BeyondTV To Power The Daily Show


Now that I’ve firmly planted a stake in the ground, declaring that we’ll regurgitate fewer press releases… let’s discuss a press release. Because Rakesh Agrawal, founder and CEO of SnapStream, is a good guy. And because I’ve been fascinated with automated business intelligence collection techniques since being collocated with a startup in that space during the first Internet bubble.

As PC-based DVR followers probably know, SnapStream has gone pretty quiet on the BeyondTV consumer front as they pursue an enterprise-class television monitoring solution. And it sounds like they’re finding some success. The Daily Show and Colbert Report will soon use SnapStream’s television recording appliances, not for business intelligence in this case, but to efficiently collate potential clips for inclusion on their shows:

The SnapStream TV search solution to be deployed at the Daily Show and Colbert Report will provide for a completely high-definition (HD) workflow, allowing the show’s producers to centrally record and archive more than 30 channels of traditional HDTV; then subsequently search those recordings, create clips that can interact with Avid and Final Cut Pro video editing systems.

Of course, SnapStream isn’t the only time-shifting service provider having fundamentally realigned their business strategies and target market to prosper. TiVo, once primarily about consumer content discovery and “TV your way,” now invests heavily in audience measurement and advertising while working licensing deals via the judicial system. Guess there’s a finite number of folks willing to bypass their cable or satellite provider for DVR functionality. And corporations have deeper pockets than consumers.

8 thoughts on “BeyondTV To Power The Daily Show”

  1. I suppose it could be, but that sure seems limiting. I’m not aware of SnapStream having a method to pull content from CableCARD. So I’m thinking they’re probably using something like Hauppauge’s HD PVR or maybe a cleaner solution like an internal component video capture card (Blackmagic) to pull digital cable from a STB. Could also be clear QAM. Most of the networks seem pretty liberal about sharing their content with each other (with acknowledgment) and then there’s the whole potential satire exclusion, so I don’t imagine anyone will have any heartburn over it.

  2. I’m guessing they’ll eventually stop using their legacy DVRs (some are TIVOs, some are generic DVRs), though they are definitely still there now. SnapStream gets installed in February.

    The reason they’ll stop using their DVRs, I believe, is SnapStream’s search technology. It’ll allow them to pinpoint things on TV with a quickness that just wasn’t there before. Want to pinpoint everytime someone said “Sarah Palin” on comedy programs? It’s a simple search with SnapStream. I believe SnapStream will become an essential part of their “creative process” and enable them to do some things they’ve never done before.

    And then apart from search, the workflow that SnapStream will enable is a lot simpler. We’ll hopefully talk more about that as they start using SnapStream, but in general:

    – they’ll have one centralized service to manage instead of 15 different things

    – clipping is built into the SnapStream interface and they can share things within the building on e-mail (instead of beta tapes)

    – writers/producers will be able to use our interface sitting at their desks — no need to move to the room that has the DVRs.

  3. Should have figured it’d be a more sophisticated solution, given the various television studios and sets I’ve been exposed to over the years.

    Speaking of in-house clear QAM, ZeeVee seems to have reinvented themselves as a solution for commercial internal transmission. I can envision many useful home applications too, but assume the prices of the new product line are beefed up for corporate customers. (Can’t purchase online, need to go through a reseller/integrator.)

  4. Dave, we tried out the ZeeVee stuff once this past summer and weren’t very happy with the quality of their encoders. The encoding we’ve seen out of Blonder Tongue and Adtec QAM encoders/modulators was MUCH better. But ZeeVee might have a better solution now.

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