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Meredith Stations Choose Telestream’s Wirecast Gear for Facebook Live Streaming

In a sign of the times, Meredith Corporation is using consumer-level Facebook Live technology to extend its reach and draw closer to its viewers. The major independent broadcast company—owners of 15 U.S. DTV stations in 13 markets, reaching 12 million people (or 11 percent) of U.S. households—is using a Wirecast Gear live streaming appliance from Telestream to enable its stations to stream breaking news and news-related content directly to Facebook Live.

The move comes as the Meredith TV Group has issued a corporate directive to its digital content teams at its stations to use Facebook Live to more closely interact with new viewers that tune into social media more often than TV, connect with loyal viewers outside of normal news cycles, and serve as a trustworthy news source for the Facebook community. To support its Facebook Live strategy, Meredith has invested in Telestream's Wirecast Gear in all of its markets nationwide to stream content via Facebook Live, and eventually to other social media platforms, on a regular basis.

“Since live video news is a key service that we provide, Facebook Live presents a unique opportunity for us to raise the visibility of our media brand on Facebook, and to share the timely, trusted news programming that airs on our main channels,” said Larry Oaks, Vice President of Technology, at Meredith Corporation.

Meredith stations will use Telestream’s Wirecast Gear for breaking news outside their typical news cycle but also for simulcasts of studio broadcast, or promotional and pre-recorded content.

“With the ability to interface with our routers, we can drive any content from our facility or a remote shoot to Facebook Live, complete with branding,” Oaks said.

Wirecast Gear integrates a core toolset essential to streaming production, including: a user-friendly interface, intuitive operation and quick learning curve; image branding, graphics and keying for the placement of logo bugs; multi-camera switching, audio mixing, roll-ins, green screen keying, and other production tools; and of course quick, easy connections to go live on leading social media sites.

From ingest of live sources to an encoded live stream, Wirecast Gear handles all Web streaming activities.

From ingest of live sources to an encoded live stream, Wirecast Gear handles all Web streaming activities.

Since 2000, Meredith has been using Telestream’s Vantage signal processing platform running on Lightspeed servers to automate its media processing operations.

Oaks said that Wirecast Gear met all of our criteria for an integrated platform that includes live production capabilities in a single, compact, affordable system that’s easy to learn and operate. More importantly, he said, “Wirecast makes it simple to get a secure connection and start streaming media to social destinations. We just select Facebook Live from a pull-down menu and it facilitates whatever handshake, log-in or settings we need to start streaming quickly and reliably,”

Wirecast Gear includes the Wirecast streaming software fully loaded and configured on turnkey, qualified, compact computer hardware built for the rigors of live streaming. The local stations’ house routers feed video to one or more of the four inputs Wirecast Gear includes. The video feed can be from HD-SDI cameras, iOS and webcam devices, remote video feeds and other acquisition devices and sources.

When streaming to Facebook Live, Wirecast makes it easy for users to select Facebook as their desired output destination from a dropdown menu; they can also quickly select the precise destination page or site to stream to, choose a stream type and encode setting, and save a recording of their live broadcast for future reuse or archive.

“For us, having the ability to stream our trusted, high-value video news content to Facebook Live is the key to really engaging social media users,” Oaks said. “It’s a way of expanding our market reach into social media, while enticing devoted social media users to also check-out our on-air channels.”

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