Pebble Beach Systems, a leader in automation, channel-in-a-box, and integrated channel technology has partnered with Myers, a leading developer of broadcast management software, to deploy a Broadcast Exchange Format (BXF) based integrated solution to their shared customer base. KCET, part of the KCETLink Media Group, the largest independent public television station in the US serving Central and Southern California, was one of the first broadcasters to benefit from the partnership.
When shopping for a new automation system, KCET, an existing Myers’ client, liked the fact that Pebble Beach Systems’ Marina System was built on a more modern platform than what was available on the market at that time. They also realized that they would benefit from its robust capabilities and flexibility.
KCET, Myers and Pebble Beach Systems then collaborated to develop a BXF integrated workflow.
By using BXF, a SMPTE standard for data exchange in the broadcasting industry, all clients of Pebble Beach Systems and Myers can now benefit from seamless automated workflows between Traffic and Automation. For KCET, who ultimately replaced their legacy system with Pebble's flagship Marina automation solution, having two-way communication between Myers' ProTrack and Pebble’s Marina system enables a more accurate and dynamic exchange of data.
Prior to the Marina integration, the ProTrack system would give commands, but get no feedback from the legacy automation system about whether the task was done or how it might have executed the command in reality. Since ad orders and tracking are critical for billing, having a report from Marina on what exactly was played to air and for how long was a major improvement to the workflow. With this bi-directional flow of metadata, the ProTrack system can tell the Marina system an asset is no longer to be run, and Marina will acknowledge and retire the asset. If a control operator modifies the running time of an asset, this information flows back to ProTrack for precise reporting.
“We implemented BXF with Myers’ ProTrack broadcast management system and Pebble Beach Systems’ Marina automation system at a time when we were building a new facility and looking to establish an infrastructure that would not only be scalable as we grow, but would also afford us greater efficiencies in our workflow,” said Gordon Bell, VP, Engineering, Operations, and IT at KCET. “The BXF integration between their respective systems achieves that goal.”
Increasing Workflow Efficiency
Utilizing the BXF protocol provides a universal integration environment for ProTrack and Marina to connect, where individual integration points are able to drive the progression of workflow between systems. Once established, the web-based integration allows the bidirectional exchange of data, as well as expanding the total volume of metadata that ProTrack and Marina can share and act upon, leading to an immediate optimization in workflow efficiency across departments. Ultimately, the protocol eliminates redundant, time-intensive manual tasks and reduces errors.
Additional benefits of the BXF integration:
- Notifications and feedback between the two systems are automated and data is able to be validated.
- Users have the ability to search messaging between systems, such as Traffic being able to view an Automation event log.
- As-run reporting is made available in real-time.
- Heartbeat messages verify system connectivity.
The interfaces that are delivered to KCET as a result of their BXF integration solution include, Play-List, Live As-Run, Media Update, Record-List, Ingest/Dub Order, Purge-Confirm, and Purge-List. By implementing the Myers and Pebble Beach Systems BXF solution, KCET has been able to achieve greater efficiency by eliminating what were siloed operations to save both time and money.