Dave Agnew joins GatesAir’s new business unit

Industry veteran returns to company in newly created position after spending more than a decade in a key engineering role at IHeartMedia Main article: To capitalise on emerging …


Industry veteran returns to company in newly created position after spending more than a decade in a key engineering role at IHeartMedia Main article: To capitalise on emerging global opportunities around audio over IP networking in broadcasting and public safety, GatesAir has created a dedicated organisational structure for its Intraplex business and has appointed industry veteran Dave Agnew as channel manager. Agnew will report to Steve Paulson, director of Intraplex Sales, and will focuss on global customer initiatives and business development in the broadcast market.

Dave previously worked for GatesAir (then part of Harris Corporation) in the 1990s and 2000s in various roles, including field service engineer, senior sales application engineer, and product manager. He returns to the organisation after 11 years with iHeartMedia, where he most recently served as director of engineering and IT for the northern Colorado region.
Dave will leverage his vast experience with GatesAir technology and solutions coupled with his recent station background, working directly with GatesAir partners and end users to help them successfully sell and use Intraplex products in their broadcast operations.

“Dave intimately understands the specific concerns of broadcasters and our overall customer base when it comes to working with IP and TDM networking solutions, and how to effectively implement and use our products,” said Paulson. “His broad knowledge base and extensive industry experience lends a high level of credibility while communicating with channel partners and end users worldwide, and will greatly enhance our ability to capitalise on both existing and emerging business opportunities.”

In addition to the sale and implementation of Intraplex products worldwide, Dave will work closely with
channel partners around the globe.

Behind the glass door

Broadcasters are looking to virtualize because they don’t want to build a specific, dedicated architecture for a process; they want a process-agnostic platform that can be readily adapted …


Broadcasters are looking to virtualize because they don’t want to build a specific, dedicated architecture for a process; they want a process-agnostic platform that can be readily adapted to whatever format or signal they need.
BY PETER WHARTON

The Indian market is fast acknowledging cloud technology as a viable means to host broadcast workflows. Cloud-based themes were weaved throughout both Broadcast India and BES shows last year and a recent study indicated that 15 – 20% of broadcast and post production businesses in India are beginning to adopt a cloud infrastructure.
The cloud certainly brings significant advantages to the business of TV content creation, storage and post production processes, both technically and economically, including zero spend on broadcast-specific hardware; leveraging of existing commoditybased hardware; vastly reduced cabling/ physical storage; virtually no cost on electricity or cooling systems; no expenditure on datacentre maintenance/security; reduced staff operator training costs due to universal software/UIs; rapid channel deployment/ upgrades; and instant access/easier and faster transfer of media content.
Along with the rest of the world, the broadcasters of India are now also poised to explore cloud playout, which promises
even further economic and flexible freedom for linear TV channels. But, at the moment, moving fulltime playout to the cloud is still a bridge too far for most broadcasters.
In fact, our current distribution systems are still primarily via satellite; and right now when we hear about the implementation of playout from the cloud, for the vast majority of cases, broadcasters and playout solutions providers aren’t really talking about true playout from the cloud, but simply moving some non-realtime operations into the cloud. Here
are some of the issues we need to consider when it comes to true cloud playout:

BROADCASTERS NO LONGER WANT TO BE IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE BUILDING BUSINESS Broadcasters are looking to virtualize because they don’t want to build a specific, dedicated architecture for a process; they want a process-agnostic platform that can be readily adapted to whatever format or signal they need to go out to the viewer. This means that their operations need to run on software instead of hardware. It needs to run on software that is not tied to a particular
machine – software that takes advantage of the elasticity in a virtualized environment and frees up the resources for other tasks when it no longer needs them.
The logical extension of virtualization – which is really a private data center or private cloud, is the ability to also run in someone else’s cloud. Being virtualized also means being able to expand as needed outside of your own datacenter into an outsourced datacenter or cloud, as and when it’s needed. This might only be required during periods of high demand or special events. Some major broadcasters are looking to outsource their entire infrastructure operation to major cloud operators like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. They don’t want to be in the infrastructure-building business anymore; they want to leave that to the Amazons and Microsofts of this world and instead focus on where they really differentiate themselves
from the competition – content creation and curation. And, who can blame them considering the overwhelming sense of uncertainty that the industry is currently facing.

