In Broadcast - September 2020 - 80

80

www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 10 - Issue 9 | September 2020

InMedia

Does Cloud Broadcasting
Fit Your Workflow?
If it does, we have the solution!
By Pavlin Rahnev, CEO
and Van Duke, Director
of USA Operations...

D

uring the 21 years we have been
designing,
configuring
and
delivering broadcast playout solutions,
it soon became evident that our
customers vary greatly in what they
want to accomplish and how they hope
to achieve it.
Most broadcasters until about 2010
owned and operated an in-house
playout system based around an
automated video tape library. Disk
servers were meanwhile rapidly
improving in write/read speed,
compactness and affordability. Aware
of their potential to make the entire
process of playout more efficient, we
pioneered a server-based solution that
developed into the Neo product range
which became a global best-seller.
AirBox
Neo
accommodates
everything needed to store, schedule
and deliver an entire day's television
output from a 3U high chassis, it
inevitably became known as Channelin-a-Box, joined later by 1U variant
which could reasonably be termed
Channel-in-a-Smaller-Box.
Spacesaving and easy to integrate with
third-party devices such as routers,
AirBox Neo is also easy to maintain:
a complete backup system with
automatic switchover can be added
simply by adding an extra unit.
IP-based networking allows PlayBox
Neo to be operated easily from
any location, typically in a playout
suite 20 metres or so away from the
central apparatus room. Programs,
promos and commercials are similarly
networked from the ingest or
scheduling desks to the master playout
server. This same flexibility also frees
channel managers to delegate all their
playout resources to an offsite service
provider regardless of distance. COTSbased equipment in general requires
relatively little maintenance so a
single engineer at a third-party playout
facility can supervise multiple channels
more cost-effectively than a channel-

specific technician who is typically
multitasking across other management
or studio-related roles.
Cloud2TV - Channel
Management in the Cloud
Introduced in 2019, Cloud2TV
comprises a group of applications
which can be used individually or in
close co-ordination with the others
to support the workflow of an entire
TV channel. Specific Cloud2TV
applications are assigned to content
ingest,
graphic
editing,
media
browsing with metadata handling
and clip trimming, quality control
and verification, transcoding, playlist
management and audit logging. Figure
1 shows a Cloud2TV workflow example.
Cloud2TV is available in three forms:
*	 Platform-as-a-Service deployed
		 on a private cloud with CDN
		 for global reach;
*	 Software-as-a-Service deployed
		 on public clouds such as Amazon 	
		 AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google;
*	 On-premises turnkey system
		 for deployment by a broadcaster
		 or service-provider.
It is fully compatible with existing
PlayBox Neo solutions and can be
used to extend their capabilities and
functionality. The only hardware an
operator requires is an internet-linked

Figure 1: PlayBox Neo

Cloud2TV sample workflow

desktop or mobile computer. Control
is via an intuitive web-based interface
with administrator-adjustable rights
assignment, TV channel management,
action-logging and notifications.
Akili Networks - Celebrating its
First Five Months of Success
Akili Networks, based in Nairobi,
Kenya and New York recently chose
Cloud2TV as the content management,
channel branding and playout core of
the first and only free-to-air Kenyan
children's television channel. Akili
Kids! broadcasts a mix of programs
designed to inspire and educate the
country's school-age and pre-school
generations.
Key
requirements
included ease of operation for nonbroadcast personnel operating the
schedule plus the highest possible OTT
signal quality.
Akili Networks' CEO Jeff Schon: "We
are working with major international
creators and distributors to program
a channel that's a safe, engaging and
educational destination for kids. After
just five months during the day-time
Akili Kids! has become the secondmost watched channel in Kenya,
reaching over 9.5 million viewers per
week. We also have a terrific team
of Kenyan creators and producers.
Our goal is for 40% of the channel's

programming to be produced in Kenya
within the next 36 months. PlayBox
Neo partnered with us for over two
years as we progressed from initial
planning through to the actual build,
including flying an engineer, on one
of the last flights out to Kenya, to
perform the on-site installation and
configuration."
Akili Networks' President, Jesse
Soleil: "The actual launch took place
on March 31st in the midst of the
coronavirus pandemic. Like much of
the world, Kenya recommended most
of its school-age population to study
at home for safety. The PlayBox Neo
Cloud2TV model for virtualized global
master control and operations enabled
us to launch and operate efficiently in
this difficult environment. We certainly
did not anticipate the pandemic, but
the fact that we could bring Akili Kids!
TV on air in the middle of it proved
beyond all question the robustness
of browser-based remote systems
management. Program uploads and
master control monitoring were all
performed virtually from either our
New York or Nairobi offices, and
Cloud2TV helped us manage our
channel even when our core staff was
working safely from home."
Akili Networks' CTO Vinnie Grosso:
"Besides being best in class, Cloud2TV
was the logical choice because it
allowed us to locate a server with full
system redundancy at a typical data
center in Kenya. The PlayBox Neo
broadcast system is remotely operated
from our laptops using web-based
services and delivers superior on-air
video quality over Kenya's 50 Hz PAL
DVB-T2 system. Multi-format video
files are uploaded from both Nairobi
and New York, then ingested and encoded on the server for transmission.
A key priority was to ensure a reliable
and flexible workflow for all of our
staff. We create each day's playout log
by dragging and dropping video files
into the PlayBox Neo browser-based
interface. Cloud2TV's automation
allows us to set up playlists weeks
in advance and simplifies major
broadcast tasks, freeing up staff for
creative activity and also gives us the
flexibility to revise the running order
of programs and interstitials instantly.
We also have the ability to cut to a
live video source at any time during
the broadcast day by inserting an IP
address into the playlist."


http://www.inbroadcast.com http://www.playboxneo.com

In Broadcast - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - September 2020

Contents
In Broadcast - September 2020 - Intro
In Broadcast - September 2020 - Cover1
In Broadcast - September 2020 - Cover2
In Broadcast - September 2020 - Contents
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 4
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 5
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 6
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 7
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 8
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 9
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 10
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 11
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 12
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 13
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 14
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 15
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 16
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 17
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 18
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 19
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 20
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 21
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 22
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 23
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 24
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 25
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 26
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 27
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 28
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 29
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 30
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 31
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 32
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 33
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 34
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 35
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 36
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 37
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 38
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 39
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 40
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 41
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 42
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 43
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 44
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 45
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 46
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 47
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 48
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 49
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 50
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 51
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In Broadcast - September 2020 - Cover3
In Broadcast - September 2020 - Cover4
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