2016 NAB Product Review: Content Management & Control

Developers of technology for content management and control (formerly automation and asset management) continued to adapt their product workflows to IP and cloud-based functionality. Several automation providers demonstrated the ability to create “virtual” content channels, while “programmatic” ad selling was top-of-mind among vendors of business and rights management software.

featured its Astra master control/production automation range, available “in-the-rack” or cloud-based, as well as its Redwood, a channel-in-a-box with branding solution.

Bitcentral marked the NAB debut of its Central Control, an IP-based all-in-one ingest, archive and play-to-air solution for individual station or multichannel operators.

Broadstream Solutions launched BEACON, a software-based playout system using elements of the company’s OASYS platform and designed for call letter Diginets or educational, CATV and corporate TV channels.

Cinegy unveiled v11 of Air PRO, its playout server and multichannel automation software with high frame-rate UHD support, integrated HEVC stream encoding, loudness limiting, and next-gen channel branding. The company also showcased Cinegy-as-a-Service, which ports the company’s technology to the cloud.

Crispin showcased LoadingDock, a network content acquisition, preparation and distribution application for reducing duplication of effort across Group stations. The Supervisory View feature monitors multiple channels with access ranging from view-only to full content stream control.

DNF Controls debuted IP Control Buddy, a small-footprint device manager and messaging utility. The GTP-32 Control Processor adds SCTE-104 Messaging/Transmission support for digital content insertion or to block/replace rights-managed material. The new Ethernet, RS232/422 and GPI/O-capable Universal Switch Panel (USP3) streamlines monitoring/control interfaces; enhanced Anywhere Interface Box (AIB) models gained multiple control paths—Ethernet, two-way audio, DTMF, modem dial—with programmer-free Web configurability.

ENCO GM Ken Frommert with the company’s new MOM (Media Operations Manager)ENCO Systems introduced its MOM (Media Operations Manager) system, permitting solo operators to automate video playout, manage video, audio, and graphic cut libraries, and create content playlists from a single workstation. A fourth-generation OnAir interface helps users handle traffic log changes and perform manual playback or live inserts.

Evertz demonstrated completely virtualized MAM, automation and playout in the public cloud. The company also demonstrated a virtualized cloud version of Overture LIVE VM playout via Amazon Web Services.

Florical partnered with Vizrt to host a graphics engine on Acuitas, their channel-in-a-box solution. Also new, text-to-speech for FCC compliance and BXF “live-log” for its Myers ProTrack users. The company also showcased AssetCollector and Asset- Dispatcher to streamline media workflows, and schedule import to boost centralized content management in FlashForward.

Grass Valley unveiled iTX On-Demand, an automated VOD and OTT solution. It adds or removes commercials, promos or programming and inserts dedicated branding, watermarks and captions to create complete broadcast masters in faster than real-time, then transcodes VOD versions in parallel with specific metadata for different platforms.

Imagine Communications showed the latest incarnation of Versio, their cloud-enabled, software-based integrated playout solution. Featuring “any-to-any” transport and compressed or uncompressed IP, it’s deployable as traditional hardware or fully virtualized for OTT.

NVerzion highlighted the Windows 10 edition of their Component Level Automation System Solutions (CLASS) platform with a configurable GUI able to emulate end-of-life third party systems. New NPoint Direct lets broadcasters segment, preview and create text, events or effects (e.g., bugs, crawls) instantly and without tying-up a server port.

IPebble Beach Systems premiered Orca, a virtual implementation of its Dolphin platform. Configurable channels run in a virtual machine on a private cloud using IP inputs and outputs to deliver functionality in a purely software environment that would otherwise require discrete hardware.

Pixel Power unveiled StreamMaster, a software-centric integrated playout solution, geared to seamlessly transition from on-premise to cloud architecture. Scalable from basic pop-up to full premium channel, it can deliver content with live graphics from dedicated hardware, as a virtual machine in a data center, or virtualized in the cloud.

PlayBox Technology unveiled CloudAir, a SaaS designed to quickly deploy new channels. Running on any enterprise-class host server, it cuts costly infrastructure and integrates with preferred traffic, storage, MAM and file transfer systems.

Rascular launched a new version of Mediant, its branding management tool supporting both manual and automated asset monitoring. A drag & drop GUI and built-in file conversion ensures the correct media is available in the right format when and where it’s needed.

RUSHWORKS demonstrated dissolve transitions between playlist elements of its ALIST automation as well as BXF file parsing and interoperability for broadcasters using Myers ProTrack, Broadview, and similarly enabled traffic solutions.

SAM added ICE-SDC (software-defined channel) to its channel-in-a-box series, joining the company’s Morpheus automation and Momentum asset management platforms, all optimized for virtualization in an IP or cloud environment. Also new, Alchemist Kronos addressed a growing demand for solutions to adjust content duration.

featured Astra News and unveiled Take 2 production automation for news magazine and similar content creation. A director’s interface intuitively controls switchers, video and graphics, camera robotics, audio, etc. Auto “best-clips” compilation speeds post-production.

