Skip to main content

Seattle Channel Creates Broadcast Look and Flow With PlayBox Neo

BlayBox
(Image credit: PlayBox)

SEATTLE—The Seattle Channel is an award-winning municipal television station available on cable and online that offers a local mix of live and prerecorded news, analysis, stories and perspectives that help citizens connect with their city.

When the Seattle Channel first purchased its first two AirBox Neo servers from PlayBox Neo in 2007, the servers were to be used for 24/7, multiformat playout with one as the main unit and the other providing redundancy.

We use our PlayBox Neo setup for program scheduling and promos in a fully automated playout model. Since our initial purchase, we’ve taken full advantage of several of the system’s lesser known features. 

STREAMLINED WORKFLOWS

One of the first of the lesser-known features we noticed was the system’s ability to autofill time gaps between programming using the ListBox Neo-20 offline schedule editor. We used to have one full-time staff member filling in the gaps between prerecorded programming. We were thrilled when we realized our new system could do that for us.

We operate out of Seattle City Hall and broadcast all Seattle City Council meetings with closed captioning using PlayBox Neo’s Capture Suite live ingest solution. The captions are included within the MPEG file so there’s no need for a separate caption file when the meeting is replayed. Separate caption sidecar files are also recognized by the SafeBox Neo automated content management software and played back as needed.

We have a lot of live and a lot of evergreen programming. As we’re scheduling the programming, SafeBox Neo finds what we want in our EVO NAS device and adds it to the playlist. It makes sure the right programming is copied over to the server. It’s a big help with our existing programming. Emergency messages are created within the TitleBox Neo-20 graphics generator.

AUTOMATION AND RELIABILITY

We’re a very busy municipal station with a ton of live and prerecorded programming. It’s a great relief that a critical part of our technical operations is something we never have to worry about.

Overall, we’re thrilled with the reliability of our system. Typically, both AirBox Neo-20 servers run for 30 days or more without being rebooted. They just grab the next playlist and keep on going.

The PlayBox Neo system is so automated and reliable, we now look like a broadcast station, without the need for a full-time operator. PlayBox Neo solutions provide a seamless workflow to keep channels on air by combining scheduling, ingest, playout, CG and interactive graphics within one box and remote tools to enhance QC checks, preparation and monitoring. The output can be SDI or IP streaming and is suitable for a variety of applications including traditional broadcast TV, pay TV, playout centers, satellite operators, etc. 

Daryl Peck has been a video engineer for 40 years and has been with the Seattle Channel for the past 18. The Seattle Channel is the award-winning cable channel for the City of Seattle. For more information visit www.seattlechannel.org.

For more information on Playbox Neo visit www.playboxneo.com