New automation products seen in 2007

Also among the new products released in 2007, Pebble Beach addressed the needs of the more basic channels, where its Neptune product would be seen as overly specific, with DeckChair, a preconfigured automation system for small video servers with the option for later expansion.

Its flagship Neptune product saw enhancements to nearline storage management and greater support for regional opt-outs.

Playbox added a traffic and planning application, TrafficBox, for new stations without an existing infrastructure that needed sales and planning with simple integration with playout automation.

Acknowledging that many new channels are going to IPTV operators, Playbox also introduced an automation server for IP/ASI streaming. This can be used as a direct feed to a satellite modulator or a DVB multiplexer, rather than using a conventional video output.

Pro-Bel has responded to the demand for turnkey systems that can be deployed rapidly with the launch of Morpheus Foundation, a self-contained environment to control from one to six delivery channels.

Quality control remains an area that uses the V.1 eyeball to check ingested content. This area is ripe for automation, cutting out labor-intensive processes. Pro-Bel has integrated Tektronix Cerify into the Morpheus QC Manager to lower the costs associated with QC.

Sundance Digital debuted version 3 of Titan, which added a BXF Gateway. Sundance’s new Archive Engine storage system leverages its new owner with a 16-drive Avid storage chassis, 500GB SATA drives and a hardware RAID controller.

Built around SGL FlashNet and the Sundance Archive Manager software application, the Sundance Archive Engine communicates with FlashNet to issue pull, send and delete requests to the Engine.

VCI Solutions introduced multichannel automation at NAB2007 with autoXe MC. The product supports playout of 50 or more streams. Rather than scanning all channels looking for problems in the playlist, the prioritized view enables operations staff to respond to issues quickly and efficiently.

VDS has a niche in the supply of complex graphic automation products, often used alongside third-party automation systems. DiReCT (Digital Resource Cataloging and Transfer) is a suite of applications that manages digital assets in a multichannel broadcast cable operation from the point of ingestion through playout and beyond. DiReCT frees the primary automation from the marshalling of all the graphics and voice-over assets used in complex branding applications.

With the acquisition of Activa Software, vsn added vsnmaster and vsn traffic to its product line. The vsnmaster application has full device control for external servers, giving broadcasters the choice of using the integrated vsnmatic or third-party video servers for playout.

Also using Activa technology, AutomaticTV is a new platform that creates high quality automatic content from internal or external data sources and has applications including weather, promotions and local market advertising to add SMS interactivity.