UNCERTAINTY IS FUELLING VIRTUALISATION As the shift towards OTT and other nonlinear viewing continues and as the dominance of non-traditional players continues in these markets, the more uneasy linear TV broadcasters have become.
Uncertainty over the direction of the industry and technology has interfered with the broadcaster’s ability to be able to plan ahead. It’s difficult to predict where they’ll be in six months or a year and what new requirements they’ll be expected to meet. It’s an opposite scenario to that of previous broadcast industry milestones; the migration from analogue to digital, SD to HD and from baseband to file-based workflows.
Given the turmoil and uncertainty, broadcasters now face an overwhelming number of questions that must be considered when upgrading or building a facility today: Will I need to migrate to UHDTV/4K? Will satellite and cable distributors carry the UHD version of my signal? Can consumers even tell the difference between UHD and my HD signal up-converted by their new 4K TV? How should I build a UHDTV/4K facility? Using SDI as quad-3G or 12G? Over coax or fibre? Or over IP uncompressed using 2022-6, Aspen or TR-03? Or compressed over IP using Tico, LVCC, etc.? Will I need to launch new channels? Should I consider temporary OTT channels? Will my channel requirements change so that I have to reconfigure and modify my channels and workflows? Will new transmission platforms force me to redesign my playout system? It’s all this uncertainty that is fuelling virtualization.

THE CLOUD ISN’T QUITE READY FOR REALTIME PLAYOUT Being fully virtualized sounds wonderful and ma y claims have been made from playout solutions providers that they can already move playout to the cloud. In reality, almost every ‘cloud playout’ system we’ve seen till date puts only the non-realtime components in the cloud and still use edge players to take in and switch the live feed; they still utilize a media cache for content pushed from the cloud and they rely on a GPU engine for graphics insertion and SDI outputs.
Recently a major US network and its playout solutions provider claimed they had moved their network’s playout operations to
the cloud, when all they really did was move the main content stores a few states away and tie the facilities together with multiple 10G dedicated private fibre connections so that the entire corporate enterprise could share the same storage architecture. But, the automation, cache and playout still occurs in the same building that it did 30 years ago.

CLOUD PLAYOUT WOULDN’T SEE MUCH IN THE WAY OF CPU SAVINGS IF VIRTUALIZED Typically, only the non-realtime components of a playout system are being ‘virtualised’ at present – media management, storage, archiving, traffic, scheduling, and logging. All of these are prime candidates for virtualization because they are ‘bursty’, itinerant
operations – actions that use a lot of CPU cycles for a brief period of time and then go dormant until they’re needed again:
You load a playlist at 8PM for the next day, and for the next 20 minutes the system is racing along, locating and retrieving content form media stores and archives and caching all of that media onto the playout server cache. It then waits there patiently and quietly for the next 23.5 hours until the next playlist is loaded.
Why not use those spare CPU cycles to back-up the email servers, transcode files for next week or migrate the archives? Or better yet, rent those CPU cycles from Amazon and only pay for 30 minutes per day instead of 3600? These virtualized and cloud implementations also provide additional benefits beyond cost savings. They’re accessible anywhere, making workflows more collaborative and the workforce more distributed.
The actual playout engine is trickier. It is performing operations nonstop; 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year, so it wouldn’t see much in the way of CPU savings if virtualized. It usually requires powerful GPUs to provide the graphics broadcasters expect today and it needs to handle live feeds and switching of synchronous sources, as well as having to be realtime and robust; never dropping a packet or a frame of video. When you think about it, there’s not much
reason really to move the main channel playout itself to the cloud.
Occasional use of playout applications, such as disaster recovery or temporary sports/festival event channels will be the first adopters of true cloud playout, and through their experience and maturation, they will pave the way for future primetime live channels to play completely from the cloud.

