Legislative Webcasting

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Need to webcast a large amount of legislative audio or video?
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How Sliq Harmony Hub can help

>> For IT professionals and Clerks

With a large number of plenary and committee meetings to manage, it's often a challenge to webcast and archive them all reliably using homegrown systems. Additionally, the requirements to stream live and on demand to the vast variety of mobile devices that stakeholders and constituents use make the situation even more complex. Our Harmony Hub is specially designed to make this job a breeze.

In addition to streaming proceedings and automatically publishing archives, Harmony Hub provides a simple to use program guide that even the least technical user can navigate. Behind the scenes, schedules and indexes can be automatically synchronized from other systems or using our own interfaces to seamlessly deliver a brilliantly simple end-user experience.

Compatible with virtually all enterprise environments, Harmony Hub uses a flexible distributed architecture that allows you to leverage as much or as little of your own existing infrastructure as you please. Fully compatible with virtualization technologies, Harmony Hub is Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2012 certified and integrates smoothly into small and massive enterprise ecosystems alike.

What you need to know

Schedule

Streaming and recording audio and video in a highly reliable manner is the basis of our solution. Recorders automatically archive recordings based on an easy-to-use web-based scheduling interface and are highly tolerant to user error thanks to our loop recording buffer. Multiple tracks of audio and high definition video are supported where required. Multi-format and multi-bitrate configurations enable support for a wide variety of mobile and fixed devices.

Index

Optionally, during a meeting a clerk or secretary can add indexes related to agenda items, people, bills, comments and more. Additionally, this data can originate from mixing boards and third party systems such as touch-screen voting products. Indexes are timestamped so they can be linked to video once published. If required, indexes can be added to recordings after the fact.

Monitor

When a large number of meetings are going on at the same time, it's critical that monitoring and measurement are part of the delivery process. Our Hawkeye and Hawkeye Live modules provide automated availability and visual confidence monitoring. Picture the control room in a TV station with a wall of video and you'll understand the degree of oversight that this affords you. You will never miss a recording due to a downed encoder, room change or switching problem again.

Publish

As meetings are scheduled, they instantly show up in the Harmony Hub web-based program guide. Access is "gated" to allow visibility to live streams when the appropriate. Within a few minutes after the end of the recording, archives are made available. Indexes can be added immediately or after the fact.

Webcasting

  • Simple operation
  • Live/VOD support for mobile devices
  • Automatic indexing of agenda/motions/bills
  • Multilingual audio w/closed captions
  • Near-instant archive publishing
  • Integration options w/existing sites

Recording

  • Zero-loss loop recording
  • Web-based scheduling
  • Highly fault-tolerant and user error resistant
  • Simultaneous streaming, audio and high resolution archiving
  • Automatic archive publishing
  • Standard H.264/AAC codecs up to 1080p

Indexing/Journals

  • Timestamped indexes
  • Index motions, votes, speakers, etc.
  • Publish indexes alongside video
  • Capture live or after the fact
  • Interoperate with Microsoft Word
  • Integration with voting systems

Monitoring

  • World-class confidence and availability monitoring
  • Wall of video with audio levels
  • Alerts
  • Automated diagnostics

Administration/Management

  • Active directory role-based integration
  • Disk reporting
  • Template driven

Architecture

The Sliq Harmony Hub solution is a feature-rich distributed software platform that is controlled from a central web interface. Based on Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server, the solution uses a combination of resilient grid and node clustering to provide a high level of fault tolerance. Modern scaling techniques ensure that the platform easily scales to serve content on a daily basis to millions of constituents. Additionally, public facing data is replicated in a cachable XML format for security and massive scalability. While most of the platform runs on application servers, some client applications are part of the solution for indexing, transcription and workgroup collaboration. Harmony Hub can be run on self-hosted virtual environments, on Sliq supplied cloud servers or on any combination of these options. Harmony Hub is certified for Windows 2012 Server R2 and SliqScribe is certified for Microsoft Windows 7. Server components can run under virtualization without issue.

Encoding

The most critical parts of the Harmony Hub solution are the services that record and archive audio and video. In most cases this is our Razorback recording node but if audio-only recording is required then our AudioLogger provides the same function. We designed and built our encoders from scratch so that we could tightly control every detail and make sure that they were rock solid. Supporting multiple audio tracks and multiple video bitrates, Razorback can encode and deliver video streams to the vast majority of mobile and fixed devices. Archive streams at resolutions up to 1080p are possible as well. Razorback and AudioLogger both record in a loop fashion using a ringbuffer so that nothing is ever lost due to venue changes or human error. Some customers who prefer a more compact server footprint choose to encode multiple venues on a single unit. Sliq can provide a turnkey hardware encoder with SDI or analog video inputs or optionally customers can provide their own hardware. Meticulous attention to detail and extensive testing have resulted in a product that you as a customer can depend on much like our existing customers who have recorded millions of hours without missing a beat.

Cloud or Self Hosting

The majority of our customers record at least a portion of their in-camera/private proceedings so for them a pure cloud hosted solution is not an option. Additionally by leveraging existing server, storage and virtualization infrastructure, our customers enjoy great cost savings as their media archives start to accumulate over time. While we do provide a pure cloud hosted option, we leave the choice up to you to decide what's best for your organization.

Server Requirements (Self-hosted)

Intranet Application Servers
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012 Enterprise Edition (physical or virtual)
  • Microsoft SQL 2008 or 2012
Internet Servers
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012 Enterprise Edition (physical or virtual)
  • CDN for reverse caching, stream delivery, etc. (high volume customers)

Encoder Requirements

  • Windows 7 (preferred) or Windows Server operating systems
  • Intel i7 or Xeon E3 recommended
  • PCI Express capture card (SDI or analog)

Client Workstation Requirements

  • Windows XP or Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise edition x86 or x64
  • Sound card, headphones, footpedals (optional)
  • 17 inch monitor minimum recommended for desktop operation

Base Modules

  • Harmony Hub - Web Portal
  • Razorback Encoder - 24/7 high availability streaming and archiving
  • StreamAssembler - Automated archiving
  • SliqScribe Player - Indexing and Playback
  • XPublisher - High performance media publishing

Optional Modules

  • AudioLogger - Multitrack audio only recording
  • Desktop Assistant - Workgroup transcription
  • Hawkeye Live - Confidence monitoring
  • Hawkeye - Availability Monitoring
  • Custom Integration Module - Third party interfacing
  • Realtime Integration Module - Timestamped data interfacing (microphone, voting systems, etc.)
  • Distribution Server - Automatic media dissemination

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