As often happens, what’s new isn’t always. IP, the “Holy Grail” of the past several NAB Shows, has been a fact of master control and file-based media life for some time. The category, which in the past, we’ve termed “automation and asset management” is evolving at a rapid pace. Some players have merged or changed names; a few new ones are emerging, all with ambitious plans to streamline, automate and bulletproof our workflows.
MASTER CONTROL & PLAYOUT AUTOMATION
Amagi will debut CUMULUS, a new cloud-based broadcast platform that simplifies content preparation, management, playout, delivery and monetization for broadcasters, all on a single cloud platform. Offered as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS), CUMULUS enables content owners and broadcasters to create and deliver linear and nonlinear streams across cable, satellite, IPTV and OTT on-demand platforms.
Aveco will return with its Astra master control/production automation as well as Redwood, the company’s channel-in-a-box and branding solution.
Axon will demonstrate its Cerebrum control and monitoring system for mobile production, news and studio live production, master control and remote production. Cerebrum offers a broad range of features and support for third-party devices, including routers, production switchers, servers, receiver decoders, multiviewers and waveform monitors. At the show, Axon will unveil new feature enhancements including automatic tie-line management across multiple routers for format conversion and multisite operations and various new third-party interface options including support for protocols from SAM, Imagine, ClearCom, Trilogy and Grass Valley.
Bitcenral Central ControlBitcentral will highlight Central Control, an IP-based all-in-one solution to handle ingest, archive and play-to-air tasks for individual stations and multichannel hub operators.
Cinegy will debut Cinegy-as-a-Service, which ports the company’s technology— starting with Cinegy Air—to the cloud via Amazon Web and similar services. Also at the company’s booth will be Cinegy Open Tools, a free utilities suite that helps broadcasters shift to IP and nontraditional platforms.
The next release of LoadingDock, Crispin'sl network file acquisition, preparation and distribution application, reduces duplication of effort across Group locations. A new Supervisory View feature lets operators oversee multiple channels at-a-glance; user access ranges from view-only to full control over content streams for multichannel managers.
DNF Controls IP Control BuddyDNF Controls will debut IP Control Buddy, device management and messaging for production or master control; it’s available in GPI/O and LCD pushbutton models. One button press triggers a GPI/O, sends a serial command or a TCP/UDP/SNMP/HTTP signal. The new USP3 Universal Switch Panel streamlines monitoring and control interfaces. Also new, Anywhere Interface Box (AIB) models with up to 16 GPI/Os and multiple control paths—Ethernet, two-way audio, DTMF, modem dial—all with non-volatile, programmer-free Web configurability.
ENCO Systems will demo its MOM (Media Operations Manager) to automate video playout, manage a library of video, audio and graphic cuts, and create content playlists.
Evertz will introduce OVRT-LIVE-4K, a UHD/HD/SD-capable playout engine with integrated master control and advanced channel branding/graphics. It seamlessly mixes SD, HD and UHD content via an internal up/down/cross conversion engine.
Florical is partnering with Vizrt to host a graphics engine on Acuitas, their channel-in-a-box solution. Also new: a “text-to-speech” functionality to meet FCC mandates; FlashForward, which adds schedule import for centralized asset acquisition and distribution; and AssetCollector and AssetDispatcher, which streamline media management, while Myers ProTrack integration gains BXF “live-log” capabilities.
Grass Valley has added IP/SDI format flexibility to its automated workflows with compressed IP I/O in v2.8 of its iTX Integrated Playout Platform. Multiresolution 4K/HD/SD capabilities provide a cost-effective 4K/UHD playout transition with proven scalability to 250-plus channels.
Imagine Communications will demo the latest version of Versio, the company’s integrated, software-based playout solution. With “any-to-any” transport, compressed or uncompressed IP and cloud deployment models, users can accelerate service launches, ensure business continuity, lower infrastructure costs, and virtualize master control.
NVerzion will unveil a Windows 10 version of their Component Level Automation System Solutions (CLASS) platform featuring a highly customizable GUI, video server mirroring, plus enhanced Join-in-Progress (JIP) and conflict reporting functionality. New NPoint Direct media prep lets broadcasters segment, preview and create text, events or effects (bugs, crawls, etc.) instantly and without tying up a server port.
Pebble Beach Systems will showcase Orca, an IP-enabled channel solution in a cloud-based virtual environment. Web tools facilitate deployment, signal design and monitoring of IP-based streams. Lighthouse, a new Web-based utility dashboard, extends Marina’s enterprise automation functionality to local or remote broadcast and business partners; multiple widgets include remote error monitoring, playlist control and resource management via a secure browser interface.
New StreamMaster builds on Pixel Power'sl Clarity platform with integrated playout for complex channels. Running on dedicated hardware, it can be virtualized in a data center or cloud. The format-agnostic, software-defined system is scalable, enabling new pricing models, including pay-as-you-go for pop-up channels.
