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Case Study: Serving the Public by Serving Flash Video

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The state of Washington's public affairs broadcast network, TVW, reaches more than 3.8 million households with live coverage of federal, state, and municipal news and events as well as an archive of more than 60,000 hours of programming. Launched in 1993 and streaming over the internet since 1995, TVW has maintained a forward-looking vision of how accessible streaming technology can advance the public good.

Because the political process at its best is a real-time dialogue between the opposing sides of an issue, TVW envisioned a streaming solution that would allow it to reach the broadest possible audience with the least resistance. TVW needed to stream 24/7 live coverage of news and events, as well as provide a suitable platform to allow citizens to easily access TVW’s vast programming library. Identifying Flash as the best technology to meet its reach goal, TVW needed a reliable, high-performance streaming server solution that would address its technical needs, its long-term vision, and the ever-present budgetary constraints.

TVW has been at the vanguard of Washington political coverage since 1993. A nonprofit corporation with a mandate to bring "the public’s business before the public," TVW reports on the issues as they happen, on the federal, state, and municipal levels. At a time when local and state news coverage is shrinking, TVW has not only served a public need but it has done so while always embracing the forward-looking possibilities of technology to engage citizens in the political process. In 1995, it was the first state broadcaster to offer streaming content in Real format. And in 1996, it topped itself once again by being the first to offer live streaming.

TVW is one of the founders and leading lights of the National Association of Public Affairs Networks (NAPAN), which has been conceived in all 50 states to help establish and expand noncommercial television networks devoted to providing citizens with fair, balanced, and unfiltered access to their state governments. In support of this mission, TVW strives to increase real-time coverage to its audience of more than 3.8 million. It is undertaking a total Flash conversion of its library of 60,000-plus hours of programming.

"The explosion in popularity of online video, as both entertainment medium and political tool, has reaffirmed our commitment to streaming content, which we began in the very early days of the technology," says Scott Freeman, director of IT for TVW. "It is our goal that we continue to serve the citizens of Washington with excellent and engaging programming while meeting the dynamic changes in how people get information."

To deliver this Flash content, TVW chose Wowza Media Server Pro for several reasons:

- Wowza Pro provides TVW with the reliable performance it needs to deliver uninterrupted live political coverage at all times of the day, 365 days at year.
- It lets TVW to expand its online reach with low-friction Flash streaming at 75% lower total cost of ownership than competing solutions.
- Wowza Pro extensibility and interactive capabilities enable TVW to integrate it with voice indexing and vital features of TVW operations.
- Integral scalability features provide a solid platform for future expansion as TVW converts its archive of more than 60,000 hours of programming to Flash.
- Wowza Pro protects the integrity of TVW’s live and archived content through its anti-ripping SecureToken technology.

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