David Austerberry /
09.09.2009
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Pebble Beach launches Marina automation at IBC2009

A new enterprise-level automation product, Marina, will be unveiled at IBC2009 by Pebble Beach Systems. The product is designed to address evolving operational and business requirements in the broadcast and electronic media industries. Marina is compatible with the company’s current automation offerings, adding enhanced capabilities to the Pebble Beach portfolio.

While many automation vendors have focused on low-end “channel-in-a-box” systems in recent years, Pebble Beach believes there is a strong demand for enterprise-level automation to address the business requirements of broadcasters who have a varied and ever-changing set of content delivery requirements.

Tom Gittins, director of sales at Pebble Beach, told “Automation Technology Update,” “Marina will be pitched at larger systems. Our Neptune product scales in 16-channel increments; Marina will be more flexible and suited to systems above 12 channels. Marina is scalable up to hundreds of channels.” It gives its users an almost infinite variety of configuration options, he said, but it does so using a single central database allowing coordinated applications and resources to operate in a distributed architecture across multiple servers.

Gittins also explained the breadth of Pebble Beach’s product range. “We have Deckchair for up to three channels and Neptune Lite for modest systems, but it scales to a full Neptune system,” he said. Neptune fits the need of larger systems and complex output chains with many secondary events. “Neptune has a large portfolio of third-party drivers,” Gittins said, including data-driven graphics systems like Vizrt and Orad.

Marina has a new playlist engine, designed from the ground up, coupled with a fully distributed architecture, which leverages Pebble Beach’s experience of developing drivers for a variety of delivery devices from leading industry manufacturers. It also is fully interoperable with Anchor, Pebble Beach’s media and workflow management system, Gittins said.

Marina embodies a significantly enhanced approach to managing graphics and other secondary events — the elements that broadcasters use between and around major program segments to give a channel depth, richness and a clear brand identity. Marina adds significantly to Pebble Beach’s automation portfolio and complements Neptune, a well-established system used to deliver more than 500 channels worldwide. The two systems share many components and can work closely together, with, for example, Neptune providing the ingest features of a system workflow — capturing content that will ultimately be played out by Marina. Neptune may also be used to provide MOS-based news playout as a component of a larger multichannel Marina playout system.

“In Marina, Pebble Beach has developed an enterprise-level automation system that hugely extends our range and allows broadcasters to select the best underlying technology to suit all of their specific business and operational requirements,” said Peter Hajittofi, managing director of Pebble Beach Systems. “We deliver enormous flexibility, but at the same time maintain a consistent user interface to simplify training and make operational use as efficient as possible.”



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