IP-over-satellite provider Pathfire is introducing a family of digital connect modules for its Digital Media Gateway (DMG) system, which will allow the transfer of content as files and will make it easier for metadata to be sent to automation and traffic systems.
"We think that, as we get the message across to the stations that use our DMG that there are better ways of moving content through a facility, they'll have a desire to move to this process," says Ryad Kahale, director of sales, broadcast groups and stations.
In place at nearly 1,000 stations, the DMG system is a video server that receives incoming IP content via satellite and stores it as baseband video. The ability to have that content received as files will make it possible to access and transfer that content automatically, whether for editing or to get it on-air.
The modules include Server Connect for Programming, designed for syndicated programming, spots and other short-form content (it stitches the multiple files required for long-form content together as one file). Server Connect for News is designed for news content. Both can move content directly to play-to-air servers and permit multiple DMG users to initiate file transfers simultaneously.
Among the other modules are Automation Connect, which allows automation systems from Harris, Crispin, Sundance and Florical to handle the content and metadata from ingest to playout, and Traffic Connect which ties in with traffic systems. A News Connect module allows news content and metadata to be placed into the newsroom computer system.
"There's no manual intervention for the handling of content, and that cuts down on errors and the amount of time a station has to spend prepping shows," says Kahale. "They'll no longer need someone to cut the show like they do with linear delivery."
The modules cost between $16,500 and $20,000 each, including three years of service, upgrades and support. Server Connect for Programming, News and Automation Connect are available now; Traffic and News Connect will be available by next year's NAB.
"The analogy I like to use is, it's like asking for a spreadsheet and having someone print it for you or e-mail you the Excel file," he says. "Which one is more efficient to move?"