“ALMOST EVERY CLOUD PLAYOUT SYSTEM WE’VE SEEN TILL DATE PUTS ONLY THE NON-REALTIME COMPONENTS IN THE CLOUD AND
STILL USE EDGE PLAYERS TO TAKE IN AND SWITCH THE LIVE FEED.”

Peter Wharton

OBSERVING PROGRESS AT A DISTANCE Progress is being made with regards to virtualization; playout solution specialists today, such as BroadStream Solutions, are working on developing the same resiliency and redundancy for cloud–based playout as the industry has always demanded from its broadcast cores – just as broadcast equipment
manufacturers adapted telecommunications networks and satellites for broadcasting 60 years ago.
Today you can run BroadStream’s core OASYS playout services in a virtualized environment and reap the benefits of a collaborative cloud-based solution. Broad- Stream’s HTML-5 based Multi-Channel Web Client lets users run any number of channels in multiple sites from multiple locations using a standard web browser. BroadStream customers will soon be able to monitor and control every possible playout intricacy of any channel, from anywhere in the world,
from any device.
The Indian broadcast market has always been cautious when it comes to adopting new technologies, whether it’s digital, HD,
3D, IP and now, The Cloud. In their usual smart way, Indian broadcasters will observe other markets making investments, testing boundaries, making mistakes and tackling all the challenges detailed above before embracing and gaining all the advantages that cloud playout will have to offer.
It won’t be long before full playout from the cloud becomes commonplace, but for the time being, technological concerns, uncertainty about standards and the questionable economics for real time cloud playout have meant there is an understandable hesitation to get on board.
And just as we led the market with the first integrated playout solution and the first one with IP I/O and hybrid SDI and IP I/O, you can count on BroadStream’s OASYS to lead again in cloud-based playout.

Amagi enables virtualized playout with CLOUDPORT 3.0

Amagi has announced CLOUDPORT 3.0, the latest version of its cloud-based playout platform, which the company claims enables TV networks to operate virtualized playout on the cloud. This …


Amagi has announced CLOUDPORT 3.0, the latest version of its cloud-based playout platform, which the company claims enables TV networks to operate virtualized playout on the cloud. This gives them greater flexibility and agility to spin new channels and create regional feeds instantly to keep pace with changing viewer dynamics and preferences.

Available as a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) platform using Intel servers, CLOUDPORT 3.0 can also be deployed at operator headends while retaining full control over operations with the broadcasters. It 3.0 is IP-enabled, supports live broadcast, and is 4K UHD compatible. Complete with multifeed monitoring, the platform offers remote playout management, creating a live MCR-like experience on the cloud.

K.A. Srinivasan, Co-founder of Amagi said, “With CLOUDPORT 3.0, TV networks can respond to market needs quicker, as well as operate multichannel playout and delivery with zero CAPEX when compared to traditional playout and broadcast models. Given its flexibility to be hosted on the cloud, CLOUDPORT 3.0 can be used to create broadcast-quality OTT feeds. It can also double up as a cost-effective option to meet disaster recovery needs of TV networks. There is no longer a need for broadcasters to stay invested in expensive, traditional delivery models”

Offered as a platform-as-a-service model, CLOUDPORT 3.0 is packed with advanced features such as near-live asset changes to broadcast playlists, real-time social media integration, and enhanced digital video effects for a better end-user experience.

Utah Scientific launches Foundation Series of routers

Utah Scientific launched the Foundation Series, a family of hybrid digital routing systems ideal for a broad range of broadcast, mobile, corporate, and postproduction applications. It leverages technology …


Utah Scientific launched the Foundation Series, a family of hybrid digital routing systems ideal for a broad range of broadcast, mobile, corporate, and postproduction applications. It leverages technology in Utah Scientific’s UTAH-400 Series 2 router family, designed to provide a single platform for all digital router applications and handle all digital signal formats.

The Foundation Series routers include newly designed output cards that use the same physical footprint as any Series 2 router to provide twice the number of outputs. These outputs can be connected directly to multi-viewers and other monitoring devices that are installed locally with the router. These outputs can also be repurposed as standard outputs to drive up to 100 meters of standard cable runs.

