Powering Smart Workflows

Comprehensive systems keep facilities ahead of the curve as television workflows change.
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SOUTHFIELD, MICH.—Ask a program manager to describe one of her most frustrating moments on the job, and it almost always begins with a story.

A program is set to air—graphics are complete; ads are scheduled—and then moments before it’s set to roll: change.

The client wants new media, a revamped graphic, revised audio. All of which needs to be shuttled over to the traffic and billing, rescheduled through automation and then prepped again for playout.

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It’s a challenge that is the same whether it’s at a television station, cable network or video streaming provider: how to react quickly to last-minute changes, keep tabs on key media items and play material out in a workflow that works with a facility’s needs, not against them.

The industry has experimented with a number of options in the search for the right workflow. For a number of facilities, a potential solution is to daisy-chain together a series of standalone systems: ingest on one end, plugged into an asset management system and graphics engine in the middle, and connected to a playout automation system at the other end.

This type of legacy system does have benefits; for one, it allows facilities to cherry-pick individual solutions.

But on the downside, it can lack cohesion. Certain systems are not always compatible with third-party solutions. And interoperability can wreak havoc on the ultimate goal of any management system: a smooth, seamless workflow.

A number of facilities are cueing in to the benefits of comprehensive platforms out there—one that allows users to organize and automate a wide array of video and audio content. Newer solutions are packaging together a stacked list of capabilities into one device: ingest, media asset management, graphics and playout automation.

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One such system being used by one mid-marketmulti-station operator is leveraging a configurable frontend layout and automatic ingest of the Media Operations Manager (MOM), a solution from ENCO that allows a single operator at the outset to ingest, schedule, edit and playout media from a single system.

The goal is to unify all of the network’s media workow operations within one automation operations management system.

The facility takes advantage of several features within the MOM, such as the system’s user interface, which is used to manage log changes, enable manual playback and control live insertion as needed. The system also offers drag-and-drop scheduling and internal graphic tools that allow a user to preview, trim and cue. At the other end, the OnAir interface allows the user to see log changes and take manual control of playback and live insertion when the situation calls for it.

The MOM provides up to four channels of simultaneous record and playout, and can be integrated with other devices—such as switchers, routers, EAS devices and scheduling system—via industry standardized GPI, serial and IP interfaces.

RESOURCES

Insider’s Tour — Dave Turner with ENCO Systems offers a behind-the-scenes look at some of the MOM’s key features, including the system’s touchscreen capability and drag-and-drop functionality.

Media Operations Manager: An Overview — An overview of the MOM Media Operations Manager, a complete automated playout system that brings automatic ingest, media asset management, graphics and playout automation together into one platform.

Key Benefits — The Media Operations Manager offers television stations, cable networks and video streaming providers a cost efficient and comprehensive platform for organizing and automating content.

NAB Crowd Gets First Glimpse of Media Operations Manager — Attendees at the NAB2016 show got a first-hand look at ENCO’s new automated playout system, the Media Operations Manager.