Automation and Asset Management at the 2013 NAB Show

The NAB forecast for automation and content workflows was cloudy with high pressure to merge and embrace the virtual. Many exhibitors proudly proclaimed their “cloud-worthiness,” while others carefully avoided saying the word aloud. The pace of change keeps accelerating and there are no speed limits on this stretch of the technology highway.


Shawn Maynard (L) gives Aaron Withrow from Gray Television a demonstration of the Florical Systems Acuitas station-in-a-box. Aveco showed standalone versions of its ASTRA Tool Suite, with core functions including archive, ingest, browse and playout. Compatible with third party systems, they’re an entry-level solution or supplement for existing infrastructures. Also new was ASTRA Studio 2, a hardware-neutral news/production assist package with MOS integration to newsroom systems.

Cinegy displayed v9.5 of their automation and playout tools. Air Control and companion Air Engine are multichannel/multiformat capable, or configured as a single channel- in-a-box. The company also showcased Cinegy News, a complete, self-contained newsroom solution.

Crispin debuted Loading Dock, a universal media ingest and prep engine with device controls and HD encoders built-in. Capabilities include scheduled and ad hoc recording from satellite and baseband sources; media timing, QC and prep; transcode workflows; metadata entry and editing; and management of digitally delivered content.

Digital Broadcast reprised Spot Commander to transfer local client spots onto station servers in proper format and ready to air. The company also refreshed NewsBank with auto-repurposing, popular newsroom interfaces and native file compatibility with network delivery systems. And an enhanced Media- Vault facilitates station-to-station or cloudbased content sharing and distribution.

DNF Controls added a virtual control panel interface to their Universal Automation Back-Up System (UABS) for high channel-count users.

Evertz introduced Overture RT Live, a scalable HD/SD playout appliance with 2D/3D DVE and graphics creation templates. Overture integrates with Mediator content management, which added play-while-ingesting functionality.

Florical added snipes, time/temperature, and motion graphics to Acuitas, their popular channel-in-abox, plus simultaneous review and H.264 playout capabilities. AirBoss gained SCTE-104 compliance for cable spot insertion; AssetCollector added content delivery interfaces; and a new IP-based Quick Reaction Control panel (QRCP) manages up to 40 channels.

Grass Valley presented their IT-based K2 Edge server solution as a “Smart Playout Center,” featuring integral graphics, asset management and Cobalt playlist manager app.

Harris Broadcast debuted the HD/SD edition of their Versio channel-in-a-box offering with enhanced playlist control and graphics/DVE management functionality. Traditional ADC and D-Series automation lines moved toward nonlinear content distribution with rules-based workflows, web tools and monitoring, services-layer integration and a new GUI for ADC.

Miranda demonstrated custom-er-driven iTX enhancements, among them Render Service, a new approach to graphics creation that automates and manages fully rendered Adobe After Effects graphics for immediate playout. The company also showed greater integration with multiviewers, playlist- aware content monitoring to eliminate false alarms, and iTX control over Softel’s Swift TX subtitle and caption playout management system.

Nverzion unveiled NGuide, an automation tool to help broadcast and PEG outlets leverage their schedule data to create EPG data with accurate program timing and schedule information for viewers. The company also announced partnerships with 360 Systems and Ross Video to offer a fully integrated automation, master control/routing, video server, and graphics package via Nverzion’s Component Level Automation System Solutions (CLASS), an alternative to channel-ina- box that merges legacy station hardware/ software into a scalable, unified platform.

Pebble Beach Systems unleashed Stingray, a scalable channel-in-a-box solution designed for rapid, cost-effective deployment of one to 100-plus less complex channels. Features include full HD capability, internal storage, Flash graphics creation tools, a multichannel control GUI and automated channel branding.

Pixel Power augmented their Gallium automation and Channel Master playout appliance with realtime open caption insertion, integral up/down conversion to air mixedformat media, and greater redundancy model support, including N+M for multichannel configurations.

Rushworks enhanced its A-LIST with Media- Fetch, a look-ahead utility to identify and re-trieve missing playlist content from storage. Companion FileCopy mirrors playlists and media to a backup workstation and applies user-defined rules to manage Event Recorder content. With new Flow Show, multiple file or live cutaways can be scheduled within long events; primary content automatically fades and resumes around each insertion.

Snell advanced their automation solutions with increased workflow virtualization. Morpheus can prep and play remotely hosted content, while ICE channel-in-a-box systems gained a 3D graphics package, content pre-validation, SAN support and expanded audio capabilities.

