In Broadcast - December 2013 - 54


I N T E R N A T I O N A L

WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 26 - DECEMBER 2013

N E W S

InSTUDIO

CytaVision Sports Teams With Playbox

Antenna, Cyprus, chooses channel-in-a box technology for new Cytavision sports service...
By Don Ash
Managing Partner and Director,
Sales, PlayBox Technology

T

54

he ever increasing popularity of
large-screen television displays
has generated a corresponding rise
in demand for high quality sports
coverage. Antenna, one of the
main television networks in Cyprus,
recently decided to expand the
master control room at its Nicosia
headquarters to accommodate
three sports channels for Cytavision.
Cytavision is a digital television
service introduced in 2004 by
the Cyprus Telecommunications
Authority (CYTA) which is the
country's main telecommunications
service provider. Originally called
MiVision, Cytavision is based on a
broadband IPTV infrastructure where
digital sound and vision are carried
through a telephone line to a set-top
box and from there to the customer's
television display.
Cytavision provides several
themed channels, video on
demand, games on demand,
access to a television portal with
local information, the ability to send
and receive email, and the use of an
electronic programme guide. Each
of these services is accessible
through easy-to-use control menus,
enhanced with parental control
access criteria. Viewers can access a
catalogue of content using a precise
search facility.
Antenna itself commenced
transmission in June 1993.
Television content is delivered via
digital terrestrial and cable and via
web through its own portal, www.
ant1iwo.com (Antenna Internet
World). Antenna's output includes
entertainment, news coverage (with
a main news bulletin at 20:20), talk
shows, production of local comedy
series and drama. Antenna FM, a
radio service with national coverage,
began operations in 1998.
Cytavision's sports channels
are normally transmitted in Greek.
International content such as
UEFA Champions League, Europa
League, Serie A and Eredivisie carry
an English commentary in parallel
if available.
"Primary reason for the new MCR
was lack of space in the existing
facility," explains Michael Dallas,
Technical Director of Antenna.
"Secondly, we faced a very tight
schedule to be on air less than two
months from the contract being
awarded. Creating a new MCR would

also ensure that Antenna could
continue uninterrupted transmission
from its existing infrastructure which
is still operational.
"Antenna had covered sports for
years but as a part of its television
output. It had to rethink the way that
the new sports-specific channels
would be taken to air within a
very tight schedule. After careful
consideration of various possible
technical approaches, we decided
in favour of an IT-based tapeless
Channel-in-a-Box system as being
the perfect solution.
"We placed the contract with
PlayBox Technology on the basis
of performance, reliability and the
expandable and flexible workflow,
as well as for its competitive price.
Having used products from PlayBox
Technology for various projects over
several years, we made contact
with the local representative here
in Nicosia, Vavel Netmedia. As it was
a totally new project, we designed
the system to be easy to use and to
need minimum operator intervention.
A crucial requirement was that the
system should allow users with basic
IT knowledge to become quickly
familiar with day-to-day operations.

"PlayBox Technology staff provided
full training after installation and
attended the first week of live
operations. Training included full
product and workflow familiarisation
plus simulation of the specific
needs of particular channels, real
event occurrences, security and
emergency issues. The system works
so efficiently that we do not need to
employ someone specifically as a
transmission controller for the MCR
operation. Playlist management and
output administration are handled by
our scheduling department."

System Structure

The major components of the
PlayBox Technology Channel-in-aBox system offer media ingest with
CaptureBox; storage, automation
and playout with AirBox; interactive
CG and graphics with TitleBox and

Playbox Alexander Stoyanov with PlayBox Technology servers
installed at Antenna in Cyprus

scheduling with ListBox. ListBox
creates schedules for AirBox.
Rules can be created for TitleBox
to automate the character generator
and interactive graphics as the
basis of a completely automatic
television channel.
The system installed for the new
Cytavision sports channels has a
wide range of PlayBox Technology
equipment including three servers
each comprising AirBox playout
and automation, and TitleBox onair dynamic graphics.
AirBox provides automated
content playout. It is designed to
be extremely robust, in order to meet
the highest reliability demands of
on-air playout. At a fraction of the
price of any digital videotape player
solution, a single AirBox server
offers the same visual quality at its
single or multi-channel SDI outputs,
multi-language audio, graphics and
subtitle insertion, last-minute playlist
changes and clip editing.
AirBox supports MPEG1/2/H.264,
HDV and DV streams from virtually
every known production platform
providing AVI, MPEG, WMV,
Quicktime or MXF content. Many
files from third-party servers are
natively supported.
For live productions such as sport,
any changes to the playlist during onair sessions are possible. There are
no queued or locked clips. Every clip
in the playlist, except the one which
is currently playing, can be trimmed,
edited, repositioned or deleted.
Playlist order can be changed onthe-fly with commands like skip to
next or jump. Such order changes
are performed seamlessly without
stopping the current playout session.
Live productions are facilitated by a
Live Show Clipboard which allows
insertion and/or execution of various
events or live streams.
For automated playout AirBox
allows fixed-time scheduling for
days, weeks or months ahead.
Resulting gaps or time overlaps are

