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WTTG Chooses PlayBox Technology AdBox

LOS ANGELES—MundoFox has chosen a PlayBox Technology AdBox system to automate digital program insertion for its WTTG Fox 5 free-to-air television channel which is based in Washington, D.C. The new installation allows staff at the Network’s Los Angeles headquarters to schedule breakaway content specific to viewers of the U.S. East Coast service.

“We have been using PlayBox Technology systems since 2008 when we began employing what we dubbed the ‘FoxBox’ to handle playout to viewers in Greece and Italy,” said Julio Sobral, senior vice president and head of Technical Services & Business Operations at Fox International Channels. “Our new AdBox units, main and redundant, are a compact two-rack-unit addition to our existing 22-rack-unit PlayBox Technology installation. The PlayBox Technology system here in Los Angeles has been operating for about 18 months was configured primarily to handle commercials. This new expansion now provides the ability to insert programs and related interstitials.”

Ananth Sam, with PlayBox Technology Broadcast Systems Sales & technical director, said, “Each AdBox reacts to cue tones which are embedded in the program feed. A scheduler ensures that the playlist and relevant media assets are sent to WTTG Fox 5 ahead of transmission. AdBox then receives the MundoFox East feed, decodes the cue tones and performs the required action, inserting an ad, a program or other instructed content. The new installation includes onboard storage and connections to external local storage servers. We also installed a 16x16 router. Fast completion was a key element of the project. The system went live within 48 hours of the initial customer request.”

Based on PlayBox Technology AirBox channel-in-a-box technology, AdBox enables content owners to target advertisements for specific audiences with ad insertion and digital program insertion in standard- and/or high-definition and SDI or DVB (ASI/IP). AdBox can be installed locally or remotely at the head-end, monitored and controlled via the Internet. Many hundreds of hours of commercials, programs and interstitials can be scheduled if required. AdBox can be incorporated within an entire stand-alone solution or integrated into the content owner’s current workflows and systems.

In addition to ad insertion and digital program insertion, AdBox can include graphics capabilities ranging from simple logo insertion to full character generation and interactive graphics insertion. AdBox can be integrated into the clients’ traffic systems to enable traffic and billing to provide the complete one-box solution that includes automation, video server and switching. AdBox works by receiving a GPI or cue tone trigger for the start of a commercial break or program insertion. Other trigger sources can also be handled via GPI or a cue tone from an external cue decoder. Once the trigger is received, the scheduled ad break or program is switched from the live feed and played to air. After a scheduled period, or on receiving a second trigger, AdBox returns to the live program feed. AdBox will only insert commercial breaks or programs during predefined or scheduled periods. It can also auto-fill any periods that have no defined advertisements or programs.