ToolsOnAir showed updated versions of their workflow modules to manage ingest through multiplatform playout, plus editing, news and graphics applications.


Annova Systems reprised their MOS-compliant OpenMedia Infinity newsroom computer system. A preconfigured turnkey version, OpenMedia Now, designed for the small to medium-sized broadcaster, includes built-in gateways to common graphics, MAM and production systems.

Associated Press brought ENPS v7.1 with a completely refreshed GUI, collaborative Story Board workspace, enhanced social media integration, and the ability to capture search results from multiple ENPS locations in a single list. Also, an updated mobile app enables field reporters to access the newsroom system to view and work with stories and rundowns.

Justin Kurth gives a demo of Bitcentral’s CORE end-to-end video tools. Autocue/QTV introduced Production Suite, an integration of components, including an NRCS, video server with event automation, tele-prompting, audio/video mixing, graphics, still store and more, allowing users to easily create scripted live or near-live programming.

Bitcentral consolidated key elements of Oasys and Precis under a new CORE:news framework. The comprehensive workflow combines content capture, editing, playout, publishing, collaboration and asset management. Also, Oasys gained Remote Contribution capability for iOS and Android device users and it can be localized to enable viewer contributions.

“On-the-Go,” Dalet’s new mobile app, allows field journalists to stay fully connected with their Dalet News Suite-enabled newsroom, catch-up on breaking stories, check assignments and contribute stories, videos, audio or images to the home base.

Also new, Dalet News Pack, turnkey newsroom solutions with preconfigured hardware, software, NRCS and workflows for small to mid-sized operations.

Etere launched the Nunzio newsroom system, an extension of the company’s Media Enterprise Resource Planning (MERP) structure. It enables collaboration among news production departments within a unified, editorial-driven workflow and metadata management system that includes full NRCS capabilities and integrated video editing.

EVS added software and web-based features to their News solution with advanced collaborative capabilities for remote browsing and production across multiple sites. The company also announced new technology partnerships with AP ENPS, Adobe Premiere Pro and Mosart automation tools.

Grass Valley showed v7.0 of their Ignite automated production control system, featuring new Media Object Portal connectivity to the NRCS, update filtering, real-time server mirroring, Active-X plug-ins and additional device interfaces. It’s fully qualified for use with the latest releases of ENPS and iNEWS.

Mosart enhanced its newsroom automation with increased MAM integration to search, retrieve and repurpose content. The company also introduced a touchscreen director’s shot box.

Octopus Systems launched v7 of their news-room system with Topic Bins to organize and share story data, an Assignment Desk planning tool, a new API with custom third-party applications, Event-Based Actions with rules-based task automation, as well as a report generation tool and social media integration.

Ross Video released new customer-centric software for their OverDrive automated production control system. v14 features a re-engineered newsroom plugin to streamline preparation, along with trailing audio support, color coding to readily identify incoming MOS elements, automated multiplatform publishing, and a remote database option for multisite production.

Social media management utility Inception gained a one-time search engine and polling support, plus enhanced OverDrive workflow integration.


Ceiton Technologies demonstrated their Web-based systems that define, coordinate and administer media workflows and business processes, such as resource scheduling or content and order management.

Ryan Nadeau (R) of Avid, runs over the features of the Avid Interplay Pulse asset management system with Liron Deutsch (L) and Idan Marrow, both from Applicaster. NetGain business intelligence tools from Harris Broadcast offered new visual analytics, mobile dashboards, interfaces to Facebook and other social media data, and access to third-party data-mining functions within its v2.4.2 release. Novar and OSI traffic suites added Google DFP integration for dynamic ad placements for OTT and mobile distribution. Also new, OSI Go, which enables sales order approval on hand-held devices.

Myers demonstrated the latest features and enhancements to ProTrack TV and Radio, their flagship broadcast management solutions. Among them, a MAM module that triggers media file migration as needed to fulfill the ProTrack on-air schedule, a bidirectional BXF-enabled automation integration, and an on-demand module for multiplatform distribution.

Pilat Media introduced IBMS Express, a modular, SaaS version of their mainstream program rights, sales, traffic, scheduling and on-demand content management tools. Also new is OTTilus Online Video Platform, a highly scalable end-to-end solution, available as an installed platform or cloud-based service, which includes broadcast-grade content processing, backend management software, and player applications that support major streaming formats and end-user devices.

Proconsultant Informatique featured CINDY, the company’s sales and advertising management solution, along with LOUISE, their integrated program, media and metadata system with tools to manage rights, acquisition, budgets, production, playout and multiplatform distribution.

