FOX News Channel and FOX Business Network are focused on providing their viewers with information across multiple platforms. With VDS' Streamliner, they now have a tightly integrated and extensible system for synchronizing streaming operations with their linear broadcast using a rules-based system in perfect sync with their linear broadcasts. The Streamliner includes VDS Sentinel, which interfaces to Harris ADC Automation, providing the system with key information about the daily program playlist: program or commercial start times, durations, and other key information.
Using Sentinel, Streamliner generates triggers required for downstream streaming ad insertion. An additional function of the system is the generation of DTMF tones specifying break durations, which are transmitted to Sirius XM in support of their simulcast coverage of FOX News Channel and FOX Business Network. Furthermore, Streamliner includes logic that maintains synchronicity even within a dynamic live news environment with its continued shifts between live and recorded content.
As a program is broadcast, Streamliner automatically generates SCTE104 messages precisely timed to the program content that define what the linear channel is playing as well as provide other key metadata. With exact offsets from the start of program, start of commercial, end of program or anywhere in between, Streamliner provides accurate and reconcilable content control using industry standard SCTE104 messages synchronized to any event on the automation playlist. A dynamic interface to station automation and its ability to react to automation changes in real time means that Streamliner is always in sync with the automation playlist, even if playlist events are edited manually or if the system is in a count-up mode during live news programming. All of this is accomplished with few or no changes to the existing automation playlists and workflow and without the need to insert a lot of secondary events.
Streamliner can generate standard SCTE104 messages (embedded as SCTE35), or messages that contain user-created payloads with very specific and proprietary actions for splice events. A key differentiator of Streamliner is its support for the application of rules and conditions to the generation of these SCTE104 messages. These rules specify what and when stream splices are made, and what content is retained or replaced in the stream. The SCTE104 messages (as SCTE35 messages) are then interpreted by a stream encoder/slicer, resulting in the insertion of a variety of trigger messages — including start and end points for splices. Streamliner’s rules-based engine provides for the application of deterministic information within the triggers, which in turn could instruct the downstream splicer to play alternate content from an ad server, or to address digital rights management issues by calling for alternate program material on the streaming feed.