PlayBox Technology will debut CloudAir, a software-as-a-service for rapid deployment of new channels with reduced infrastructure investment. It provides playout with graphics on any enterprise-class host server. Also, upgrades to Neo, the company’s modular channel-in-a-box series: Air- Box, TitleBox, CaptureBox and SafeBox.
Primestream will showcase new device control enhancements for its FORK content management system, which adds support for leading tape and digital formats— from SD to 4K—on Mac or PC platforms. Also featured, Xchange Suite, used to prepare, share, edit, review, approve and archive content via Web browser, adds publishing capabilities with native export to OTT networks and social media.
Rascular will showcase Mediant, for secondary-event handling. Version 3.0 reads automation schedules, locates media for secondary events and moves content to the correct on-air device. The company will also demo Clockwork, an app for their flagship Helm control suite, that schedules and executes simple to complex events, such as ingest and playout.
RUSHWORKS will demo dissolve transitions between playlist elements on its ALIST automation system, as well as BXF file parsing and interoperability for broadcasters employing Myers ProTrack, Broadview Software, and similar BXF-enabled traffic and billing solutions.
SAM (Snell Advanced Media) will debut a software-defined channel version of its ICE channel-in-a-box optimized for virtualized playout. Replacing SDI with IP streaming, it can easily migrate to a standby blade within the data center or at a redundant, mirrored facility in the event of a hardware failure.
Thomson Video Networks’ FUZE-1 Playout SystemThomson Video Networks , which was recently acquired by Harmonic, will unveil its FUZE-1 Playout System for ad insertion, branding, disaster recovery and EAS insertion. It integrates traditional channel-in-a-box functionality with premium-quality encoding/ transcoding for broadcast and OTT delivery.
IN THE NEWSROOM
AQ Broadcast will showcase QNews Automation Control Centre (ACC), designed to assist with devices during live broadcasts. Typically run with QNews, the company’s NRCS suite, ACC also accepts MOS event data from newsroom systems such as ENPS.
Aveco will introduce Take 2 production automation for high-end news magazines and similar shoots recording to a server. It controls switchers, video and graphics, camera robotics, audio, etc., via an intuitive director’s interface. Automatic “bestclips” compilation helps finish the program, avoiding delays and costly post production.
Bitcentral will debut enhancements to its OASIS MAM system with Web interfaces for mobile, tablet and PC. CORE:News adds hybrid ingest, hub and spoke distribution, plus a downscaled version for smaller markets. Their Create video editor gains closed-captioning pass-thru, audio VU meters and loudness measurement tools. The company will also demo new servers with faster, more reliable SSD storage.
Grass Valley will return with v4.5 of its GV STRATUS video production and content management system, with a full toolkit for managing on-air operations, live programming and production media workflows.
Masstech will feature MassStore for News, which lets users archive, retrieve and exchange content from within their familiar NRCS interface. Stories and media flow smoothly among users, systems and locations using drag-and-drop. It reduces technical and workflow disruptions, saves journalists time and effort, and lets them focus on creating content-rich stories.
Octopus will debut Newsroom 8, a platform-independent, newsroom computer system running natively on Windows, Mac OS X or Linux. The new version empowers cross-department teams to collaborate and share, as well as connect with social media and online news channels.
Ross Video will demonstrate the latest version of its OverDrive automated production control system, with enhanced integration to the company’s Acuity and Carbonite Black production switchers, as well as support for a variety of third-party switchers, newsroom computer and graphics systems.
TRAFFIC, BUSINESS & RIGHTS MANAGEMENT
Arvato Systems will showcase its Avatega Rights Management & Planning system with automated multiplatform scheduling, workflow engine and decision support. The company will also feature AdStore, which offers single-point access to an entire commercial inventory; it combines programmatic and traditional sales models, predefines cross-media packages, and tracks delivery progress across platforms.
Broadview Software will demo v2.0 of its OnDemand platform, designed to manage content for audiences fragmented by platform proliferation. With scheduling connected to fulfillment, its schedules serve traditional cable and new media platforms, as well as Web and mobile devices. Rules-based tools, such as linear casting, rights casting, and event treatments, simplify workflows.
Imagine Communications’ will introduce Landmark xG Open, a new open, APIbased solution that helps media companies participate in sales via programmatic exchanges.It helps users streamline their advertising buy-sell process and supports campaign stewardship with near real-time performance feedback to the buyer.
Myers will debut ProTrack Sales, based on HTML5. The module provides a sleek, intuitive interface to powerful sales capabilities and streamlined operational workflows. Myers will also demo enhancements to Pro-Track, which tighten bidirectional integration with key vendor partners.
Proconsultant Informatique will showcase LOUISE 5, the company’s modular business management solution, which helps multiscreen content providers streamline processes in a rapidly changing industry. The company’s CINDY 4 ad sales solution provides traffic, ad placement and revenue optimization; its integrated design handles global ad strategies with provisions for linear and nonlinear business, as well as programmatic and automated selling.