“With the growing number of large-screen displays that use multi-viewer technology to display multiple images on a single screen, our customers have an increased requirement for outputs that can be dedicated to monitoring. In the new Foundation Series, we’ve repurposed our Series 2 technology to offer customers a feature-rich yet lower-cost solution,” said Tom Harmon, president and CEO, Utah Scientific. “The ability to drive normal cable runs as well as short runs to multi-viewers is a unique attribute of the Foundation Series, and it is another example of our ongoing commitment to provide the industry’s most advanced signal distribution technology to our customers.”

The Foundation Series gives users the ability to deploy routers in a rectangular configuration, rather than the traditional square router design, and additional outputs can be added while still maintaining full crosspoint redundancy for both normal outputs and monitor outputs. Additionally, the outputs can be loaded with all of the advanced feature cards currently available for Series 2 routers, including IP gateways, embedders/de-embedders, frame synchronizers, advanced audio features, and clean/quiet outputs.

The Foundation Series can be controlled by any version of Utah Scientific’s current family of routing control systems, including the SC-4, SC-40, and SC-400. In addition, the routers support hardware control protocol to enable control by third-party interfaces and legacy control systems.

Imagine Communications introduces Epic

Imagine Communications introduced Epic, a next-generation operational management and orchestration platform designed to facilitate the seamless assimilation of IT-based environments into the broadcasting realm. The company also unveiled …


Imagine Communications introduced Epic, a next-generation operational management and orchestration platform designed to facilitate the seamless assimilation of IT-based environments into the broadcasting realm. The company also unveiled the Epic Multiviewer (Epic MV), an operational monitoring solution and the first product built on the Epic platform.

The software-based and UHD-ready IP multiviewer is optimized for hybrid and high-powered production, acquisition, origination and distribution requirements, providing broadcasters and other media companies a single solution for SDI, IP and hybrid environments. Powered by Zenium, the media processing platform from Imagine Communications, Epic MV is designed to seamlessly scale and evolve to meet future monitoring requirements.

Today’s broadcast facilities are undergoing significant evolution. In addition to the need to create and distribute content across a broad set of formats to a wide range of platforms, broadcasters and other media companies are also addressing simultaneous technology transitions, including the evolution to higher resolutions and the migration of operations to more agile and versatile IP-based environments. The ongoing evolution of the broadcast plant has created the need for signal monitoring technology that is more scalable, flexible and multi-faceted than ever before.

Capable of handling an array of formats — from production to multiscreen delivery — the Epic MV monitoring solution empowers broadcasters, content distributors and other media companies with a single system for scaling their multi-viewer capabilities to new levels. The software-based nature of the advanced monitoring system also guards against obsolescence, as it is able to seamlessly incorporate new formats and technologies as they are introduced into the market.

“We designed Epic with a focus on both the current and future needs of today’s broadcasters and media companies,” said Brick Eksten, Chief Product Officer, Imagine Communications. “The software-based nature of the platform will allow us to seamlessly blend operational monitoring and orchestration in a way that leverages the state of the art in enterprise-class IT solutions, while catering specifically to the needs of broadcasters — both now and in the future.”

Epic MV is a fully integrated IP multiviewer with out-of-the-box support for displaying UHD signals. Its ability to handle both SDI and IP signals will help enable broadcasters to significantly simplify their monitoring environments, while at the same time unleashing unprecedented performance, scalability and adaptability to future technologies. Designed with rapidly evolving operational environments in mind, the EPIC MV was built to provide broadcasters, content distributors and other media companies with cutting-edge performance for years to come.

Harmonic to provide media storage and playout server for NBC Olympics 2016

NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, has selected Harmonic MediaGrid shared storage system and Spectrum MediaDeck integrated media servers for its production of the Games …


NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, has selected Harmonic MediaGrid shared storage system and Spectrum MediaDeck integrated media servers for its production of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5th to 21st August, 2016. The announcement was made by David Mazza, CTO and SVP of NBC Olympics and Bart Spriester, SVP, Video Products at Harmonic.

