NAB Show Product Review: Automation & Asset Management

This year, nearly every NAB exhibit seemed to have some form of automation or management product on display, too many to thoroughly list in available space. New this year among automation and asset management exhibitors was a spirit of cooperation and consolidation. With the spotlight on several companies being bought and integrated, apparently many manufacturers saw the light and are working to make their products compatible with others.


Scott Rose (C) discusses Grass Valley’s GV Stratus cloud enabled playout automation. AVECO marked the NAB debut of its Redwood channel-in-a-box system, including Redwood Studio and Redwood Play, which both drastically reduce the capital costs of channel start-ups or expansion. It also showed its Astra Studio 2 production automation, including Astra MCR master control playout, Astra media asset management and Astra workflow management.

CINEGY gave its booth visitors a sneek peek at Cinegy 10, scheduled for release this summer. The company also launched its Cinegy Capture PRO, a centralized multichannel, scalable and cost-effective ingest tool using many of the components developed for and used by other Cinegy products. Cinegy Capture PRO unifies the task of ingesting material and generating edit or web proxies and supports many popular industrial codecs and file formats, including XDCAM HD 422, Avid DNxHD, High-Profile H.264, AVCI-100, MXF and MOV.

FLORICAL showed “TheQ,” an asset management application that provides several options for creating, editing, and managing both metadata and file structure of digital media content in the company’s Smart Central private cloud application server.

GRASS VALLEY launched GV Stratus Playout, a cloud-enabled SaaS playout technology at NAB. Designed for critical automation functions, it is the core to Grass Valley’s end-to-end integrated solution, managing the lifecycle of all media from ingest to playout by merging it all into a single workflow with the reliability of a solid-state playout server on a card.

Kyle Miller (R) gives a demonstration of Bitcentral’s CORE: News, an integrated news production suite.IMAGINE COMMUNICATIONS debuted SelenioNext, which can ingest precompressed content and transcode, package, encrypt and stream multiscreen, multi-device video. The company also launched MediaCentral, a software- and IP-based framework for enabling customers to migrate media and playout functionality to the cloud.

MASSTECH announced at the show that it is acquiring the assets of automation company PlayBox Technology. The company also announced a partnership agreement with Volicon to begin jointly selling Masstech media management solutions in conjunction with Volicon Observer broadcast compliance logging products.

NVERZION announced NVerzion NCloud, a new automation and media asset management system that utilizes a flexible, cloud-based solution to control, store, and monitor high-quality audio and video content anytime and anywhere.

PIXEL POWER introduced the Pixel Power ChannelMaster Duo, a new channel-in-a-box system that can deliver two independent channels from a single system.

PLAYBOX TECHNOLOGY announced enhancements to its AirBox universal playout and streaming automation server, now incorporating a GPU-enhanced graphics mixing engine which allows video rotation effects and depth-order layering effects to be performed in real time. The audio capabilities of AirBox are also expanded with support now for Dolby E and Dolby Digital Plus. The company also launched CaptureBox PRO, which enables multiple channels of HD or SD content to be captured from a SDI and IP sources.

RUSHWORKS debuted CTRL R, a touch screen PTZ camera control software application that controls up to 16 cameras, and runs on tablets or computers with Windows 7/8 operating systems. The company also launched VDESK LTD, a new entry-level offering based on the company’s established VDESK/REMO integrated PTZ production systems.

SNELL introduced ICE-LE, a new version of the company’s channel-in-a-box platform. It targets situations where space is at a premium, providing more streamlined functionality in a 1RU configuration. The latest version of ICE (v4.0), now provides twice the 2D or 3D graphics capability within a standard 2RU system.

VIZRT demo-ed the latest version of the Viz Mosart studio automation system, including tools for directors to instantly access content from any source and output to any location to help make easy on-the-fly decisions in an automated control room.


BITCENTRAL launched its Mobile Contribution Module, which extends field-based workflows with support for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Mobile Contribution enables teams working in the field to instantaneously deliver video, images, scripts and other metadata back to the facility. The company’s new CORE Active Panel is a simple dashboard that supports both AP ENPS and Avid iNEWS.

DALET DIGITAL MEDIA SYSTEMS unveiled a new release of its Dalet Xtend module for Adobe Premiere Pro CC. It lets Adobe Premiere Pro CC editors connect directly to the Dalet MAM platform. Also featured was a technology demonstration of Dalet integration with Adobe Anywhere.