Avid demonstrated next-gen iNEWS functionality, including a journalist story assignment pane with notifications and resource allocation to streamline story-centric workflows. Also, integrated Maestro graphics workflow; more focused engagement via Social Media Hub; rundown-centric scheduling, review and approval processes; new Ooyala and thePlatform connectors; plus, enhanced Facebook and Twitter integration.

Bitcentral rolled-out Continuum, which automatically or manually programs a live linear channel directly from the news rundown, then distributes to sub-channels and IP for mobile, digital, and OTT. It interfaces with master control and traffic/billing systems, and enables content producers to manage their own advertising rather than depend on internet-based ad servers.

Dalet GalaxyDalet showed an updated version of its Galaxy MAM, the core of its newsroom system, now optimized for content production/distribution. Embedded tools help plan, gather, create and instantly distribute text, audio and video across multiple platforms, freeing up resources to cover and produce more stories.

Grass Valley announced support for K2 Central TX in its latest Newsroom Bundle Elite, offering up to 20TB of usable storage, 20 GV STRATUS clients and 15 simultaneous editors. GV also previewed a new user interface for its Ignite automated production system and has enabled STRATUS to make downstream content substitutions for OTT.

Masstech highlighted MassStore for News, permitting journalists to retrieve, archive and exchange content from within their familiar NRCS interface. It minimizes technical and workflow disruptions, allowing users to focus on content-rich story creation.

Ross Video upscaled its browser-based NRCS and social media management tools to support any size operation with new Inception Enterprise. Also announced, Inception collaborations with Grass Valley STRATUS content management, and with NewsMaker Systems to bridge with NewTek’s TriCaster.

SAM’s News Solution, optimized to rapidly create and distribute multiplatform content, showed adaptive streaming, a full-featured Adobe Premier plug-in, and compatibility with popular NRCS packages. A new interface unifies the experience for mobile, desktop and post-production users; finished content can be posted to social media, Web and TV, then accessed and repurposed by others.

Vizrt debuted an OTT integration of Viz Opus—a one-box production control solution with real-time graphics, switching and playout—and Viz One MAM. It automates multiplatform content generation. letting staff focus on live production.

Arvato Systems
featured its web-based AdStore to help media companies monetize content across distribution platforms with unified campaign management and invoicing; also, new integration with Salesforce. Its S4AdOpt lets legacy linear ad sales systems optimize placement and revenue.

BroadView Software advanced On-Demand, its flagship OTT product, with Web-based analytic dashboards. They also unveiled Promotion Campaign Manager (PCM) with an asset-centric workflow that cuts creation time and maintains campaigns while providing a “setup and forget” approach to daily execution.

Imagine Communications’ xG ScheduleImagine Communications launched xG Schedule, a cloud-based, next-generation business process solution for linear, on-demand and digital platforms. It unifies ad management and leverages digital media assets by enabling programming teams to plan across multiple linear, nonlinear, web and mobile platforms with validation against content and usage rights, as well as organizational business rules.

Myers previewed advanced capabilities— beyond scheduling and traffic—of its flagship ProTrack broadcast management system, including a first look at the HTML5-based release with new commercial sales functionality. Myers is also extending its Hub and Spoke platform that lets stations retain autonomy while enjoying the efficiency of shared content and master control resources.

Proconsultant Informatique added automatic speech-to-text subtitling to its LOUISE Business Management Solution as well as integration with Vimsoft’s VimBiz Broadcast Resource Management Solution that incorporates human and technical resource planning.

SintecMedia debuted OnBoard, a cloud-based Programmatic Seller Side Platform (SSP) for TV/digital advertising sales, and announced an integration with TubeMogul PTV, advanced targeting and optimization software to plan and buy television advertising.

WideOrbit announced an OTT initiative to sell and deliver digital video advertising within broadcasters’ streamed inventory. Its Q4 rollout will be integrated with WO Traffic and address video stream monetization in IP-based environments, e.g., web pages, mobile sites and smart TVs.

Apace Systems
displayed Global, a frame-accurate, Web-based proxy editing solution optimized for cloud access. It compliments their postMAM series, a scalable, browser-based, multi-site environment for collaboratively managing media file ingest, transcode, search, playback and archiving.

Arvato Systems featured Video Production Management System (VPMS), an enterprise- class MAM for organizations with complex requirements and high demands for scalability, performance, and hardware independence.

Avid announced InterPlay | MAM integrations with Adobe Premiere and Apple FCP; also, archive and full or partial restore functionality with Masstech, Oracle, SGL and Spectra Logic; end-to-end Panasonic AVC-LongG workflow support; plus, an Enterprise Marketplace for certified Connectivity Partner tools to connect with Avid’s MediaCentral Platform. Also new is UX, a cloud-based MediaCentral Platform frontend that lets users find and interact with content on any iNEWS or Interplay system within their network, regardless of location.

