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NAB Show Product Review: Content Management & Control

April’s major themes in this evolving category were cloud, IP and orchestration. Multiple vendors stood ready and willing to make “sweet music” of their clients’ cacophonous workflows. Clouds (i.e.: “not my hardware; not my CapEx”), were ubiquitous, though not always silver-lined. Ditto “IP”—whether to control devices or deliver video—was invoked with abandon. As the sheer number of media assets grows exponentially, so will the workflow offerings to catalogue, monetize, and securely store them.

debuted a sports-oriented addition to ASTRA master control, enabling on-the-fly sponsorship of game highlights by activating an alternate playlist whenever a home run, touchdown, etc. occurs. Also, “self-healing” system reconfiguration if a connected device fails.

Bitcentral Central Control

BITCENTRAL advanced its Central Control with dynamic alternate Join-in-Progress (JIP) playlists and synchronized redundant playback for instantaneous failovers. Also, several new application-specific versions, including Light Edition, Ad Insertion w/Graphics, Channel Branding and Studio, were introduced.

BROADSTREAM SOLUTIONS offered new OASYS Integrated Playout Platform capabilities, including UHD/4K and high-bitrate XAVC file support, plus virtualized cloud operation with playlist-managed live inputs, graphics, file playback, and SCTE triggers for programmatic ad insertion.

CINEGY enhanced its all-in-one Air PRO video server/multichannel automation package with Dolby E encoding, loudness limiting, EAS, Nielsen watermarking and Cinegy Type for branding. Also, Cinegy Open, a comprehensive end-user knowledge base.

CRISPIN —whose acquisition by Sony was announced at the show—boosted Loading- Dock, its automated content acquisition, prep and distribution center, with Dock-to- Dock transfers either within or between groups, plus a web uploader for use by external agencies and production clients.

DNF CONTROLS advanced IP-infrastructure with GTP-30, scalable device management for video/KVM routers, switchers, multiviewers, servers, tally systems and more, plus software-only Virtual GTP-30. Also new were the ST600-KIPRO for Ethernet- based control for AJA DDRs, and USP3- TSA, enabling any touchscreen panel to become a virtual Anywhere Interface Box or Universal Switch Panel.

ENCO demonstrated live channel branding using graphics integrated within Media Operations Manager (MOM); also, support for Newtek NDI connectivity, the ability to mix live cameras with NDI inputs, and multiple automation systems running on a single IP-virtualized ENCO1 server.

EVERTZ showcased OvertureRT LIVE VM, a scalable playout solution deployable from video appliances to private or public clouds. It supports SD, HD, 3G and UHD applications, enabling baseband to IP infrastructure migration. Also, DreamCatcher, an IP-Based live production system, deployed new tools: DC-LIVE-EDIT, advanced video/audio editing with render-free publishing, and DC-MG, an advanced media gateway for content management.

Grass Valley iTX

GRASS VALLEY unveiled iTX v2.11, supporting IP workflows and cloud virtualization. New iTX On-Demand auto-packages for VOD platforms as content airs; it operates on-premises or cloud-based, and features 8x real-time mastering with 40-plus languages subtitle support. On-Demand is part of the iTX Integrated Playout ecosystem.

IMAGINE COMMUNICATIONS featured a Unified Playout, Scheduling and Distribution solution, combining xG Schedule—cloud-based planning and scheduling for linear, on-demand and digital platforms—with cloud-native Versio playout, the evolution of legacy ADC and D-Series automation platforms. Also, an integration of Imagine’s dynamic ad insertion with Microsoft’s Azure Media Services and a secure “cloud onramp” for delivery to Azure.

NVERZION showcased its NFinity media server with on-the-fly up/down/cross-conversion, transcoder-free playout of encoded formats, unlimited record or playback I/Os, playback from shared file systems, and A/V industry-specific “RAID-N” redundancy. Its NCommand automation suite gained a monitoring app to view or interact with multiple channels remotely, plus automated creation of content-specific secondary events.

PEBBLE BEACH demonstrated a full-featured HD channel complete with clips, live, graphics and captioning running on IBM’s Bluemix public cloud under control of its software-defined Orca virtualized IP channel solution. Orca’s template-based channels expedite creation and deployment of new IP-based services, as well as cost-efficient disaster recovery plans. Also, XPression, the Ross 3D graphics render engine, is now a Pebble playout plug-in.

