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Osprey – Government Streaming Services

Osprey® Video Capture Cards and SimulStream® Enable Swagit to Deliver High Performance, Multi-format Streaming Services for Government Agencies

Introduction

At all levels of government, there is a growing effort to enhance citizens’ experience and understanding of the decision-making processes that shape public policy. This movement toward greater government transparency has benefited tremendously from the rise of streaming media technology, which enables live and on-demand coverage of government proceedings accessible to anyone with internet access.

Swagit Productions, LLC is a leading provider of hosted audio/video streaming services for government agencies, with a fast-growing client roster that includes municipalities across the United States and Canada. Distinguished for its ability to provide automated, or “hands free,” streaming and content management capabilities that preclude the need for onsite A/V staffing resources, Swagit provides municipalities with a cost-effective, convenient means to engage the local community in government processes. To ensure high performance, flexible streaming services, Swagit counts on Osprey® video capture cards and SimulStream® software to underpin its streaming media hardware and software infrastructure.

The Challenge

Streaming with EASE

Swagit’s popular Extensible Automated Streaming Engine (EASE) solution is designed to provide government agencies with a comprehensive streaming media framework that automates and offloads labor-intensive workflows. Through a mixture of onsite streaming media encoders, management software, and offsite support personnel, Swagit provides municipalities with the ability to record official meetings and events, index and cross-link content with documents for easy navigation, and stream this content to constituents live and on demand without the need for additional city staff responsibilities.

To ensure optimal system operation, Swagit required a high performance video capture card platform that it could utilize within its custom-built streaming servers for the government sector. Swagit also needed the capability to stream content in the broadest possible range of formats – simultaneously – in order to provide constituents with the best possible viewing experiences regardless of their supported media playback environment.

The Solution 

Osprey® Video Capture Cards and SimulStream®

Swagit selected Osprey’s video capture cards to underpin its streaming servers, achieving a seamless PCI Express® interconnect for high-speed throughput and unmatched system performance. Providing professional-grade reliability and audio/video capture quality in a low-profile design format for easy integration within Swagit’s customized hardware, Osprey cards enable advanced features such as hardware audio gain control, closed-caption extraction and rendering, cropping, and bitmap overlay to ensure maximum management flexibility and control.

Swagit also implemented Osprey’s SimulStream driver enhancement, which enables a single Osprey card to output multiple instances of audio and video data from a single input source to multiple applications. While most capture cards require additional cards be installed for additional applications, SimulStream gives Swagit the ability to deliver full-frame video to high-speed Internet users, smaller, lower-rate video to DSL and dial-up subscribers as well as optimized video for several different mobile device standards − all without additional hardware.

The SimulStream technology also allows Swagit’s streaming encoder and archiving application to have their own video input and custom settings without regard to what another application is doing with the video data. Consequently, Swagit can provide an archive of a meeting even if the meeting is not being streamed and even if the archive needs to be a completely different format.

Because Osprey video capture cards support a broad variety of input types, Swagit can build encoders that fit the changing media workflow of their clients. If the client has a legacy analog video workflow or if they require state-of-the-art HD/SDI, HDMI, or even DVI inputs, Osprey has the capture cards to support them.

The Result High Performance, Multi-format Streaming Increases Civic Participation

Having standardized its encoding hardware on Osprey and SimulStream technology, Swagit is able to deliver professional-quality, high-performance streaming services for its clients, providing them with the flexibility to stream content in all of the leading media formats. The popularity of Swagit’s “hands free” streaming services continues to grow as more and more government agencies embrace the technology as a cost-effective means to connect with their citizens and increase civic participation without adding additional staff and responsibilities.

Swagit clients, including the cities of Galveston and Southlake, Texas; White Plains, New York; and Wilmington, Delaware, have recently implemented the company’s streaming services with great success, providing live and on-demand streaming of council meetings and municipal channel programming to residents, business owners, and property owners throughout the city and beyond. On-demand meeting coverage is indexed and time-stamped by Swagit according to the corresponding meeting agenda, enabling viewers to search for and quickly locate the content in which they’re most interested.

“Our clients in the government sector depend on Swagit to provide affordable, flexible, streaming media services that promote accessibility, transparency, and accountability,” said Bryan R. Halley, President, Swagit Productions, LLC. “Osprey’s solutions afford us an elegant, feature-rich streaming media platform upon which we’ll continue to build the digital infrastructure for Democracy 2.0.”

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