Susan Ashworth /
04.05.2011
Miranda Aims for Wider Reach at NAB
Miranda's new Playout Glass Cockpit addresses ingest, play-out and playout monitoring.

MONTREAL—With an eye toward providing solutions for production, play-out and the head-end, Miranda Technologies comes to NAB to showcase a larger, re-defined company with a sturdy mix of new technologies and products for the broadcast market.

Driving that wider market focus is Miranda's purchase and ongoing integration of Omnibus Systems, the IT-based playout and automation firm whose product offerings give the merged company the ability to offer a more complete range of play-out solutions.

Two strategic imperatives guided last September's $46.7 million acquisition, both in the short and long term, according to Michel Proulx, chief technology officer at Miranda.

"Short term was a more integrated play-out solution," he said, adding that the Omnibus iTX automation and play-out solution has done much to advance the capabilities of broadcast and cable firms over the years. "A wide range of customers is now contemplating this type of all-in-one approach because of the sheer simplification of the play-out system."

The second driving force behind the acquisition was longer term: "access to the content and schedule database in advance of content airing," Proulx said. As Miranda begins to rely more significantly on software-based solutions that manipulate files rather than as SDI streams, the company needs to remain "content- and schedule-aware," Proulx said. "Since in an iTX play-out facility there is a central database of all the content and all the schedules, it now gives us this important ability to process files."

INTEGRATED OFFERINGS

At NAB, Miranda Technologies will highlight that integrated IT-based play-out solution, which combines multichannel content delivery, graphics and advanced monitoring systems. Known as the "Playout Glass Cockpit," this complete play-out solution addresses ingest, play-out and play-out monitoring. The system will integrate the Omnibus iTX with Miranda Kaleido multiviewers and iControl Playout Manager facility monitoring in an effort to help facilities improve their channel-to-operator ratios, and increase their overall quality of service.

"The integration of Omnibus and Miranda products yield… a complete playout solution," Proulx said. "The idea being that our customers can play out more channels with better graphics for better audience retention. The monitoring element ensures that as they expand their channels, they can do so without increasing operational costs and improving overall channel quality, by reducing outages and the time to repair outages."

Taking stock of the need to produce content for multiple outlets, Miranda will also introduce a component within iTX that allows customers to turn just-aired content—or content that's ready to air—into files suitable for distribution to VOD and other nonlinear delivery platforms. "Here the story is similar," Proulx said. "On the one hand we are making sure the VOD assets include graphics and Nielsen audience measurement information so that the content can be branded and monetized. On the other hand, we are automating the process so that our users can produce more VOD-type content with fewer people."

Miranda plans to showcase the Nvision 8500 Hybrid router at its NAB booth.
Miranda also has an eye on the production realm, and plans to showcase the Nvision 8500 Hybrid router, which combines video routing, audio routing, audio mux/demux and audio processing in a single system, in the hopes of reducing the amount of ancillary equipment and wiring required in a studio or production truck.

For headend operators at NAB, the company is introducing Kaleido-IP, designed to monitor compressed signals on an IP backbone, allowing signals to be seen across two or more multiviewer displays. Likewise, Miranda will showcase two versions of Automatic Loudness Control, including solutions for both baseband signals as well as MPEG-2 and H.264 compressed signals.

UNDER THE UMBRELLA

Given the relationship and synergy between the two product lines, Proulx said all staff and products are being integrated into the Miranda umbrella. Omnibus products will retain their original product name under the Miranda brand.

"From a product point of view, the integration has been very logical," Proulx said. "It has all been about creating a more complete solution for playout. We want our customers to be able to use graphics to better manage their brand and promote viewership of their channels, and we want our customers to be able to effectively monitor more channels with less people."

To achieve this, the company has also been focused on the integration game. Miranda has integrated graphics workflows into iTX to strengthen iTX's internal graphics capabilities. It's also integrated iTX with Kaleido multiviewers to give clear details of current and upcoming programming; iControl Playout Manager to manage components in the playout system as well as diagnose and repair issues; and with Miranda's file publishing software for VOD or alternative delivery output.

"Our focus is now a lot more application-centric," Proulx said. "We are targeting three principal applications: production, including studios and mobiles; play-out; and headends. In each case, we have integrated the right mix of products from our interfacing, routing, multiviewers, workflow and branding product lines to create a compelling solution."

Miranda will be at Booth #N2515.



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