updated 10:30 pm EST, Wed January 18, 2012
Only has Firefox 8 and higher support for now
Snapstream, a company that offers a hardware-based TV broadcast monitoring server and integrated software, has released a Mac version of its web player, letting Mac users search, view and save clips on various subjects. The Mac version, a first for the company, is limited compared to its Windows counterpart but is expected to gain support for additional browsers, video formats and playback options over time. Mac compatibility greatly helps those who rely on Mac workflows for video editing.
The package consists of a hardware server that acts as a kind of super-DVR, recording multiple TV channels continuously and accessing meta-data about the recordings from TV listings as well as the closed-captioning transcripts to enable users to quickly locate clips about almost any topic. An enterprise-level version of the hardware is used by government institutions, educational clients and news and comedy shows that rely on video clips, such as The Daily Show (which Snapstream lists as a customer).
The web-based player allows searches of the recordings or live TV and lets users find, clip and save extracts they want to use later. At present, the Mac version of the web plug-in is in its early stages and only supports Mozilla's Firefox browser (version 8 and higher), and only plays back the server's native recording format of MPEG-2 (the Windows version offers compression to H.264 and WMV as well as transport streams for live broadcasts). The plug-in also requires Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or above.
Users can even set up alerts for the software to automatically flag pre-set subjects, for example "South Carolina" given the upcoming Republican primary in that state. Being able to use a Mac web browser to play and access the clips will make life easier for those who work with Mac-based video editing suites such as Final Cut Pro.
The hardware server can be outfitted with up to 10 tuners for SD for HD broadcasts and customized with up to 30TB of storage, which would hold over 4,600 hours of HD television recordings. Separate Snapstream servers can be clustered for nearly unlimited recording.