Pixel Power Inc. — Pete Challinger, CEO
Q. What kind of products or services does your company offer for broadcasters?
Pixel Power offers broadcasters a variety of systems to fulfill wide-ranging requirements. Most people know our Clarity HD/SD switchable graphics production systems, which we offer at every price point. You’ll find Clarity in operations of every size being used for news, sports, studio, mobile, stadium and religious applications. LogoVision is our family of branding and graphics playout systems built for the demands of 24/7 transmission environments.
We are particularly proud of our newest product lines that bring together multiple functions within tightly integrated systems. ChannelMaster, our family of integrated channel playout systems, combines storage, graphics, DVE, audio, subtitling, master control, live feed and long-form video playout all within a single, dedicated hardware platform. It is a channel in a box without all of the compromises people have come to expect. Along with that we offer Gallium, our new integrated, sophisticated and scalable scheduling, asset management and automation system. The combination of ChannelMaster and Gallium is ideal for playout facilities that need automated control of our transmission devices for graphics or complete channel playout. BrandMaster is the world’s first family of Branding Switchers — a unique pairing of a complete master control switcher with broadcast graphics for channel branding that lets you brand each of your channels without the need for a separate graphics pool.
The common denominator you’ll find amongst all Pixel Power products is a commitment to including the ability to deliver the highest-quality graphics and elegantly designed interfaces that let you accomplish the job in hand without ever getting in your way.
Q. What’s new that you will you show at the NAB Show and that TV broadcasters should look for there?
Graphics pervade every aspect of operations, so NAB Show attendees will see innovation that impacts every part of their business. Anyone who has ever used or thought about “channel-in-a-box systems” ought to spend some time with our new ChannelMaster product line. Channel in a box has always been about compromise and that thinking simply made no sense to us. So, we started from scratch and created a new family of integrated channel playout systems that provides a cost-effective, reliable approach to deploying new channels. And, of course, no compromises. That means ChannelMaster includes storage, graphics, DVE, audio, subtitling, master control, live feed and long-form video playout. ChannelMaster also integrates with any automation and MAM system, but we are particularly excited about the NAB Show debut of Gallium.
Gallium is Pixel Power’s own integrated scheduling, asset management and automation system for playout facilities that need automated control of our transmission devices for graphics or complete channel playout. Gallium goes way beyond the usual channel-in-a-box automation. It is a true enterprise-caliber, scalable, automated transmission solution. It can manage delivery of multiformat content for Web, mobile and IPTV applications, including 601, HD-SDI and file-based outputs. The resulting environment maximizes sharing across multiple channels, reduces workload and resource requirements and enhances delivery and consistency while being driven by just a single operator.
At the NAB Show we will also highlight Clarity graphics systems in online, live production, particularly newsroom graphics. Keep an eye out for our display of real-time 3D graphics for news and sports.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?
ChannelMaster completely changes what you can do with an integrated playout system. Pixel Power is first and foremost a graphics company. That means that inside ChannelMaster you will find dedicated processing for the full range of sophisticated graphics including real-time 3D, multichannel clips with alpha and unlimited layers. A single ChannelMaster unit can be configured as one complex channel with preview or two simpler channels.
One of the most glaring omissions in channel-in-a-box systems has been the inability to support live events. Many integrated systems have been limited to only one video input or lack a master control hardware panel that operators would recognize. That really limits the flexibility and potential of your channel. With ChannelMaster’s built-in master control switcher and two video inputs, it is an excellent solution for the transmission of live events.
While we are very proud of our new Gallium scheduling, asset management and automation solution, we also understand that different operations may make other choices. That is why we designed ChannelMaster to integrate with any automation and MAM system by way of an open XML protocol or by using legacy, industry-standard protocols.
Cost is another big consideration. A Gallium/ChannelMaster solution costs less than a functionally equivalent system using conventional equipment and automation. There is even more savings to be realized if a channel requires full feature graphics. To that you can then add reduced operational costs from less equipment to maintain and support, lower power consumption, less rack space and less training required.
Q. What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2012 NAB Show?
It is hard to identify one trend that will rise above all others. What we do see, and want to encourage in any way we can, is the drive to break down the barriers between different technical and business functions in broadcast operations. For example, efforts to enhance the interplay between traffic, automation, branding systems, billing, master control, accounting, etc., with standards such as BXF will have a profound impact on broadcasters.
This trend is similar to what has led Pixel Power to design all of its products to work within modern, file-based digital workflows. We have broad experience in dealing with a wide range of external data; and the need to share and use data between disparate systems is critical to the future of broadcast operations. It reduces the numbers of steps required in complex processes, creates new opportunity and unlocks potential revenue streams.
Ultimately, this is movement toward greater efficiency and better communication across broadcast operations. I think that this type of thinking is critical to the long-term viability of all the other trends people are focusing on.
Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
Pixel Power has corporate headquarters in Cambridge, England, as well as a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary based in Burbank, Calif., where I am based, that provides sales and service across North America. We have about fifty employees, including nine here in the United States.