I first met Randall Bennett a couple of years ago when I was struggling to figure out how to set up TechCrunch TV.
Having previously hosted shows for CNET and Engadget, Bennett was working for a livestreaming service in a hybrid tech, talent, producer role. His real dream though, he explained, was to completely revolutionize TV production. Specifically, he wanted to put high-end production technologies into the hands of regular folks, so anyone could make broadcast-quality TV for hundreds of dollars rather than thousands or millions.
Two years later, Bennett has finally taken a first, giant leap towards realising his ambition. Today sees the launch of his video-software-as-a-service startup, Vidpresso.
The company’s first product provides an easy way for broadcasters of any size to easily incorporate Tweets, Facebook posts, and other social media content into a broadcast feed. The entire thing works through a browser, using a scan converter to send the display to broadcast.
Judging from the demo I saw last week, it is so simple that a total technological klutz can use it. Producers simply add a Twitter or Facebook search term (say, “tanning” or “Iraq”), are presented with a list of Tweets and updates on the subject, which they’re then able to send to broadcast with a single click.
In fact, the Vidpresso technology is so simple (and cheap: the basic product starts at just $400 a month) that a number of professional broadcasters have already signed up, including Fox 40 in Sacramento, and KSL in Salt Lake City. KSL liked Vidpresso so much that they even agreed to pay well in advance of the launch, allowing Bennett and his team to bootstrap the development of the initial product themselves using actual revenue. See below for some uses of Vidpresso in the wild…
The Vidpresso team includes Justin Caldwell, previously Senior Engineer at Radiate Media, and Piers Mainwaring, a four–year veteran of Apple.