Automation systems need to be as agile as broadcasters' business models

In the weeks leading up to NAB2007, Automation Technology Update will be talking with automation vendors to get their views of the marketplace at large. This week Adrian Scott, chief marketing officer of Pro-Bel, talks about changes and emerging trends. Check back next issue when we talk to another automation vendor appearing at NAB2007.

ATU: Are you expecting any changes in broadcast automation this year?

AS: Automation is becoming more of a commodity since Pro-Bel is launching a low-cost entry-level automation system that is within the financial reach of any broadcaster. At the same time, we are seeing an inexorable movement by means of which automation systems are extending into every part of the digital media workflow, from ingest to archiving and everything in between.

ATU: Do you see any trends emerging in the design and implementation of automation systems?

AS: The best automation systems are now creating significant business benefits for their users. The importance of high-impact channel branding means that automation systems that are capable of delivering complex and reactive interstitials that reinforce brand values are increasingly of real competitive business value to their users. This also applies to situations such as live sports events where any one of a variety of unpredictable occurrences on the field will trigger one of several possible different kinds of break, which need to be available at a moment's notice.

ATU: Are you expecting to see innovations at NAB?

AS: Pro-Bel will be introducing Morpheus Foundation, an entry-level automation system that will provide anything from one to six channels of output in a preconfigured and easy-to-implement package. We will also be featuring a variety of innovations, extensions and enhancements to our flagship automation product Morpheus.

ATU: Do you see the rise of IPTV impacting automation, and what about mobile TV?

AS: IPTV and content-to-mobile are important aspects of a rapidly expanding delivery landscape. Broadcasters have a growing business requirement to make the most out of what might be called the POPE principle: Produce Once Publish Everywhere. Their automation systems need to be as agile as their business models, and must increasingly allow them flexibility and with minimum effort to exploit any route to market that is capable of enhancing their revenue streams.

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