In Broadcast - April 2018 - 53

53

www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 8 - Issue 4 | April 2018

InStudio

Playout Solutions
Contributing Editor Andy Stout takes
a look up into the Clouds and beyond
for solid playout solutions...

W

hile it is often tempting to think
that the Cloud has a monopoly
on the future development of many
technologies, it is unwise to think that
that future starts here. Playout is a case
in point; a sector on the cusp of moving
towards virtualisation on the one hand
while still finding plenty of reasons to
stick with its legacy technologies and
physical boxes in physical spaces on
the other.
Partly this can be seen as a legacy
of the decade-long development of
Channel-in-a-Box (CiaB) solutions
and the effort spent in whittling the
whole process down to a 1RU or 2RU
space. That has conferred upon it
a slightly more august position in
the marketplace than many of the
technologies elsewhere that the
Cloud is tending to sweep away. Look
for virtualisation and you can find it
readily available. Look for on-premises
solutions and you will find them too.
A glance at the recent playout
projects completed by Imagine
Communications, for instance, reveals
a notable bias towards the Cloud, most
notably Sinclair Broadcast Group's
project to centralise its children's
programming playout in the public
Cloud. Thus it's no surprise that the
company's software-based Versio
platform is one of the playout solutions
on the market that offers both a
Cloud-based solution on the one hand
and a more traditional on-premises
deployment on the other. It can be
run as a traditional integrated channel
playout device with SDI I/O, in a hybrid
SDI/IP deployment, or in the data
centre with IP I/O (where it can also
run on COTS hardware or on virtual
infrastructure running VMWare).
For NAB the company promises
interface and integration advances
for both Versio and its allied Nexio
master control, branding and graphics
solution, as well as highlighting the
role its own Versio IOX petabytescalable storage can play in an overall
playout workflow.

VSNMulticom has been on the
market for over two decades and
manages to keep evolving all the
same, adding improved integration
with the company's VSNExplorer
MAM to provide new segmentation
opportunities thanks to a new trim
module. Its advertising time module
has also been overhauled to allow ads
in auxiliary events such as overplayed
graphics to be included in final time
calculations.
Last year, possibly distracted by
the end game of its long road to
acquisition, Snell Advanced Media
(as was) made a few tweaks to its
Morpheus and ICE playout line-up,
upgrading them both to 5.6 versions
and introducing a neat user-definable
control interface, but apart from that
largely left them alone. It services
both ends of the playout market well
with the two products: Morpheus
being the flagship and an impressively
comprehensive system that features
unlimited
secondary
events,
responsive live-handling, and smart
playlists; with the more entry-level ICE
range subdivided into a CiaB offering
and a software defined version (ICE
SDC) for virtualised IP playout.
Of course, S-A-M is now owned by
Belden, whose Grass Valley brand
has its own playout solutions in the
shape of the Cloud-based GV STRATUS
and long-established iTX line, which
is already installed in 1500 on airchannels worldwide and was in turn
part of Belden's acquisition of Miranda
which completed back in 2014. How
will the company's new owner deal
with the overlap? We'll find out more
at NAB.
Perhaps alluding to all of that, Pixel
Power's NAB preview talks pointedly
of a time of technical and corporate
turbulence.
That
M&A
activity
causes uncertainty when it comes
to extending the lifespans of legacy
solutions is a given, but perhaps of
more long-term consequence is CEO
James Gilbert's assertion that "IP is

Imagine's 1RU Versio interface and integration advances coming at NAB

ICE, ICE baby - the future of SAM's playout solutions is not yet set in stone

simply an enabler for the opportunities
that software defined solutions offer."
Playout interest at the show
from the company will focus on its
Gallium integrated scheduling, asset
management and automation system.
The company has invested a good
deal of resources in Gallium since it
was launched at NAB 2012, refining
its UI for increased ease of use and
ensuring it can meet current multiformat distribution requirements with
simultaneous delivery of traditional
broadcast, web, mobile, IPTV and filebased content formats as needed.
At IBC it also expanded on its
modularity, ushering in Gallium
Workflow Orchestration to enable
a broadcaster to automate linear
channel playout, automate addition/
removal of graphics, branding or
logos, localise content, and a host of
other tasks.
SGT arrives in Vegas with news
that its VEDA Duo CiaB solution has
been selected by French national TNT
sport channel L'équipe for its new
playout centre. The company says
that its VEDA One (aimed at single
channel playout) and VEDA Duo (its
multichannel
version)
integrated
playout solutions combine the best of
two worlds; a low-cost and standard
IT integrated broadcast server up to
four channels SD/HD combined with
the reliability and reputation of its
well-established VEDA Automation
software. Not to mention its legacy,
with VEDA Automation having clocked
up 25 years of history at 300 channels
worldwide.
WTVision in partnership with ATEME
will show the latest version of its
prosaically-named ChannelMaker-inthe-Cloud; a fully hosted Cloud playout
system based on the latest version of
its playout automation solution and
hosted on AWS infrastructure.
Initially launched last NAB, it
encodes contribution using
ATEME's KYRION CM5000 and
streams the content, as a live
input source, to the Cloud-based

software. This then sequences and
plays out clips previously uploaded
to Amazon Simple Storage Service,
mixing them with 3D graphics overlays
and encoding everything to an output
stream that is sent to a channel
distribution centre and decoded via
ATEME's KYRION DR5000 where it
follows a traditional path towards
distribution.
Also at NAB, Evertz will be
highlighting the abilities of its
OvertureRT-LIVE system to playout
HDR. It's been a high profile year for
the company, with Discovery's US
networks completing their transition
to public Cloud-based origination
utilising an Evertz solution running
within the Amazon Web Services'
public
Cloud.
The
company's
Mediator-X, Overture-RT LIVE and
Render-X are hosted across six data
centres diversely distributed between
two geographic regions including
Northern Virginia and Ireland.
Harmonic is another one to highlight
its future-proofed ability to deal with
HDR workflows. Before IBC it claimed
to be the only technology provider
with an end-to-end UHD HDR workflow
solution that supported channel
origination, live streaming and ondemand applications. And while others
are catching up, last year Harmonic
added the playout capabilities found
in its Spectrum media servers to its
Cloud-native VOS Cloud and VOS 360
solutions. OTT and IPTV are of growing
importance to the playout business,
and porting the R&D investment
of toolsets created for the linear
broadcast environment makes sound
economic sense.
WTVision
and ATEME
have combined
to enable
Channelmaker
-in-the-Cloud


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - April 2018

Contents
In Broadcast - April 2018 - Intro
In Broadcast - April 2018 - Cover1
In Broadcast - April 2018 - Cover2
In Broadcast - April 2018 - Contents
In Broadcast - April 2018 - 4
In Broadcast - April 2018 - 5
In Broadcast - April 2018 - 6
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In Broadcast - April 2018 - 65
In Broadcast - April 2018 - Cover3
In Broadcast - April 2018 - Cover4
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