In Broadcast - April 2021 - 62

62

www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 11 - Issue 4 | April 2021

InMedia

The Future of Playout
Automation

ADC automation solution

By Gareth Wills, Product Manager
at Imagine Communications...

T

he idea of automating the
processes of playing out a
television channel has been with us for
more than 30 years. In the early days,
the automation system provided realtime control of a range of devices from
multiple vendors, including VTRs and
robotic tape libraries, as well as video
servers, graphics devices, switchers
and so on. A system would often control
just one channel or, at most, a handful
of channels. Today we expect playout
centres to be capable of managing tens
or hundreds of channels.
Imagine's two field-proven onpremises
automation
platforms,
ADC and D-Series, draw on all that
experience, offering well-established
technology that has continuously
evolved as the capabilities and
requirements have grown. With the
addition of the cloud-ready Versio
Automation
platform,
Imagine's
portfolio now offers an innovative
solution to meet any playout
automation requirement.

without the capital cost of
a full forklift upgrade, with
the same user interface and
operator experience.
ADC is a resilient, robust onpremises platform that features an
extensive external device control
library and is ideal for highly reactive
channels such as sports. Supporting
seamless integration with industry
traffic systems, ADC enables media
operations to efficiently manage
channels and maximize revenue.
One of the industry's most widely
used automation systems, ADC
continuously evolves as automation
technology advances and industry
requirements
change.
Recent
developments include new user
interface options through web
services, the ability to preview
complex events and programme
junctions and verify correctness before
going to air; and switching between
live feeds and backup content in the
event of failure.

Robust, field-proven
on-prem automation
In the early 2000s, channel
origination transformed from the
centralised control of a range of
disparate, hardware devices towards
software-defined integrated playout
architectures. These deliver practical
economies, not least because channels
can be deployed easily and released or
repurposed when not needed.
Imagine's ADC automation is
uniquely positioned to support
centralised or distributed, softwaredefined playout. This means customers
can migrate to more distributed
integrated solutions without risk, and

Multichannel, multi-site
on-prem automation
Today, as well as delivering many
more channels, the typical playout
centre must also serve multiple
outputs. Imagine's D-Series enterprise
automation is no stranger to driving
high-density playout solutions and
is relied on by some of the world's
largest channel origination facilities.
High-density facilities often originate
common channels with many different
regional variants, for broadcast, cable
and satellite, creating the capability for
geographically and demographically
targeted advertising. These linear
feeds are further augmented with

Versio Control (web-based master control solution)

automation often driving preparation
platforms for online services, which
will have other advertising and
promotional requirements, including
dynamic advertising insertion for
further monetisation of content.
Configurable,
web-based control
These many variants bring a
new level of complexity to both
the engineering and operational
environments. Operations have shifted
to monitoring by exception, boosting
the operator-to-channel density.
Today's playout platform must
provide operations with the featurerich toolkit they expect, coupled with
modern DevOps tools and deployment
methodologies drawn from the IT
industry. A good example is the choice
of alarm management and monitoring
tools, automating failover and alerting
the right people of potential problems
at the right time.
Integration of these monitoring
tools is critical to bringing all of the
operational and supporting data into a
" single pane of glass. "
The
HTML5
Versio
Control
configurable
master
control
framework allows Imagine to build
a unified thin web client which
responsively provides access to
the right information and tools for
each operator. In turn, this provides
inherent support for remote and
home working, something which the
continuing COVID-19 pandemic has
brought very much to the fore.

Versio integrated playout

Cloud-based automation
While
traditional
on-premises
playout
architectures
are
still
powering
broadcasters
worldwide, other media
organisations are looking at
a move towards virtualised
or hybrid environments.
Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS,
recently said that the
pandemic has accelerated cloud
adoption by several years. Fortunately,
these considerations have become
more achievable with today's next-gen
solutions such as Imagine's Versio
modular playout system, which can
run on-premises or in the cloud.
For our customers in broadcast
and media, the cloud offers a way to
elastically scale. While they might not
migrate their entire facility, the cloud
allows media companies to build
capacity at times when they need
it. For example, Versio Automation
enables our customers to costeffectively launch new channels in
the cloud - perhaps for key sporting
events, or just to experiment with
pop-up channels. While there are still
hurdles for cloud playout, particularly
around latency, new developments
such as the AWS Cloud Digital Interface
and the JPEG XS codec will help
alleviate some of these challenges.
Flexibility is key
Broadcasters who are accustomed to
the reactivity of traditional automation
systems will likely want to maintain
on-premises channels, which often
feature complex live content and
manual breakaways. But they will also
be attracted by the elasticity of the
cloud and the reduction in CAPEX and
OPEX brought about by smaller, onsite installations requiring less floor
space, power and air conditioning.
This is where hybrid capabilities are
an important consideration. Imagine
customer systems may, for example,
be a hybrid of ADC automation
controlling a mix of legacy hardware
and Versio software, on premises
and in the cloud. In these scenarios,
flexibility is key, and this is where
Imagine stays ahead of the market
- bringing unrivalled automation
heritage and an automation portfolio
that has continuously evolved as the
industry has transformed itself.


http://www.inbroadcast.com https://imaginecommunications.com/versio-playout-solutions?gclid=Cj0KCQjwgtWDBhDZARIsADEKwgPbmULb1FCzPbdSNUThFuibuugDVZ1RTEe9v2txZsEDcv_2EHrwjzsaAosBEALw_wcB https://imaginecommunications.com/versio-playout-solutions?gclid=Cj0KCQjwgtWDBhDZARIsADEKwgPbmULb1FCzPbdSNUThFuibuugDVZ1RTEe9v2txZsEDcv_2EHrwjzsaAosBEALw_wcB https://imaginecommunications.com/versio-playout-solutions?gclid=Cj0KCQjwgtWDBhDZARIsADEKwgPbmULb1FCzPbdSNUThFuibuugDVZ1RTEe9v2txZsEDcv_2EHrwjzsaAosBEALw_wcB

In Broadcast - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - April 2021

Contents
In Broadcast - April 2021 - Intro
In Broadcast - April 2021 - Cover1
In Broadcast - April 2021 - Cover2
In Broadcast - April 2021 - Contents
In Broadcast - April 2021 - 4
In Broadcast - April 2021 - 5
In Broadcast - April 2021 - 6
In Broadcast - April 2021 - 7
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In Broadcast - April 2021 - Cover4
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