HPAT Expands Municipal Meeting Reach with IP Video Workflow from Cablecast Automation

Author: Dimension PR

Published: 29 September 2023

HPAT Expands Municipal Meeting Reach with IP Video Workflow from Cablecast Automation

Northern Minnesota residents can watch live City Council meetings and more on all viewing platforms thanks to broad network stream support 

Between support for RTMP, NDI, and HLS, Cablecast has empowered Hibbing Public Access Television, a nonprofit organization that serves the Hibbing, Minn., area, to make the most of its IP-based workflows. 

At City Hall, HPAT maintains a multi-camera PTZ setup for live coverage of the Hibbing City Council and other meetings. When the pandemic created the need for virtual meeting participants, the Cablecast RTMP solution available in Tightrope’s Cablecast Automation platform helped integrate the RTMP feed from Zoom into HPAT’s live coverage on their cable channel, internet channel, streaming apps, and social media. 

Ron Wirkkula, President of HPAT, recalled a public utilities meeting where an auditing company used Zoom to join the meeting and provide financial information. The workflow required HPAT to accept a meeting invite, login into Zoom, and use an HDMI-to-SDI converter to feed the signal from the laptop to the on-site NewTek TriCaster.

“We now send everything through NDI,” explained Wirkkula. “The network-based solution has been so much easier and more efficient than the old SDI workflow. I think we got it down to a pretty good science.”

Cablecast Automation is helping HPAT modernize its workflow and expand its reach. The nonprofit corporation got its start in the early 1990s covering local events. Now, it has six part-time employees and is located on the lower level of a local bank building. Funded by franchise fees, HPAT has three HD PEG channels on the local Mediacom cable system, an upgrade from its SD channels that took years to negotiate and launched in July 2022. HPAT also supportsan internet channel that operates through its Cablecast playback system. 

For live streaming, HPAT has one of its three IP addresses dedicated to HPAT, which uses a Teradek Wave to encode its live programming that is simulcast to Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and its own website. Another IP address is reserved for live streaming of government meetings and activities, while a third is shared by two churches to simulcast services.

HPAT also uses Cablecast network stream workflows to syndicate its coverage to the neighboring city of Grand Rapids, Minn. This began in Fall 2022, when HPAT hosted live candidate forums that were simulcast to Grand Rapids. Wirkkula said it was the first time HPAT streamed its programming to another city for them to air on their PEG channel. The station used the HLS output from its Cablecast LIVE server to deliver the live coverage to viewers on the Grand Rapids cable channel.

With its Cablecast workflows, HPAT has effectively expanded its coverage both online and through syndication. Plus, its Cablecast Automation platform has made it easier to incorporate virtual participants in city meetings. 

HPAT Expands Municipal Meeting Reach with IP Video Workflow from Cablecast Automation

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