Tools for leaner operations
By Ken Kerschbaumer -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/10/2004 8:00:00 PM
Crispin's System 2000, the company's premier automation offering, is a suite of applications for master control and news- playback environments that gives the user control over multiple channels and devices. It uses a TCP/IP architecture to network computers together, each handling different tasks while offering access to other computers and equipment. Modules available include DubberAssist, AutoDubber, RapidPrep and Device Server.
Encoda's D-Series Version 4 automation system is one of the first systems based on the Linux 2.6 operating system. The company says Linux gives the system a more stable software architecture, an important feature in critical applications. A less expensive configuration is built around the database, video-server information system, archive interface and file-transfer manager on a single server platform.
AirBoss is Florical's backbone to its automation offerings. It controls virtually every device used for on-air presentations and can also handle secondary functions and events, including squeezes, keys and voiceovers. It can serve as the support system of a single-channel facility or a multichannel operation based on Florical's ShareCasting. That device makes sure schedules run in their own time zones while time-based commands for servers and switchers are based on a common time. Other features include regional ingest stations, central traffic/billing, rescheduling of regional commercials and promos, and even targeted ads.
The Broadcast Presentation Manager (BPM) includes a number of modules that, collectively, automate a facility from end to end. Air Manager monitors real-time channel play-out, gives a view of multiple on-air channels simultaneously and allows manual editing of metadata. The Schedule Manager provides distributed, secure, multi-user access to manage and update the schedule. It includes a running log that provides information about each event on the playlist, including access to all associated metadata and a brief description of what happened during transmission. And Resource Management enables priority-based sharing through distributed management and access to resources across the enterprise.
Miranda's latest is the Desktop Glass Cockpit, an ultra-compact master-control system for low-cost television playout. The new system uses multiple desktop LCD displays to create a tightly integrated interface that presents all of Miranda's latest control technologies, spanning master-control switching, channel-branding graphics, video/audio monitoring, and remote-signal and infrastructure monitoring over IP.
The main focus of OmniBus' automation efforts is its G3 system. Based on standard open IT protocols, it allows broadcasters to control and configure both OmniBus automation and equipment from different vendors in a way that the company believes is unparalleled in terms of workflow and flexibility.
The system doesn't treat automation in isolation from newsroom systems or asset management and other workflows. Instead, it controls VTRs and servers over a wide-area network (WAN) without the need for serial communications, giving users multiple access points to different devices.
Titan is an example of the kind of flexibility the bigger automation systems give multichannel users. It's based on a distributed-processing architecture that separates the on-air interface from the playlist controller.
That gives the system additional processing speed so it can run up to 10 list processors on each server with guaranteed frame accuracy. In addition, because the system can have nearly unlimited list-processing servers, it can handle either a centralized or distributed centralcasting operation—and scale as channel demands grow.
Titan's Air Control Station gives master-control operators a graphical user interface designed for multichannel, server-based automation.
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