SintecMedia will feature OnAir 4.0, the company’s collaborative ad sales, programming, rights management, traffic and promotions platform. An intelligent interface anticipates user workflows with automated reminders and tasks. OnRights helps content owners earn licensing revenue across linear, nonlinear and digital platforms. The IBMS suite adds promo optimization tools that increase client control over placements, while OnDemand manages centralized multiplatform digital services. Cloud versions of OnAir and IBMS facilitate rapid deployment and lower cost-of-ownership.
WideOrbit will unveil station workflow enrichments to flagship WO Traffic, including tools to manage spot and digital together from order entry through to invoicing and reconciliation. Data from WO Media Sales—used to manage station/ group operations, proposals, avails, planning, order entry, research, analysis and reporting— now auto-populates directly into WO Traffic.
ARCHIVE & MEDIA ASSET MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Apace Systems will introduce postMAM, a browser-based collaborative media environment with seamless ingest, transcoding, search, playback and archiving of video, audio, still images and graphics. A global version provides secure, multisite asset management with frame-accurate hi-res proxy editing. Finder—a new class of unstructured, file-based search engines—automates file/folder name indexing within storage clusters; multisystem cataloging makes data search instantaneous.
Dalet will demonstrate current versions of its established products, featuring Galaxy, their enterprise MAM platform. It manages assets, metadata, workflows and processes across multiple, diverse production and distribution systems. The company will also showcase its AmberFin and Brio platforms.
Digital Nirvana will introduce a new collaborative Media Management Platform that includes tools to capture, edit and repurpose content from various sources and publish to multiple digital platforms, all while monitoring for quality and compliance.
Masstech will demo purpose-configured, high-volume storage systems: MassStore for MAM controls digital media and metadata throughout its lifecycle; intelligent storage management and native transcoding streamlines workflow and reduces cost. MassStore for Program & Spot Aggregation eliminates manual content-gathering steps and cuts turnaround time, errors and costs, with automated content detection, processing and migration. MassStore for Archive utilizes intelligent tiered storage and scalable online, nearline and deep storage options, from disk arrays to LTO data tapes.
Oracle will showcase DIVArchive, which features bit-accurate checksums throughout its rules-based storage workflow, verifying output, regardless of publication format, exactly matches original input.
Pronology will highlight the company’s MAM system’s global Location Intelligence feature, which allows users to collaborate, locate and transfer content to where it’s needed, ensuring efficient use of bandwidth and storage resources. A browser interface provides instant “at-a-glance” access to streamable proxy files for shot selection and organization.
SGL will debut its new FlashNet dashboard, which simplifies archiving workflow and adds reliability tools such as Checksum support to its content management and storage flagship product. New SMPTE Archive eXchange Format (AXF) support lets FlashNet read and process AXF objects, assuring long-term access to content despite evolving technologies. The company will also demo support for Ci, Sony’s Cloud service for creative collaboration.
Square Box Systems will introduce CatDV 12, a new MAM edition with native support for their Server 7, plus enhanced ingest and logging capabilities. Also, Worker 7 updates add Linux support and greater functionality for MAM workflow automation and integration.
Tedial will introduce Version Factory, which interfaces with content and rights management, traffic and work order systems to automate operations, stacks media engines, employs future-proof SMPTE standards, and provides scalability for OTT/VOD platforms, network operations and brands. The company will also showcase its Evolution BPM (business process management) workflow engine, which clocks 17x faster than competing systems—50,000 workflows in under three minutes—with unlimited physical or virtual scalability.
Enhancements to Telestream's file-based Vantage workflow engine include Open Workflows, which promises speedier, more efficient processing and decision-making. Sequential actions execute in-parallel and output generates as files are processing. New ABR Optimize constructs intelligent adaptive bitrate packages, cutting delivery bandwidth and distribution costs without losing perceived viewing quality.
TMD will showcase its Mediaflex Unified Media Services (UMS), a cloud platform for media services and host for third-party delivery of business and operational workflows. The company will also debut its Call- 4Media digital asset management service, which utilizes TMD’s Chameleon interface, enabling non-technical staff to search for and deal with content. Also new is Aperture for ingest, which digitizes, captures and manages content, either standalone or with other TMD services.
Volicon Observer Media Intelligence PlatformVolicon has added as-run log integration to Share, part of the company’s Observer Media Intelligence Platform. Available on-premise or as a cloud-service, it lets non-video editors remove ads, generate frame-accurate long-form VOD assets, or repurpose content for on-air, digital or social media platforms. The company will also demo Observer’s ability to draw content from the OTT pipeline and mobile devices.
VSN will feature VSNEXPLORER, which has been newly integrated with Microsoft’s Azure Media Services to create an enhanced MAM on cloud solution. Among the added features: auto-detection of adult content, multiformat cloud transcoding, face blurring in videos, and content finger-printing.
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