In Broadcast - April 2016 - 54


54

www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 6 - Issue 4 | April 2016

InStudio

Playout Heads Towards
The Cloud
Contributing Editor Andy Stout examines
the Cloud and why the lure of virtualised
technology is looming large...

O

ne of the positions that many
sectors of the industry suddenly
find themselves in is in danger of
unexpected obsolescence. The Cloud
is approaching in all its "as-a-Service"
and virtualised glory, but at the
moment it's still as much of a threat
on the horizon in some areas as it is a
deluge that is starting in others. Which
means that a technology that is still a
best fit and has a lot of developmental
mileage left in it, especially when
looked at from a global perspective,
can be considered at the same time to
be slightly living on borrowed time and
about to be overtaken by events.
Channel Boxes
Channel-in-a-Box (CIAB) playout is a
case in point. On the one hand, over
the course of the last decade these 1RU
and 2RU systems have revolutionised
this part of the industry, allowing
broadcasters to launch new channels
with the minimum amount of capex
and resources. On the other though
the temptation is to already see them
as an evolutionary cul-de-sac as
virtualised playout waits lurking in the
wings.
That though is probably jumping
ahead of ourselves somewhat.
Don Ash, President of PlayBox
Technology, maintains that, in the
here and now, CIAB has changed the
playout landscape.
"10
years
ago
Channel-in-aBox was the new boy," he says.
"Today it is almost the de-facto
standard for broadcast playout.
It is now mainstream in most

television channels and broadcast
playout centres worldwide. It has
no limitations except for the most
demanding channels. Channel-ina-Box was designed to suit 99% of
broadcasters' requirements. The other
1% will always want their customdesigned systems."
David Schleifer, COO, Primestream,
points out that broadcasters continue
to have unique requirements across
different facilities and workflows.
If there is homogeneity it is in the
solution not in the demand.
"To the extent that cost is a factor
in the design and implementation
of Channel in a Box solutions they
will trend towards satisfying the
lowest common denominator," he
says. "This in turn can create a loss
of differentiation as vendors chase
the same design goals. This is in part
offset by the ability to do more and
more in software, without dedicated
hardware, allowing at least some level
of differentiation to be developed for
these platforms.
Schleifer states that increasingly
Primestream is seeing a trend toward
CIAB being at the edge of the workflow
and "trying to help manage the
interface between synchronous and
asynchronous requirements. Bridging
the gap between signal-based and
file-based worlds. The Cloud is the
logical next step in an effort to lower
cost without compromising complex
requirements."
Over at the still newly-minted SAM,
Karl Mehring, Director of Software

"...CIAB has no "...CIAB solutions will
limitations except for the trend towards satisfying
most demanding the lowest common
channels" denominator"
Don Ash
PlayBox Technology

David Schleifer
Primestream

PlayBox Technology's Cloud-based playout solution,
CloudAir was previewed at CABSAT 2016

"...What CIAB is all
about is condensing
the broadcast
chain down"
Karl Mehring, SAM

Systems, talks of the advantages of
consolidation that CIAB deployments
represent.
"What CIAB is all about is really
condensing the broadcast chain down,
including the various cost parameters
of broadcasting - the infrastructure,
power, rack space, heating, cooling,
and so on," he says. "Taking that a bit
further, CIAB allows you to broadcast
via multiple platforms, as well as
delivering multiple channels - delayed
channels, different language channels
and so on - from a single CIAB system,
all driven by the same playlist. That
in turn takes your operator count
down. Also, because you've condensed
everything down, you have less
support overheads; as everything is
in one box, so support teams have to
do less and there's less requirement
for multiple skills within the support
team."
His argument is that such solutions
actually remove limitations due to
tighter integration within that single
box. "For example, automation is much
more tightly coupled with subtitling
and graphics, likewise with subtitling
and captioning. If you want to do
things like live captioning, it's made
much easier with CIAB as everything
is encapsulated within a single
environment," he says.
It's an attitude echoed by Jan
Weigner, Co-Founder and Managing
Director at Cinegy.
"CIAB collapses the multiple
components of a traditional playout
system into a single integrated
software package," he says. 'Even

the software no longer requires a
box. Delivering a channel was, and
for many still is, complex, with many
interconnected elements that cost
money, require management, and
need maintenance. A CIAB solution
vastly simplifies playout by supporting
multiple channels with multiple
features in an integrated software
suite. The days of using monolithic
black boxes to achieve this are all but
gone."
Virtual Channels
Indeed, the days of using boxes of
any type, black or otherwise, on the
premises look potentially numbered.
As Weigner says the limitations of the
CIAB approach are, largely speaking
the box. A virtual infrastructure for
Cloud playout can be created with a
few mouse clicks when needed, and
vanish just as quickly when it is no
longer required.
The difficulty at the moment,
especially for new facilities, lies in
whether to go all-in on the Cloud
now and take a wholly IP virtualised
approach, or to hedge their bets,
hold back and go hybrid. Virtualised
is the future, undoubtedly, but is it
best specced out now or in the next
technology cycle?
"Broadcasters of every type have
some big decisions to make, some of
which will be made for them if they
don't decide soon," says Weigner.
Not everyone is quite so enamoured
of CIAB solutions, however.
"Channel in a Box has had its day,"
asserts James Gilbert, CEO of Pixel
Power. "The main attractions of
Channel in a Box were that it was
easier to deploy than a traditional
playout system and you could launch
channels more quickly. Very few
broadcast customers have experienced
the full benefits that they had hoped
for, for a variety of reasons. Channel in
a Box was still a big investment


http://www.inbroadcast.com https://youtu.be/IScwvaN7udg

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - April 2016

In Broadcast - April 2016 - Intro
In Broadcast - April 2016 - Cover1
In Broadcast - April 2016 - Cover2
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 3
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 4
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 5
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 6
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 7
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 8
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 9
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 10
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 11
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 12
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 13
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 14
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 15
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 16
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 17
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 18
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 19
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 20
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 21
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 22
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 23
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 24
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 25
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 26
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 27
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 28
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 29
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 30
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 31
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 32
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 33
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 34
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 35
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 36
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 37
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 38
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 39
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 40
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 41
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 42
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 43
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 44
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 45
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 46
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 47
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 48
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 49
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 50
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 51
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 52
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 53
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 54
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 55
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 56
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 57
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 58
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 59
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 60
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 61
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 62
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 63
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 64
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 65
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 66
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 67
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 68
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 69
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 70
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 71
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 72
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 73
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 74
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 75
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 76
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 77
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 78
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 79
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 80
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 81
In Broadcast - April 2016 - 82
In Broadcast - April 2016 - S1
In Broadcast - April 2016 - S2
In Broadcast - April 2016 - S3
In Broadcast - April 2016 - S4
In Broadcast - April 2016 - S5
In Broadcast - April 2016 - S6
In Broadcast - April 2016 - S7
In Broadcast - April 2016 - S8
In Broadcast - April 2016 - S9
In Broadcast - April 2016 - S10
In Broadcast - April 2016 - S11
In Broadcast - April 2016 - S12
In Broadcast - April 2016 - S13
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201705
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201704
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_cabsat2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201703
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201702
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201701
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_INREVIEW2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOWNYexpo
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_20110708_DEMO
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201610
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_inshowguide2016
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/lesommet/inbroadcast_APAC02
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_CCW15expo
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/lesommet/inbroadcast_APAC01
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