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Vidpresso Launches Social TV Product

Vidpresso has officially launched its first product, which offers broadcasts with a simplified, low-cost way of bringing social media posts from Facebook and Twitter using existing computers without adding expensive hardware.

The product has been in successful beta tests at KSL in Salt Lake City and Fox 40 in Sacramento and the company begin marketing it widely on May 7. The system allows producers to select which posts from Facebook and Twitter they want to bring to air. Using their solution, an off-the-shelf computer and a scan converter, users then route a genlocked HD-SDI signal to air with the posts, notes one of the company's co-founders Randall Bennett.

Pricing for the system starts at $400 per month. "It make it easy to get people in the door and see how it work," Bennett says. "There is no hardware or long-term contracts."

The technology is designed to tap into a growing interest in social media and would allow local stations to show social media reaction to local news without investing in expensive additional broadcast equipment, Bennett says in an interview.

But the new social media product is only the first step of a larger company plan to use off the shelf IT equipment and software to dramatically reduce the cost of broadcast technologies, says Bennett, who has worked in both broadcast and as a technology journalist. "We are starting with social media tools but we want to keep moving down the stack and come up with less expensive, more innovative ways of doing things," he says.