Brian Campanotti (R) describes features of the Front Porch Digital DIVArchive CSM content storage management to Padraic Boyle with Major League Baseball. ScheduALL highlighted v5 of their enterprise resource management (ERM) suite employing “smart technology” to track assets, alert to issues, problems or opportunities, and manage schedule changes/revisions; a secure web app offers Cloud-based analytics and ata- glance dashboards. Connector unites ScheduALL systems across multiple locations and among business partners.

SintecMedia demonstrated the synergy between OnAir, their all-in-one broadcast management suite, and recent acquisitions from Argo Systems (revenue management for subscription and multichannel distributors), and StorerTV (media program and contract rights management).

WideOrbit featured a new WO Mobile order entry and approvals app for tablet devices. WO Program v25Q, the latest iteration of their solution to manage and maximize revenue for owned, acquired and produced content, offers greater customization, streamlined browser and navigator functions, more powerful search functionality and one-click export/print.

Also, WO Network gained advanced Reweight/ Remix functionality, dynamic Brand Allocation, embedded Stewardship and Inventory Management capabilities.

Xytech introduced MediaPulse v6.1 with 300 new facility management features among its 19 modules. The company also debuted SKY, a platform independent, HTML5 user interface and a set of new iOS apps.


AmberFin displayed new enterprise-level features for their iCR file-based content ingest/ transcode management system, including a Network License Server for upward scalability and 100 percent uptime with auto-failover. New tools let users add, check and insert metadata via a user-configurable plug-in wizard.

Avid released Interplay Pulse, part of their “Avid Everywhere” initiative. The iNEWS v4.5 option facilitates multiplatform distribution by automating back-end workflow processes. Also new, Interplay Archive and Interplay Production v3.0, the latter with 64-bit engine, multicamera project support and cost-efficient new workgroup solution configurations.

Cache-A showed a full line of high capacity LTO-6 archive appliances, plus speedy new replication technology to create multiple copies, e.g., for near-line and disaster recovery, in minimum time.

Alan Dabul (L) gives a demo of Primestream’s Fork Logger interactive metadata tagging engine to (L-R) Fernando Noe with Nonstop TV, Diego Juarez with Nonstop Digital and Leonardo Martin Vulcano with BVS TV. Front Porch added new services to its LYNX cloud content storage management system, including LYNXdr, a hosted disaster recovery service, and LYNXlocal, an extension to LYNX that operates locally as an appliance to cache cloud content. The company also showcased v5.1 of DIVAdirector, a permission-based Web application, now with added enhanced security and local archive file management capabilities. v7.1 of DIVArchive gained LTO-6 drive support, Telestream Vantage transcode integration, an AXF file explorer and AXF Object restore functionality.

Masstech debuted Emerald for News, media asset management specifically designed to deliver archive and search/restore capabilities as an embedded utility within the familiar Avid iNEWS or Associated Press ENPS newsroom desktop interface. It gives users rapid, direct access to archived content from local or geographically centralized storage and supports complex queries based on script contents, keywords, associated audio or video clips and other newsroom variables.

MediaSilo displayed their range of browser/ cloud-based collaboration and digital asset management tools, including a new iPad review and commenting app.

Nativ launched Mio v5.0, a MAM and content workflow with built-in social collaboration and browser-based editing, offered as a hosted service or installed enterprise solution.

Netia showed an upgraded CMS with new graphical metadata editing tools and scheduled ingest recording with searchable speech-to-text transcript generation.

Primestream added Fork Logger, a video tagging and metadata enrichment component, to their line of content creation, management and playout tools.

SGL demonstrated Notification Service, which reads index information from an LTFS (Linear Tape File System)-formatted tape, populates the archive database and generates an editable low-resolution proxy. The company also launched Flash- Browse, a web-based portal that lets users archive, search, browse and restore media from any compatible web browser on their network.

Tedial added cloud functionality to their Tarsys MAM system and extended BPM capabilities to Ficus. Tarsys gained a unified UI for workflow management and to access content from a single screen; it supports multiple data models and works in multiple languages and character sets for international operations. Ficus can now access workflows across multiple sites, enabling task reallocation based on local resources and available expertise throughout the enterprise.

TMD demonstrated the ability of Mediaflex to import and manage bulk data by creating new media records and extensions; additional re-porting dashboards assist curators and archivists in managing and cataloguing high volume acquisitions.

Vitec introduced Proxsys PA-Series, an advanced digital media archiving and NLE project parking solution. The workflow integrates all functions from ingest and previewing through to secure storage.

XenData showed their open standard LTO archive and project migration tools for users of Avid Interplay Production.