Dalet unveiled powerful analytics for its AmberFin media processing and mastering platform. An intuitive Business Process Model & Notation (BPMN) 2.0-compliant workflow designer lets users create complex workflow chains with little or no prior experience, while providing essential operational and business data to administrators. AmberFin also gained support for Aspera and similar fast transfer solutions, as well as interfaces to Amazon S3 compatible storage.

Digital Broadcast highlighted its Media- Vault Archive System’s new cloud storage functionality for shared access and off-site backup.

Digital Nirvana introduced CARTS (Capture, Analyze, Replay Transport Stream), a standalone digital recorder and transport stream monitor with non-compliance alerts and abilities to cut, clip, and export sections for detailed analysis. Also new, v5.0 of its AnyStreamIQ offers SaaS to record, log and monitor OTT content for compliance.

Evertz demonstrated its Mediator-X asset management and workflow engine running in full virtual mode on Amazon’s Web Services Cloud platform. Advanced processing functions and next-gen database architecture support complex elastic searches and analytics, as well as automated, rules-driven ingest, QC/QA, versioning, archiving and related media workflows.

Masstech added LTO-7 tape storage support to its MassStore for Archive and MassStore for MAM solutions. A new Avid Portal lets users drag and drop to archive, restore or flatten content directly from their editor interface. Also, new features in MassStore Spot & Program Aggregation leverage PitchBlue’s Active Format Description metadata to optimize down-conversions.

Oracle announced integration between DIVA and its Storage Cloud Service. It provides an incremental tier to on-premises storage and adds cloud to media lifecycle workflows. Updated DIVAnet 2.0 connects up to 10 DIVArchive systems through a single global namespace; DIVArchive 7.4 gained Oracle Linux and Database 12c support; AXF Explorer follows SMPTE’s open standard for content sharing and management among disparate systems.

Primestream emphasized Dynamic Media Management solutions with a demo of archival workflow and Aspera integration at IBM’s booth. Also, real-time capture to production, management and delivery systems using its Xchange product within Hitachi’s Content and Unified Compute Platforms.

Pronology debuted mRes, a standalone multi-resolution encoder that simultaneously records three tiers of uncompressed video: a high-resolution media file, an edit proxy, and a live web-streamable proxy.

Ross Video showed v3.1 of its Streamline asset manager featuring watch folders with metadata awareness; XMP metadata import; embedding within XPression’s MOS plugin; and automatic ingest/transcode for NRCS workflows.

SGL Flashnet InfinitySGL launched FlashNet Infinity, a dashboard for its flagship content manager that streamlines archive workflow with productivity widgets and reliability tools such as Checksum support. New SMPTE Archive eXchange Format (AXF) support assures long-term content access despite evolving technologies.

Signiant announced tightly integrated, pre-built workflows with Microsoft’s Azure Media Services (AMS) platform. Automated processes utilize the acceleration technology of Signiant’s SaaS utility, Flight, for secure file transport to/from on-premises storage. Transcoding is incorporated within their flagship Manager + Agents (M+A) solution.

Tedial Version FactoryTedial debuted Version Factory, a “media factory” workflow interfaced with content and rights management, traffic, and work order systems to automate and stack media engines. Using future-proof SMPTE data protocols, it offers maximum scalability for OTT/VOD platforms, network operations and brands. Also showcased, Evolution BPM (business process management), clocked 17x faster than competing systems—50,000 workflows in under three minutes—with unlimited physical or virtual scalability.

Telestream unveiled a mid-year release of its Vantage Transcode Multiscreen workflow automation with support for VP9 video coding. It lets content creators and distributors deliver to over two billion VP9-enabled end points via the Vantage Enterprise workflow. Also debuted, Telestream Cloud, a video encoding SaaS supporting Apple ProRes.

TMD showed workgroup solutions including Paragon+, Chameleon and OnPoint, all operable as simple standalones, in combination, or configured within its Mediaflex-UMS platform for Enterprise-class content management. Also announced, an integration with Fadel Asset Rights Clearance software, and a Take 1 partnership for timecode-accurate program transcriptions with searchable metadata.

Volicon —recently acquired by Verizon Digital Media Services—augmented Share, part of its Observer Media Intelligence Platform, with ad clipping, concatenation and publishing to speed-up repurposing aired content for broadcast, VOD, and digital or social media. Share lets nontechnical staff review and mark in/out points for clip extraction as content’s captured; concatenation simplifies creating video mashups; ad clipping utilizes as-run logs, SCTE messages and filtering options to generate ad-free content for VOD and other outlets. Also new, C5 service gives subscribers access to share functionality in the cloud.