Pixel Power StreamMaster

PIXEL POWER highlighted its StreamMaster Media Processing Platform playout over Amazon Web Services. Utilizing off-the-shelf hardware, it runs on-premise, in a datacenter, or the cloud, and enables authoring, transcoding, logo/graphics manipulation, content rendering, real-time master control, graphics, and DVE delivery. New virtualized tools in Gallium Workflow Orchestration automate media prep, packaging, graphics, branding and playout.

PLAYBOX TECHNOLOGY featured live CloudAir playout through Amazon Web Services. Included are browser-accessible scheduling and other needed content channel functions. Built-in transcoding handles the gamut of media formats. Also, enhanced graphics preparation templates; improved playlist editing; advanced export to EPGs; and automated stored asset linking.

PRIMESTREAM integrated its Dynamic Media Management software with Telestream’s Vantage transcode platform and Vidchecker QC system. Users gain access to both company’s third-party solutions network for building advanced workflows. Also, a new FORK production automation edition boosts Content Navigator with task-oriented views, higher throughput, and improved Xchange synchronization.

RUSHWORKS updated A-List automation with new interfaces to Myers ProTrack BXF and BroadView XML traffic; also, 4/6/8-channel audio playback and pass-through support and a MultiZone mode for up to four channels per chassis.

SAM Morpheus UX

SAM unveiled Morpheus UX, a highly configurable web interface for its automation and channel-in-a-box solutions. Tools help operators define unique, facility-specific and cost-efficient playout interfaces. New ICE SDC provides full-functionality in a software-defined ecosystem for virtualized IP playout. Also, Orbit, a new unifying interface for users to manage and view control, configuration and monitoring functions via one autonomous system.

SONY featured Managed Media Distribution Center, developed jointly with Crispin. The scalable Ci cloud solution reduces workflow redundancy by automating syndicated media preparation and distribution processes across station groups.

TSL augmented its Tallyman Advanced Broadcast Control system with support for IP infrastructure and 4K platforms, plus a pushbutton or virtual control panel for routers, under-monitor displays, multiviewers, switchers and similar devices.

announced an integrated newsroom acquisition workflow developed jointly with TVU NETWORKS. Metadata-based, it directly links content to specific story assignments at the point of acquisition and accelerates the transfer and ingest of linked content to studio and newsroom production systems. Also, enhanced API integration within ENPS for creative platforms such as WordPress and Slack.

AVECO’S ASTRA Studio 25th Anniversary Edition added breaking news capabilities, plus enhanced interactivity with iNews, ENPS, Octopus and others. Also, extended MAM integration with federated search and instantaneous playback of results across all managed assets, local or remote, within the broadcast enterprise.

AVID advanced the efficiency of its Story- Centric Workflow by integrating multiple company solutions, such as MediaCentral | UX (unified experience), a cloud-based, web front-end that facilitates media and project access from virtually anywhere. New Dialogue Search within MediaCentral locates clips across archives and asset management systems using spoken words or phrases. Also, a new HTML5 API interface for use by third-party development partners.

BITCENTRAL rolled-out an “All-in-One” edition of its flagship Core:News for smaller market stations, along with multiple third-party integrations, including Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere for editing; JVC, Panasonic, and Sony for wireless field camera uploads; and with Ross Video’s Inception NRCS. Also, Continuum enhancements streamline online, mobile and OTT publishing workflows.

CINEGY showed its all-inclusive NEWS system with writing, review and approval functions; automated feed handling; integrated audio/video editing; voiceover recording; rundown creation; graphics; template-based titling; and teleprompting. Also in the workflow, Cinegy’s Asset Management, Archive, and Desktop with NRCS client.

Dalet Galaxy

DALET demonstrated Unified News Operations, an agile, scalable newsroom solution. Complex media packaging and automated distribution workflows can be designed and implemented via Dalet’s Orchestration layer, a component of its Galaxy platform that enables task and process customization from planning through to multiplatform distribution and social media integration.

GRASS VALLEY showed Ignite v10 with greater flexibility to handle breaking news and unscripted productions; also, a new UI lets users configure unique layouts for every show. Ignite PT (Persistent Templates) allows last-minute changes to production events within the Ignite rundown, rather than the NRCS; its redesigned playlist can update changes in under-a-second, regardless of rundown size.