NBC Olympics will use the multiple Harmonic solutions in its most critical production areas – in 10 global locations covering the event for broadcast, on demand, digital, news operations, and long term archive. This wide-area production model facilitates cost-effective content creation by helping NBC Olympics maintain a portion of its operation in the United States.
“Harmonic infrastructure has been at the heart of the NBC Olympics production workflow since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, supporting the evolution of coverage into a spectacular multiplatform offering of exciting, timely content,” said Spriester. “We’re proud to be a trusted partner of NBC Olympics once again, and we look forward to a hugely successful 2016 Rio Olympics.”

“We are counting on Harmonic’s integrated systems as part of our high and low resolution workflows. From ingest through media storage across 10 locations, MediaGrid and Spectrum systems are the backbone of our content acquisition and production workflows,” said Darryl Jefferson, VP, Post Production Operations, NBC Sports Group.

During the Rio Games, Harmonic infrastructure and production solutions, which are already well-established at NBC Olympics’ Stamford, Conn., facility, will operate with systems installed at the NBC Olympics production compound within the International Broadcast Center in Rio to enable NBC Olympics to offer high volumes of timely content on multiple television channels. Incorporating MediaGrid ContentStore 5840 high-density storage nodes, the Harmonic MediaGrid system will provide centralized shared storage that packs tremendous bandwidth and capacity into a nearly 70% smaller footprint than alternatives, delivering significant cost savings on equivalent storage capacity. The MediaDeck server systems will facilitate on-the-fly capture and proxy generation for all incoming materials.

Harmonic MediaDeck media servers will simultaneously record as many as 60 incoming venue feeds as both XDCAM-HD at 50 Mbps and H.264 low-resolution proxy. These systems also will give NBC Olympics personnel at the Stamford facility independent control over 60 additional channels of local ingest. Each recording’s proxy will be replicated in near real time on a 960-TB Harmonic MediaGrid storage system connected via two 10-Gigabit circuits to a second 920-TB MediaGrid installed at the Stamford facility. In less than a minute, content created on the Rio MediaGrid system will be replicated on the Stamford MediaGrid system.

The NBC Olympics production staff in the U.S. and Brazil will have direct access to content stored on either MediaGrid system through the media asset management (MAM) system, even if the event is still in progress and the files are still being received.

Once recordings begin, dozens of loggers, producers, and editors in Stamford will access the material, extract what they need, and make highlight files. Using extensive live logs and stats, scoring and timing information embedded as metadata, editors will be able to make shot lists that can be quickly and automatically conformed in proxy resolution for streaming along with live multiscreen services, or conformed in high resolution for use in NBC Olympics’ traditional broadcast edit suites in Stamford and other U.S. facilities.

Integration of the MediaGrid system into NBC’s EVS server workflows, with EVS IPDirector devices directly mounted on the MediaGrid, will extend and pool the storage capabilities of the EVS systems. From any IPDirector seat, NBC Olympics personnel will have immediate access to footage from any venue, from any day of competition. An LTO-6 library in Stamford will also make it easy for production staff to access and use content from previous Olympic Games.

How Venezuela’s VC Medios leveraged Masstech’s Workflow Solutions

Venezuelan media services provider VC Medios used Masstech’s MassStore platform to manage and automate its file-based production and digital delivery workflows. The South American country purchased these two …


Venezuelan media services provider VC Medios used Masstech’s MassStore platform to manage and automate its file-based production and digital delivery workflows. The South American country purchased these two additional systems to support its growth and geographic expansion based on the tangible benefits it realized by its first installation of a Masstech solution.

Headquartered in Caracas, VC Medios manages technical operations for Latin American cable networks including A&E, History, Lifetime, H2, E! and IVC Net. Initially deployed to automate the transfer of file-based content between Caracas and a partner-owned playout facility in Sunrise, Florida, the Masstech solutions now manage the movement of content not only across multiple locations, but also internally between VC Medios’ archive, post production and playout workflows.