ROSS VIDEO showed a new version of DashBoard, the company’s free facility control software that controls everything from Ross openGear and DashBoard Connect partners and a variety of other UDP, TCP and HTTP devices. Version 6.1, launched at NAB, provides PanelBuilder, giving anyone the ability to build custom panels and automated workflows. Ross also introduced OverDrive Caprica, which adds the ability to control third party production switchers. OverDrive was paired with Ross’ Inception News newsroom computer system to demonstrate a complete end-to-end news production workflow.


IMAGINE COMMUNICATIONS debuted LandmarkOSI 8.0, the cloud-based version of its traffic and billing system, designed for use in multichannel environments and across diverse geographies. LandmarkOSI is powered by Imagine’s MediaCentral, an IP-based framework for migrating and optimizing media and playout functionality to a virtualized cloud environment.

MYERS introduced Live Log, an extension of its BXF integration between ProTrack and 3rd party automation systems. Leveraging the BXF protocols developed by SMPTE, Myers’ advanced implementation features dynamic updating of running playlists. ProTrack v6.07 also was announced at the show.

PROCONTULTANT INFORMATIQUE demo-ed the latest version of LOUISE, a fully integrated business management system for multiscreen content providers. It targets content providers looking to streamline their processes by managing assets across platforms (linear and nonlinear) and fluidly interfacing with many surrounding applications typically found in media operations.

SCHEDUALL showcased its booking platform, ScheduALL Connector, with smart technology that gives transmission service customers the tools to book their own bandwidth.

WIDEORBIT announced its latest release of its Program Management Solution. WO Program v27Q1 allows media companies to manage all owned, acquired and produced content.


EVS SPORTS launched a range of new production asset management (PAM) capabilities for sports centers, including intuitive software and web browsing tools in the IPDirector suite of video production management applications to enable integrated multisite operations, real-time timeline editing features based on Xedio CleanEdit, and new live logging tools including an app-based logging solution.

FOR-A debuted the LTR-200HS LTO-based archive recorder with support for LTO-6 and Avid DNX-HD. It features HD/SD-SDI input/output, broadcast quality codec, and MXF wrapping and unwrapping. Also new at the show was the LTS-60 media archiving server for LTO-6 drives, targeting small-scale archiving and backup for 4K archiving.

FRONT PORCH DIGITAL announced an enhanced integration between its DIVArchive CSM system and the Avid ISIS shared storage system. The company also announced the release of DISTILL, which is used during the capture, process, manage, and retrieve processes to manage almost any metadata created at any stage of the content lifecycle. Front Porch also showcased its LYNXdr disaster recovery solution, which offers secure off-site backup capability by ingesting and managing content electronically or from datatape to key strategic regional cloud locations.

Andy Hurt (L) answers questions from Chris Coyle about the Front Porch Digital LYNXdr disaster recovery software for media grade customersISTREAMPLANET now offers live video services on Microsoft Azure. The new service, powered by Aventus, combines iStreamPlanet’s content acquisition, ingest, live encoding services, and professional support with Microsoft Azure Media Services’ multiformat packaging, highly available streaming and content delivery services.

PRONOLOGY launched its software as a service offering (SaaS) that helps customers specify and configure required hardware, and train on-site production people to operate and maintain the system themselves throughout the production cycle.

PRIMESTREAM announced FORK Production Suite v4.6, an upgrade to its software platform for media asset management and production automation for Windows or Mac. FORK Logger 1.0 module is a customizable metadata GUI that supports multiple layouts per system to simplify logging.

SGL conducted a direct-acquisition-to-archive LTFS workflow demo. Acquiring material via a GoPro camera, SGL demonstrated its live ingest-to-archive workflow using For-A’s LTR Series, LTO-5 video archiving recorder. The combined offering enables customers to archive material that’s been recorded on the LTR, directly to LTO5 tape. Once in the SGL FlashNet archive, the material is available for use via FlashWeb, SGL’s user interface.

SNELL debuted new features for its Momentum Media Asset Management and Workflow Automation platform, including active directory support, which enables users to drive security policies via centralized IT systems, while separate audio and caption files can now be managed more easily.

TRANSMEDIA DYNAMICS (TMD) added more functionality to the Library module of its Mediaflex asset management system. The latest version of the Library module not only tracks the physical location of a tape or a film can, but suggests locations to make future retrieval easier, based on business and operational rules.

VIZRT announced new, on-demand media processing, management, and storage services in the cloud. The new solution combines Viz One and Aspera FASP high-speed transfer, running on IBM SoftLayer, a high-performance, scalable cloud infrastructure.