A revolutionary approach to software-based transmission and production using standard IT hardware and Windows Media technology will be launched by OmniBus Systems at this year's NAB exhibition. The product of 15 years of innovation in high-end automation, the new OmniBus iTX intelligent transmission software replicates all functions of master control to a very high level of sophistication, allowing small and mid-sized broadcasters to make a measured migration from the traditional hardware-based world toward a next-generation, software-based transmission facility.
"The broadcast industry's transition toward IT-based solutions began about 10 or 15 years ago, and today most facilities rely on networks, storage, and workstations built with software control in mind," said OmniBus CTO Ian Fletcher. "Despite these advances, forward progress in terms of the actual transmission chain was very limited. Even modern systems require a substantial amount of dedicated hardware, and coordinating all of these systems and related protocols to enable transmission can be both challenging and costly. iTX is our solution to this problem."
The iTX system software fulfills a variety of roles: video server, master control, graphics, and logo inserter with functionality including automation, ingest, editing, and basic content management. This format-independent and bit rate-agnostic solution can mix DV, MPEG1 through MPEG4, AVI, and WMV formats freely and will scale incoming media of any resolution to the appropriate output format, enabling SD and HD content to be mixed on the same playlist. Files can be ingested from tape or line using a real-time encode into a Windows Media file, or delivered to the server as a new file. Content also may be sourced directly from an existing broadcast server or from any industry-standard editor.
iTX playout is based on OmniBus' latest state-of-the-art automation system, which features a flexible and intuitive drag-and-drop interface that allows operators to monitor and control multiple channels and schedules on-screen simultaneously. Captions, logos, vision effects, and even audio effects are built into the interface, and a preview function allows the user to validate complete sequences before they air.
iTX technology is compatible with existing automation systems, so broadcasters can use it to run a conventional broadcast chain or a new-generation iTX transmission chain. Available with PCs optimized with the latest AMD chipsets, as well as modifications that maximize bandwidth use and real-time video processing, iTX serves as an unusually easy-to-maintain and cost-effective playout solution for moderately sized transmission facilities, emerging transmission markets, disaster recovery systems, or companies launching IPTV services.
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