called StreamClick that intrigued the station. “We took a look at it, thought this could be a good way to really make our digital coverage stand out, and within a day we were up and running on StreamClick,” he says.
In Los Angeles at Fox-owned KTTV, Kevin Scalir, the station’s director of news operations, says the station was looking for a way to allow crosstalk among the anchors and reporters when everyone was in a remote location during the broadcast of Good Day L.A., the station’s morning newscast.
“StreamClick was exactly what I needed,” Scalir says, adding that StreamClick provides high broadcast-quality live video without any delay.
The anchors “can interact with each other as though they are sitting next to each other,” Scalir says. “The real-time features of StreamClick let them do that.”
That interactivity is what made the streaming of WITI’s election coverage stand out, Zimny says.
The back and forth of WITI anchors and reporters out in the field at different watch parties covering all aspects of the race was easy “because you didn’t need anything else but their phones. We bring in their camera and microphone, do double or triple boxes just like we do normally on our broadcast,” he says.
Scalir says you don’t have to install anything with StreamClick. “It’s all controlled on the web, so there is no hardware,” he says.
Zimny says StreamClick allows stations to essentially bypass the control room.
“It acts as a switcher to bring in live guests from the field and to pull up graphics, to do polls, to show tweets, all sorts of things,” he says. “That really made us stand out.”
Paul Schmidt, Megaphone’s VP of customer success, says StreamClick is a cloud-based production studio, a software service the company offers free to TV stations that subscribe to Megaphone.
More than 50 TV stations currently subscribe and of those, a dozen or so use StreamClick, Schmidt says.
Zimny says more people are watching news on the internet, and stations have to serve those who take in news content digitally. “This software helps us do it. We see all sorts of applications for it now,” he says.
Now that there’s more appetite for streaming local news coverage, StreamClick is a flexible tool, Schmidt says. “The ability to have one person on the desk in the middle of a newsroom put together a four-hour streaming show is pretty impressive.”
“Now we have all these cool tools we didn’t used to have before,” Scalir says. “The end result is innovation.”
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