With recent events surrounding the Coronavirus and COVID-19 the Cablecast team has been increasingly asked how to add files to a Cablecast system while operators work from home. In this article we'll cover two different ways to add files remotely, one using built in features available in Cablecast 7.0 which require remote access to the Cablecast UI, and another using dropbox which does not require remote access to the UI, but does require one time access to the desktop of the video server.
Using Digital File Upload in Cablecast 7.0 and 7.1
Cablecast 7.0 shipped with a new feature allowing users to content files to video servers through the Cablecast user interface. Files are uploaded in 10 Mb segments and reassembled into a complete file after all the segments have been uploaded. Because of this there is no file size limit on upload, however uploads will work better with a faster internet connection.
To upload a file
- Navigate to Digital Files from the nav menu on the left hand side of the interface.
- Click Upload
- Choose the file you wish to upload and optionally give it a new name. You must also pick which server you would like to upload the file to from the dropdown.
- Click Upload to begin the upload
The files upload progress will be displayed at the bottom of the screen. It is fine to continue using the Cablecast user interface at this point to do other tasks like creating new shows and schedule. However do not refresh or close the browser as that will cancel the upload.
Refreshing or closing the browser will stop the upload.
After the upload finishes it is normal for the file to take 1-2 minutes before appearing in the Digitial File Management screen. During this time the file is being re-assembled from it's upload parts and being transferred to the selected video server.
Using Dropbox To Sync Files To a Cablecast Video Server
Digital File Upload is only available in Cablecast versions greater than 7.0. Additionally not all Cablecast systems have remote access enabled to the user interface and uploading the file through software like Teamviewer, Microsoft Remote Desktop, or other desktop sharing software is not possible or performs poorly.
In these situations using cloud based file syncing tools like Dropbox (https://www.dropbox.com/) or Box (https://box.com) provide a convenient alternative. In this section of the article we will setup a dropbox folder that allows content uploaded to box to be automatically synced to our video server's content drive.
It is not recommended to sync your entire content drive as the compression and syncing mechanisms can have a performance impact on the server.
Setting Up Dropbox
If you don't already have one signup for a dropbox account at https://dropbox.com. Once signed in:
- Navigate to My Files
- Click New Folder on the right. This is the folder that we will upload our files to.
- Give the file a name specific to your video server. For example "VIO_1"
- Upload a new file to this folder as a test for later.
While spaces will work in folder names, it is recommended to avoid them as it makes diagnosing configuration more error prone.
Installing Dropbox On The Video Server
Next we will install dropbox on the video server and configure it to sync just the folder for our video server upload.
- On the desktop of your video server navigate to https://dropbox.com/download to begin the download.
- Once the download has completed click the installer to run it.
- When the install completes, sign in with your dropbox account.
- Choose Local from the "How do you want your files stored?" question.
- From the next screen click Advanced Settings
- In the Advanced Settings screen
- Click Dropbox Location to change the location to your systems content drive. Typically this would be E:\dropbox.
- Click Change settings... for Selective Sync and choose only the folder that was created in the previous step for this video server.
- Click Finish to complete setup.
After finishing setup dropbox will immediately start syncing the files uploaded previously to your video server sharing folder.
Setting Up Cablecast To Index The Dropbox Folder
Finally we need to setup Cablecast to look in the new Dropbox folder for content. This is done by adding an additional directory to your Video Servers Control Module Set's Port Settings.
- Navigate to Settings -> Location Settings -> I/O (Tab) -> Control Module Sets
- Find the control module set for your video server. This will be typically one of the following.
- Add the dropbox folder to the port settings by appending a | character and the new dropbox folder. Most configurations will look below.
- Click Save to save the configuration change.
Separating the folders with a | character is important. If not configured correctly Cablecast will fail to find any files on your video server.
Once configured properly it should only take cablecast a few minutes to find the files Dropbox has synced to the video server.