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Celebrating 25 Years

The company, today comprised of divisions Carousel Digital Signage and Cablecast Community Media, was founded with the goal of innovating for underserved broadcast and media technology markets

July 20, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, December 14, 2022 – As Tightrope Media Systems marks its 25th anniversary, the company is celebrating its history of delivering innovative solutions for digital signage and community media services. Today, Tightrope has evolved into two dedicated divisions: Carousel offers a complete cloud enterprise digital signage software platform with a dedicated Creative Services team, while Cablecast offers video delivery solutions for a variety of markets. That includes its core scheduling and playback solutions for PEG (public, educational, and government) channels, and growing cross-platform solutions for municipalities, schools, and businesses with self-managed streaming services.

Tightrope was founded for the purpose of delivering technology solutions for underserved broadcast and media markets. The company first introduced video bulletin board and media retrieval software products in 1997. Within a few years, back when many PEG stations still relied on VHS tape, Tightrope established AxisCS (later rebranded as Cablecast) to manage emerging scheduling and automation functions that would help stations operate with greater efficiency.

“The days of 3/4-inch and VHS playback are a distant memory, but Cablecast has stayed true to its mission of evolving with its customers,” said Steve Israelsky, president of Cablecast Community Media. “Our current platform combines video servers with device control, live streaming, closed captioning, video-on-demand and delivering content to mobile apps and OTT. We have added exceptional functionality over time and with minimal impact on workloads.”

“We have really tried to help push the workflow, efficiency and reliability of automation forward in the PEG space,” added JJ Parker, who cofounded Tightrope and continues to serve as CEO. “Our mission has always been to help these stations, which usually have limited resources, serve their communities and become more sustainable and viable for the long run.”

The company soon developed Carousel Digital Signage as a collaborative software tool for the K-12 education market. By the time digital signage began growing in popularity in the mid-2000s – due in part to the availability of affordable flat-panel displays – Tightrope already had a mature, user-friendly Carousel content management solution.

“We started long before digital signage was a known entity,” Parker recalled. “Now that digital signage is a relatively mainstream product, Carousel has evolved to meet the needs of the modern market while staying true to our founding principles. We have consistently brought value to our core markets, which today includes the corporate and government verticals along with K-12 and higher education. Supporting K-12 remains a driving purpose because we believe that student safety, inclusion and communication are important to increasing student resiliency. That effort is made stronger through visual communication.”

Parker credits the company’s longevity to its team values of compassion, clarity and continual improvement.

“It's a lot of work to keep a tech company going and innovating for 25 years,” he said. “When it comes down to it, having the right people in the company that are willing to think outside the box, take risks, and trust each other is what makes it all work. It is about creating a safe environment for teamwork to happen and collaborating to create products that make a positive impact on our customers. We have had the great pleasure of working with many wonderful customers, partners, resellers and our own team and employees. It’s an honor working with such a diverse group of people and in such a great industry.”

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