Pixel Power challenges ‘channel-in-a-box’ approach

Pixel Power, a supplier of broadcast graphics systems, showed its new ChannelMaster integrated playout systems at the Content & Communications World (CCW)/HD World conference, last week, which it says incorporates all of the features and functionality required to deliver a channel to air reliably and cost-effectively.

Yet, according to Pixel Power, ChannelMaster goes a step further, when compared to other integrated playout solutions, in that it avoids “limitations” associated with these so-called “channel in a box” solutions; it does not require users to exclusively tie the system to an automation system to drive it. ChannelMaster can integrate with any automation and MAM system by way of an open XML protocol or legacy industry standard protocols. Alternatively, ChannelMaster can be controlled by Pixel Power’s new Gallium scheduling, asset management and automation solution.

ChannelMaster also includes dedicated signal processing to support the creation of a wide range of graphics, including real-time 3-D multichannel clips with alpha and unlimited layers. A single ChannelMaster unit can be configured as one complex channel with preview or two simpler channels.

Benefiting from a built-in master control switcher and two video inputs, ChannelMaster is an excellent proposition for the transmission of live events. Other integrated systems are limited to only one video input or lack a master control hardware panel with which a master control operator would be familiar. ChannelMaster can also control the upstream router, allowing virtually unlimited video inputs. The company said the system is also capable of live transitions between sources with preview — which is critical to live telecasts.

Pixel Power said that ChannelMaster’s graphics engine and channel-in-a-box functionality means that broadcasters can use a fully integrated system — video server, graphics engine, branding, audio voiceover, subtitling and master control switcher — to provide the high-level graphics essential in today’s competitive channel market. This also provides cost-effective configurations for redundancy as a broadcaster could use the second channel as a redundant crossover back up.

Headquartered in Cambridge, England, Pixel Power has a subsidiary located in Burbank, CA.