automatically resolved in order to
ensure continuous operation even
when conflicting timed events are
present. Special facilities ensure
uninterrupted operation if content
files or even entire schedules are
missing or misplaced.
Playout sessions are logged for
monitoring and control purposes.
The log can be later used for
extracting the actual playout
sequence with exact timings or
identifying user intervention into the
playout session. The logging and
recovery options allow completely
unattended remote operation.

Interactive Graphics

TitleBox is an interactive graphics
manager which creates, displays
and controls multi-zone screens
with rolls, crawls, animations,
clocks, station logos and 3D objects.
All running objects are mixed and
blended to each other in real-time,
including animations. The more
CPU power, the more objects
can be layered simultaneously.
This ensures an unlimited amount
of object combinations and
unprecedented visual variety.
Every CG object can be edited
during the on-air session. Manual
or automated changes of text
contents, animation/rolling speed,
position and properties can be
done on-the-fly. Roll/crawl speed
can follow a predefined speed
curve. On-air changes can either
be made directly to the on-screen
running objects or on a dedicated
preview output and then applied
to the master output. All graphics
are 24-bit true colour (16.7 million
colours) with 8-bit Alpha channel
(256 transparency levels). Fieldbased sub-pixel rendering ensures
smooth animation and rolling text
at any speed.
A fourth server is installed as a
standby in case any one of the three
CONTINUED ON PAGE 55


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - December 2013

In Broadcast - December 2013
Contents
InNews: Vizrt to Acquire Mosart Medialab
InNews: NTP Dad Ax32 Captures Wagner
InReply: Seesense on Miniature Cameras
InStudio: Q-Ball Captures Historic Vettel Victory
InGear: Bluebell’s Fibre Optic Solutions
InGear: Grass Valley K2 Dyno Changes the Game
InMedia: Pixitmedia – More Partner Than Supplier
In Broadcast - December 2013 - Intro
In Broadcast - December 2013 - In Broadcast - December 2013
In Broadcast - December 2013 - Cover2
In Broadcast - December 2013 - Contents
In Broadcast - December 2013 - InNews: Vizrt to Acquire Mosart Medialab
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 5
In Broadcast - December 2013 - InNews: NTP Dad Ax32 Captures Wagner
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 7
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 8
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 9
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 10
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 11
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 12
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 13
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 14
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 15
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 16
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 17
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 18
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 19
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In Broadcast - December 2013 - 21
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 22
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 23
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 24
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 25
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 26
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 27
In Broadcast - December 2013 - InReply: Seesense on Miniature Cameras
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 29
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 30
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 31
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 32
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 33
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 34
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 35
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In Broadcast - December 2013 - 37
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 38
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 39
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 40
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 41
In Broadcast - December 2013 - InStudio: Q-Ball Captures Historic Vettel Victory
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 43
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 44
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 45
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 46
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 47
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 48
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In Broadcast - December 2013 - 58
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 59
In Broadcast - December 2013 - InGear: Bluebell’s Fibre Optic Solutions
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 61
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 62
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 63
In Broadcast - December 2013 - InGear: Grass Valley K2 Dyno Changes the Game
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 65
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 66
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 67
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In Broadcast - December 2013 - 78
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 79
In Broadcast - December 2013 - InMedia: Pixitmedia – More Partner Than Supplier
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 81
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 82
In Broadcast - December 2013 - 83
In Broadcast - December 2013 - S1
In Broadcast - December 2013 - S2
In Broadcast - December 2013 - S3
In Broadcast - December 2013 - S4
In Broadcast - December 2013 - S5
In Broadcast - December 2013 - S6
In Broadcast - December 2013 - S7
In Broadcast - December 2013 - S8
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