MASSTECH enhanced MassStore for News with expanded MAM functionality in its HTML5-based NRCS plug-in; automated speech-to-text tagging and content categorization; plus, new cloud storage options. Also, integration with SAM’s VIBE platform lets journalists archive, search and restore stories or media from within their newsroom interface.

NewsMaker NewsCaster Control

NEWSMAKER introduced NewsCaster Control, a bridge between MOS-enabled newsroom systems such as iNews, ENPS, Inception and Octopus, and NewTek’s TriCaster and IP Series. Driven in real time by the news rundown, operators control news production elements via an Active-X plugin that grants access to the full range of NewTek capabilities.

OCTOPUS highlighted v8 of Newsroom with enhanced NRCS functionalities, including task and workflow automation, easy-to-edit rundowns, real-time social media integration, multiple news agency sourcing, simultaneous broadcast and web publication, and a virtual assignment desk.

Ross Overdrive Automated Production Control system

ROSS VIDEO added new features to its Overdrive Automated Production Control system including FloorDirector, custom multiviewer DashBoards with clip, shot and countdown timers, shot information; QuickCustoms, to add macros to any shot via the NRCS; and QuickRecalls, to search and add content to any open rundown.

SONY showed Media Backbone Hive, a comprehensive news production ecosystem optimized for multiscreen distribution with modules for planning, ingest, browse, edit, remote edit, playout, distribution and archive. “Hyperconverged Node” architecture permits multi-formatted elements to reside on a single, off-the-shelf server.

VIZRT offered a range of options: Opus newscast automation with real-time graphics and video playout—commercials included—for online and on-air production; and Mosart, a robust, NRCS and device-agnostic control system with template-based automation, MAM and graphics integration, and customizable interface.

VSN displayed advanced News workflows developed jointly with Ross Video, as well as improved integration with Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. Enhanced functionalities include speech-to-text, auto-cataloguing and keyframe detection.

showed Avatega, its cross-platform intellectual property and rights management suite with scheduling workflows ranging from content acquisition through license administration, program planning, material management and distribution to linear and VOD channels.

BROADVIEW SOFTWARE premiered v8.0 of its eponymous traffic, media and program management solution. New Program Campaign Manager module replots schedule changes and exports to automation with “set-and-forget” functionality to assure the accuracy of last-minute changes and promos.

MYERS unveiled several new components of ProTrack v7.0, including a commercial-grade sales platform, revamped, browser-based UI, management dashboards, and more. Also, an API for third-party interoperability, plus sneak-peeks at the next-gen of ProTrack codenamed “Zipline,” and the FIMS-based “Myers Platform” for cloud-shared content, program information and metadata.

SINTECMEDIA continued to expand the capabilities of OnBoard, a unified platform for TV, digital and programmatic ad sales. It also announced the acquisition of Operative Media, creating the largest independent ad sales platform for both traditional and digital media companies.

SONY showed Ven.ue, a managed end-to-end service platform for cloud distribution, OTT and e-commerce; it’s deployable as a single solution for avails management, content prep, ingest and digital distribution.

VERIZON DIGITAL MEDIA SERVICES introduced Media Xperience Studio, an all-inclusive cloud-based Content Intelligence System (CIS) for orchestrating digital asset and metadata movement from production through approval, distribution, monetization and OTT consumption. It comprises seven functional modules: MX: Orchestration manages workflows; MX: Apps customizes the OTT experience; MX: Subscriptions administers users and entitlements; MX: Programming creates schedules and playout policies; MX: Syndication streamlines publishing; MX: Personalization accommodates user preferences; and MX: Vision runs metrics and analytics.

WIDEORBIT announced the availability of local inventory from 650-plus stations using WO Programmatic on Google DoubleClick. Ad buyers will select spots from the same interface used for digital display and video campaigns, and agencies apply programmatic automation, campaign metrics, and data-driven targeting to TV buying. Also, WO Traffic has combined linear with digital streams and added mobile order entry and email approvals to the workflow.

added Platform content management & workflow orchestration to its Video Production Management Suite. New MediaPortal module gathers content from newsfeeds, social media, internal and external databases, and MAM systems for sharing and collaboration among journalists and news organizations; the web-based, platform-agnostic application includes preview, video, audio and text editing features.