Purchased from Venezuelan systems integrator Avcom, one of the two new systems was acquired for VC Medios’ newly-opened production center in Bogota, Colombia. The second new system was added in their Caracas headquarters to support operations for IVC Net, a new Venezuelan entertainment and sports channel distributed both locally and in the U.S.
Talking about the Masstech solutions Tonny Marquez, Engineering Vice President at VC Medios said, “Masstech solutions form the backbone of our file-based operations, efficiently automating our workflows across all of our locations. MassStore was a key enabler in eliminating tape from our workflows, which saves us hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Masstech’s after-sales service and support have been excellent, and MassStore’s open flexibility allows us to easily integrate new tools into our environment, giving us a future-proof platform as our needs evolve.”

STREAMLINING OPERATIONS
MassStore’s native integrations with an extensive array of third-party solutions allow media and metadata to flow seamlessly between VC Medios’ disparate production and playout systems, streamlining operations while maximizing efficiency. Programming received from VC Medios’ content partners or retrieved from the company’s LTO tape-based archive is transparently transformed into their preferred production format using MassStore’s built-in, high-quality transcoding.

MassStore then moves the content into post production workflows for localization and preparation for multi-platform distribution, including cable playout, Video-on-Demand (VOD) and TV Everywhere delivery across multiple viewing devices. Automated MassStore workflows then transfer playout-ready files to the Sunrise facility, where another MassStore system moves them onto the playout servers and notifies the automation system.

“VC Medios’ multi-site deployment is an excellent example of how our solutions streamline even the most sophisticated workflows while delivering unparalleled ROI,” said Savva Mueller, Masstech’s Director of Product Management. “We are proud when our solutions contribute to our customers’ success, and weare pleased to continue working closely with VC Medios as their company grows.”

Eutelsat and Wiztivi launch app for FTA viewing

It promises to transform navigation of free satellite TV channels for HOT BIRD viewers Eutelsat, a satellite operator, and Wiztivi, a multiscreen TV solution provider, unveiled Sat.tv, a …


It promises to transform navigation of free satellite TV channels for HOT BIRD viewers

Eutelsat, a satellite operator, and Wiztivi, a multiscreen TV solution provider, unveiled Sat.tv, a smart Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) for tablets and smart phones. The application is aimed at 66 million homes in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East equipped for DTH reception of Eutelsat’s HOT BIRD satellites that give access to more than 300 free-to-air channels. The product will be showcased for the first time at the TV Connect show in London.
Sat.tv is a new-generation EPG designed to enhance the free-to-air viewing experience for consumers and increase broadcaster engagement with their audience. Broadcasters can enter programme schedules and information that are displayed real-time through the app. Viewers benefit from a EPG interface available in five languages (English, French, Russian, Italian, Arabic) and can access programme details in up to 40 languages.
The main features include access to detailed programmes in the HOT BIRD channel line-up, with options to browse by time, channel or type of content. Preferred content can be selected in one click, and personalised recommendations generated based on viewer tastes. Viewers can also share any content of the app live on their social media profiles.
The new app is based on TIMELESSTOUCH, Wiztivi’s HTML5 user interface product for mobile devices. In addition to front-end and back-end development by Wiztivi, a back office has been set up to enable channels to directly edit their programme schedules. Leading broadcasters, including CCTV, Channel One Russia Worldwide, Euronews, France 24, RT and TV5MONDE have already opted for this solution.
Sat.tv is an HTML5 application developed with the WIZTIVIFRAMEWORK, Wiztivi’s multiscreen UI Software Development Kit (SDK). The SDK is a browser-based environment of development with equivalent performance to native applications. In using one code for multiple environments, Eutelsat and Wiztivi have been able to accelerate the development and launch of Sat.tv on both iOS and Android platforms. Wiztivi’s strong technical expertise in consistency management of metadata improves overall app performance. Due to the efficient algorithms provided by Wiztivi’s R&D, metadata are downloaded instantly on the screen, enhancing the user experience with smooth transitions and animations.

