PlayBox Technology recently announced the completion of a major upgrade to the playout facilities at the studios of Hong Kong's largest independent broadcaster, Television Broadcasts Ltd (TVB). The project, which also included customer training, was completed together with the engineering team from Mediatech (International) Ltd, the local PlayBox Technology partner, and was finalized with the installation of 26 servers at the network's headquarters in TVB City, Kowloon.
TVB chose this system on the basis of its ability to customize the feature set and match its existing workflow. The installation encompassed nine high-definition 24/7 channels. Seven are already on-air, and the others are in testing.
Twenty of the servers installed consist of PlayBox Technology AirBox and TitleBox, for playout, with character generation and graphics. Eighteen are configured with 1:1 redundancy level for main and back-up operation on the nine high-definition channels. Control of the nine high-definition channels is via Multi Playout Manager, a fully assignable monitoring and control system. Two redundant Multi Backup Manager servers were added to manage redundancy switching on an existing Snell Aurora router. An additional pair of servers was installed for use in staff training, again as main and backup.
PlayBox Technology also supplied four single-channel CaptureBox servers, each with additional playout software installed for video quality control and verification. Once content is approved, it is automatically sent to two 16TB network-attached storage servers, configured for main and redundant operation.
Each channel incorporates a PlayBox Technology SafeBox automated content transfer management tool, which replicates remote content to local playout server folders for safe playback. The role of SafeBox is to manage wipe lists coming from the TVB traffic department and to purge the unnecessary content. PlayBox Technology developed playlist converters specifically for this project. It converts the playlists coming from TVB's internally-designed traffic system and from an existing Harris Automation to match the PlayBox Technology playlist format.
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