AXLE VIDEO unveiled Video 2017, a “search and share” tool able to track two million video, image, and audio files. An Advanced Transcode option encodes proxy and sub-clips; expanded metadata includes multi-select tag clouds, pop-up date fields, elastic search, and extended text. A Mirror option copies to the cloud for clients to securely search low-res previews.

DALET debuted Galaxy-powered Orchestration, adding business intelligence and empowering users to analyze operations and make informed decisions; it automates configurable processes, combines system services and customized user tasks, and leverages rich assets to enable complex tasks such as EDL, playlist and package creation. Also, a new Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery solution employs an independent backup production system hosting selected content from the primary Dalet platform.

EDITSHARE showed its Flow production asset management (PAM) platform with new intelligence layer to shared storage solutions, extensive content indexing, search and workflow automation capabilities. It includes web-based AirFlow to remotely access content, and Flow Story for collaborative finishing, delivery and playout.

MASSTECH unveiled MassStore for Disaster Recovery. It automates the replication of program content, ads, and playlists to a secondary playout site, thereby protecting station uptime, revenue and reputation. Among enhancements to MassStore MAM, cloud management, processing and storage support, automated metadata creation, and Avid Media Central integration.

PRIME FOCUS TECHNOLOGIES launched CREATE, a mobile-first, screenplay-to-production planning and management solution; also, Interoperable Master Format (IMF) support, including a Media Player and collaborative Mastering Automation tools. Both, plus Cloud MAM, fall under its end-to-end CLEAR Media ERP (enterprise resource management) Suite for orchestrating content lifecycles from concept to archive.

PRONOLOGY debuted StreamFile Core, a cross-platform standalone application that allows for encoding of IP standards such as Aspen, NDI, NMI, SMPTE 2022 and SMPTE 2110. It enables facilities and studios moving to an IP-based platform to utilize their existing NLE, graphics and digital system infrastructures. The company also featured its CenterPoint asset management solution, offering simultaneous remote web-browser access for an unlimited number of users to acquire, manage, approve, log, distribute, transcode and archive content.

SGL debuted an entry-level FlashNet Lite archive solution with facility-specific configurations for disk, tape, optical, and hybrid storage systems. FlashNet’s Infinity dashboard added Navigator for deep-dives into archived asset pools via web-GUI regardless of source or location; a new analytics tool monitors system-wide metrics. Also, increased interoperability with Amazon and Sony Ci cloud services, and an EditShare collaboration.

Tedial Evolution Augmented Storage

TEDIAL featured Evolution Augmented Storage (AST), a new concept for cloud and hybrid workflow scenarios. Built around a resiliently scalable “cloud first” design, virtual file locations track content regardless of physical whereabouts; it facilitates timecode-based editing and enables efficient management of large files across multiple worldwide sites. AST transparently identifies duplicate content at multiple sites, automating task assignments and data transfer as needed.

TELESTREAM announced TrafficManager Syndication for its Vantage Media Processing Platform. Templates drive the handling of syndicated content from delivery services such as Pitch Blue and Pathfire, as well as locally produced programming. It automates the process of arranging and previewing content and break running order, while allowing maximum flexibility for day-to-day media file management. Show-specific templates can process automatically without user intervention or be applied manually for segment editing, review and approval.

TMD rolled out three new “bolt-ons” to its MediaFlex-UMS line: MediaPackages, a workflow manager for creation and delivery to nonlinear/OTT platforms; MediaMiSR, automatically builds workflows based on third-party scheduling systems, reports missing content and manages media cache storage for playout; and MediaLines captures scheduled live feeds.

VSN showed its enhanced VSNEXPLORER BI. The broadcast-centric business intelligence tool extracts information on assets, quality, traffic, transcoding and related activities from VSN and third-party sources, then presents it in graphics-rich, customizable reports to help decision-makers analyze performance, detect inefficiencies and make revenue decisions.

XYTECH unveiled MediaPulse Sky, a mobile interface for its MediaPulse facility management platform, along with 400-plus new features. Sky’s mobile device interface is fully configurable, optimized for cellular networks, and incorporates new dashboards and charts. Users can place orders, confirm and review crew assignments, provision video feeds, and schedule sessions from virtually any device and location.