PHABRIX and the UHDTV Qx

PHABRIX has started shipping its new platform for UHDTV – the Qx for test and measurement, which is focussed on compliance verification for UHDTV1/4K and UHDTV2/8K standards. It …


PHABRIX has started shipping its new platform for UHDTV – the Qx for test and measurement, which is focussed on compliance verification for UHDTV1/4K and UHDTV2/8K standards. It is aimed at manufacturers of products requiring both an analysis and generation toolset – essential for product testing at these new high bandwidth standards. At NAB 2016, PHABRIX also presented its patented physical layer analysis for signals up to 12Gbps packaged under the trademark, RTE or ‘real time eye’ on the Qx.
The Qx displayed at NAB was available in two versions, one with the RTE technology for physical layer analysis and one without. Each supports up to a 48Gbps payload with four separate 12Gbps input and outputs.

PHABRIX also showed updates to both its portable and rackmount instruments at the event. The PHABRIX SxE was available with discounts on a bundled engineering option. The PHABRIX multi interface TAG with its complete solution from analogue to 3G-SDI with SFP support for optical has a new HDMI EDID viewer SFP option and an HDMI generator SFP.

The Rx rackmount is presented with PHABRIX’s dedicated toolset for quality control, OB support and broadcast engineering bays featured on the stand. With the release of version V9.04 software at NAB, the Rx demonstrated enhanced closed caption monitoring and signal line detect tools.

Paul Nicholls marketing director of PHABRIX explained that the need for compliance testing for UHDTV in the broadcast industry requires that specific measurements are taken as part of a product’s release. In the SMPTE standards these include eye amplitude, overshoot, undershoot, rise time and fall time with timing and alignment jitter readings. He stated that the Qx provides these readings automatically from the real time eye, there is no processing within the chip set, the signal is displayed ‘live’ for accurate T&M’. The bandwidth of the data being analysed at 12Gbps is immense, hence the Qx represents a very cost effective solution compared to a high end oscilloscope.

Pebble Beach Systems’ Orca virtualized channel-in-a-box

At NAB 2016, Pebble Beach Systems launched Orca, its software-defined virtualized IP channel solution suited to meet the needs of centralcast hubs, service providers, Multiple Channel Operators (MCOs), …


At NAB 2016, Pebble Beach Systems launched Orca, its software-defined virtualized IP channel solution suited to meet the needs of centralcast hubs, service providers, Multiple Channel Operators (MCOs), sports broadcasters, as well as corporates such as publishing companies seeking new ways to inform their audiences.

As a completely virtual channel-in-a-box, without the box, Orca channels run in a private cloud with IP inputs and outputs to deliver all the functionalities previously handled by discrete hardware video servers, graphics and captioning systems within a pure software environment. Completely unmanned operation is now possible for channels with remote administration available through secure, but standard browser interfaces.

Orca offers a software-only virtual implementation of Pebble Beach Systems’ Dolphin platform. As with Dolphin, Orca software-defined channels can be configured to meet the requirements of each service. Because both Dolphin and Orca share the same underlying architecture and control, the company claims that it is easy to mirror channel templates for simultaneous playout to traditional SDI as well as IP video distribution.

Orca can also reportedly create new IP channels from a series of templates at the touch of a button, and deploy them quickly into a running system without having to restart or make configuration changes. Channels can be launched and integrated into a running Marina automation system literally at the click of a button. The solution can also deploy grid-based GPU power for encoding and graphics, freeing up CPU power to enable Orca to increase channel counts more cost-effectively for the end user.
Ian Cockett, technical director of Pebble Beach Systems explained that while systems offering integrated software components running on off-the-shelf IT hardware have been gaining in popularity, pushing the infrastructure to the cloud is the next step, as broadcast businesses seek to evolve IP-based services alongside more traditional channel delivery methods. The flexibility to provision and tear down channels dynamically in an instant is a revolutionary concept for companies used to the old way of doing things. However, with today’s budgets and schedules, he claimed that Orca has arrived at exactly the right time for organizations seeking a pure IP video solution.