New automation products seen in 2007

Common themes in 2007’s product releases included BXF interfaces, more power in smaller boxes, interoperation with spot delivery services and data archive integration. The general move was for automation to serve more channels with fewer operators, provide better IT integration and more comprehensive links with back-office systems.

Crispin introduced a new version of Supervisory View, which now incorporates a complete 90-minute timeline view of each channel's playlist. MC operators are now expected to monitor more channels, so any aids are welcome.

A new module, Digital DTA, added support for DG FastChannel Spot Box and Vyvx Catch Server to automatically move commercials to a video server and prepare them for air, adding to their existing support for long-format program delivery by DG FastChannel, Vyvx and Pathfire.

Florical has followed the focus on management and control through access to more information. S.M.A.R.T. Central is a new gateway into all parts of the automation system and is the central core of Florical's Decision Maker line of products.

Last year also saw the fruition of the Harris ONE philosophy with seamless integration between ADC and D-Series automation products, traffic/billing and the video processing chain, including NEXIO servers, Inscriber graphics and Icon branding.

Harris can now provide a complete integrated solution for new playout centers that encompasses broadcast management, automation, media management, the audio/video infrastructure and test/measurement. As the products from earlier acquisition come together, the fruits can be seen in products like the NEXIO AMP media platform shown at IBC2007. This integrates a video server with graphics capability, transcoding, QC and automation in what can be seen as a different architectural approach to the server-in-a-box taken by other vendors.

MicroFirst used NAB2007 to debut enhancements to its Digital Automation System (DAS) including its new Nearline Storage (DAS – NLS) and Archive Management (AMI) system as well as a suite of schedule editing and data management applications.

MicroFirst is also using the PMCP (ATSC A/76) standard to implement bidirectional traffic interfaces to help reduce error and improve productivity.

NVerzion took a novel approach to automation in 2007. With many stations adopting the central-casting model, the local touch can be lost. NVerzion promoted a fishbowl MC area, where the public could watch their local station being aired. Part of this model was a new approach to the user interface that gives the feel of a high-tech mission control center without compromising functionality.

The new NControl Elite application provides facilities with the control and functionality of a powerful Linux-based master control software suite paired with a fully customizable, user-friendly, Windows-based interface ensuring optimal form and function. Broadcast environments can now fully customize the look and feel of their monitoring equipment to reflect station color schemes and design themes without compromising ease of use or efficiency.

OmniBus is backing the station-in-a-box, predicting that multichannel satellite and IPTV operators will need more automated channels, but do not want the complexity of conventional device control automation.

The company’s PC server-based iTX 1.1 now supports real-time 3-D graphics and delivers a range of new features including multiple audio tracks and live instant playback for news, sports and entertainment programs.

OmniBus OPUS 2 provides facilities content preparation. New in 2007, Omnibus moved to a Web client that gives cross-platform capability. OPUS Smart Client uses Microsoft Silverlight technology to add capability to the user interface.